Jonathan Dimbleby said the BBC has been unfairly attacked over the Jimmy Savile scandal by politicians and newspapers who "want revenge" on the corporation.
"Organisations that have come under flack recently such as newspapers and MPs want to get their revenge. They think the BBC is too smug and holier-than-thou," Dimbleby told the Times.
"But there is a disturbing relish in the way the critics have laid into the BBC, holding today's office-holders to account for what happened 30 years ago."
Amid the fallout from the Jimmy Savile scandal the BBC is investigating nine allegations of sexual harassment among staff and contributors.
BBC boss George Entwistle has spent almost two hours taking questions from MPs about the corporation's handling of the Savile scandal.
Ex-BBC boss Mark Thompson has told ITV News he will help with any inquiry into the corporation and its handling of the Savile allegations.