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February 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Not even the staid old BBC — “Auntie,” as it’s affectionately known to millions of Britons — is immune from scandal. That fact became conspicuously apparent Sunday when the public broadcaster apologized for breaking its own rules that, it said, were “aimed at protecting our editorial integrity.” The BBC confirmed reports that originally appeared in the London Independent, that BBC World News had paid a private PR firm, FBC Media, token fees for programs commissioned by foreign governments and companies, which had paid FBC millions of dollars for positive programs. The clients included the governments of Malaysia, Egypt, Greece and Kazakhstan. (A program produced for Egypt during the spring uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak warned of the dangers of a takeover by Islamic fundamentalists.) The Independent also disclosed that FBC produced programs under similar arrangements that aired on NBC Universal-owned cable channel CNBC. FBC has since filed for bankruptcy.