To the surprise of nobody, George Entwistle left the BBC over the weekend via the pointy end of his own sword after just 54 days as Director General. His greatest failing was an inability to convince anybody that he was on top of a spiralling crisis which threatens the BBC.
It was a series of catastrophic interviews by Entwistle on radio and television on Saturday morning which really did for him. He spoke with all the confidence, optimism and reassurance of a man building his own gallows. With a bad back. In the rain. Entwistle could barely defend himself let alone a Corporation which will always be under fire from rival media. That is the minimum requirement for any replacement. The next Director General must be able to fight for all that is still worth fighting for at the BBC.
Entwistle's 'fairwell tour' was painful to listen to and clearly a very lonely experience. He seemed so poorly prepared for the task that many were questioning whether he had been hung out to dry.
One former BBC journalist told the Media Blog that Entwistle was the public face of "a staggeringly inept display of crisis handling" at the BBC. Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman went further, saying Entwistle was brought low by "cowards and incompetents".
But ultimately Entwistle alone fulfilled the role that senior executives are paid so handsomely to do. He announced his resignation in the midst of a scandal.
Such sacrifices are rarely enough however and the disarray and divisions within the BBC clearly stretch far beyond the Director General's desk. The Corporation has lost control of its own crisis and handed the initiative to its critics.
The Daily Mail broke the story of Newsnight editor Peter Rippon's departure, leaving BBC staff making denials. ITV broke the story of Entwistle's resignation while BBC newsreaders sat waiting for their own Director General's statement to be delivered.
Massed ranks of detractors
During Friday evening's Newsnight, presenter Eddie Mair commenting on a technical issue, stated "the sound isn't working... the journalism isn't working..." before tailing off into head-shaking disbelief. His look of incredulity when announcing that nobody from the BBC was available for interview was a face that launched a thousand tweets.
Such moments have made it very easy for the BBC's massed ranks of detractors.
But some of the most outspoken detractors perform an important role in all of this. They remind us the BBC is still far and away the best we have. Whatever has happened in recent weeks we must not lose sight of that, lest we lose sight of the BBC and the irreplaceable service it provides.
Disgraced tabloid editors have had their knives out. Piers Morgan has waded into a debate about journalistic ethics and honourable resignations. Rupert Murdoch has taken issue with an editor-in-chief pleading ignorance. All done seemingly without irony.
Meanwhile, ITV News bemoaned the fact the BBC Director General only did interviews with the BBC. But ITV is yet to carry an interview with its own chief executive or programme bosses at This Morning over a widely criticised stunt involving a list of alleged paedophiles Phillip Schofield had harvested from the internet.
We need the BBC. Not least because it has not pulled a single punch in holding itself accountable.
At this point it is worth reminding ourselves what happens when one of Rupert Murdoch's media outlets tries to ask about his organisation's wrongdoing:
It could hardly be more different to the grilling Entwistle received at the hands of John Humphrys.
We must judge organisations not only by the brilliant work they do – and the BBC certainly leads the media world in that regard – but by the way they recover from crisis. The BBC must now do that, decisively.
The new Director General must be a fearsome defender of the BBC and a respected authority within the media who can get the divided factions pulling together.
And while we must be told what's happening as investors in the Corporation, the BBC must also tone down the public self-flagellation now. It needs to show it is moving on, not wallowing.
Regarding the stories which have knocked it so badly off track they must now become about investigations into serious child abuse, as they should always have been, not stories of media hand-wringing and point-scoring.
Angry tweets from Match Of The Day viewers tuning in for the programme on Saturday night only to find a special bulletin about Entwistle's departure, served as a timely reminder that many people just want the BBC to get back to doing what it does well. Barring two recent terrible editorial decisions, that includes producing exceptional current affairs programming and investigative journalism.