The BBC has admitted Alan Dershowitz should not have been interviewed as an “impartial analyst” on the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict given his own ties to the allegations.
BBC World News drew criticism on Wednesday after having the lawyer on to discuss Maxwell being convicted on sex-trafficking charges even though Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre has alleged she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz by Maxwell and Epstein, which he denies. Dershowitz has also served as a lawyer for Epstein. On Thursday, BBC News said the interview fell short of its editorial standards.
“Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards, as Mr. Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience,” BBC News said. “We will look into how this happened.”
My guess is a combination of mind-boggling incompetence and bog minding insouciance about how very distressing it is when Even the Best People are subjected to these sorts of distressing allegations.
Dershowitz was introduced on BBC World News as a constitutional lawyer who would be providing analysis about Maxwell’s conviction, though Dershowitz brought up the fact that Giuffre has “accused me” during the appearance as he claimed the government “didn’t believe that [Giuffre] was telling the truth.” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan described the interview with Dershowitz as “one of the most shocking things the BBC has done in years.”
Dershowitz also appeared on Fox News Wednesday after Maxwell’s conviction. Host Pete Hegseth began the discussion by telling viewers, “Full disclosure: Professor Dershowitz once represented Epstein and is currently being sued by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre for defamation.” He went on to ask for Dershowitz’s takeaway on the verdict “as someone who has been caught up in this.”
When Fox News has vastly better journalistic standards than your organization, the whole thing should probably be nuked from space.