Friday 24 May 2024

GB News vs Ofcom

The Office of Communications is taking action against GB News... again. The national media and communications regulation agency has decided that the station broke the rules of due impartiality when they had a live telephone Q and A programme with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Their accusations are:
"While some of the audience's questions provided some challenge to, and criticism of, the Government's policies and performance, audience members were not able to challenge the Prime Minister's responses and the presenter did not do this to any meaningful extent. The Prime Minister was able to set out future policies that his Government planned to implement, if re-elected in the forthcoming UK General Election. Neither the audience nor the presenter challenged or otherwise referred to significant alternative views on these. The Prime Minister criticised aspects of the Labour Party's policies and performance. While politicians are of course able to do this in programmes, broadcasters must ensure that due impartiality is preserved. Neither the Labour Party's views or positions on those issues, or any other significant views on those issues were included in the programme or given due weight; and GB News did not, and was not able to, include a reference in the programme to an agreed future programme in which an appropriately wide range of significant views on the major matter would be presented and given due weight. We also took into account that, during the course of our investigation, GB News said it had purposefully not been aware of the questions which audience members would ask the Prime Minister; made an editorial decision that the presenter would not intervene or challenge views expressed; and that there were no other editorial means for alternative views to be included in the programme... We have therefore recorded a breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code against GB News." Source:
Ofcom will now begin the process of statuary sanction which can take up to sixty working days. What could they do to GB News? They could fine them; they can impose a penalty of up to a quarter of a million pounds. Seeing as they're acted against GB News twice before it is likely that any financial penalty will be very high. However, this time they may decide to go one step further and revoke the platform's licence, like they did to RT, see: Israel has also just done this to Al Jazeera. If that happens GB News will no longer appear on a terrestrial TV station or DAB radio; it will become an internet only news channel. This is not the end of the world, after all RT has survived being an online service, for example see:; however it will reduce GB News' profile in the public eye... And that is the real objective of course. I hope the Jeeb will learn a lesson from this. A few months ago Ofcom attacked the channel over the supposed "misogyny" of Lawrence Fox, Calvin Robinson and Dan Wooton. The channel's management responded by grovelling, taking the knee, apologizing over and over again; and throwing the supposed nasty miscreants under the bus, see: Where did it get them? Did they really think that Ofcom would leave them alone after that? We've seen the same ridiculous false conciliation from Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party (They should never have changed their name!). The party's leader Richard Tice dropped about half of its candidates in the recent election because Hate Not Hope told them to... I'm not kidding, see: What does Tice think he's going to achieve with all this backstabbing? You cannot be an anti-establishment political party while trying to pacify the establishment. Hate Not Hope responded by gloating over how they now control Reform, and they're right to. They did not thank Tice for his collaboration and leave him alone to find another victim; they simply drew up another list of targets and handed them over to him again. Source: I'm not a fan of Winston Churchill; I consider him a grossly overrated fake hero, but he did once say something very true: "Appeasement is feeding the crocodile in the hope it will eat you last." We must stop apologizing. We must not attempt to win the approval of our enemies. We must simply tell them to take a running jump!
See here for more background:


Anonymous said...

Channels that promote a political bias by being a blatant mouthpiece of a sitting government or a state power from another country have no place in the UK and the rules are pretty clear on that with OFCOM the agency in place within the UK to enforce this.

It takes a pretty dumb viewer to not understand cabinet ministers and other sitting politicians of the government at the time employed on a channel are not going to take the opportunity to promote their ideology and views on the audience. That is the reason the channel employs them.

During election periods GB news is in even more danger of breaching OFCOM rules on party political broadcasts.

As far as moving online Michael Crick addressed this in an interview with Rees-Mogg (that well known anti-establishment Conservative MP employed by GBeebies!)

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

"Pennyfarthing made flesh"! Very amusing I must admit.

If you read my article again you will see that I do not comment on whether or not GB News is guilty or not of violating the Broadcasting Code. What I said was that the ulterior motive of their action is censorship because the station is "off message". In the same way that Trump's lawsuit is not because Stormy Daniels and other people are hurt by him, it's an attempt to sabotage his presidential run. Legal history is full of such examples.

I personally think the airwaves are overregulated anyway. I don't care if a political talk show on terrestrial TV is biased and not impartial. I see distinct underhand bias on other TV networks as it is, in terms of themes in fiction etc; which is just as influential as current affairs. I would support a TV station that spreads leftwing propaganda, so long as rightwing channels can do the same.