GB News slammed after Naomi Wolf compares Covid vaccine to mass murder


GB News flouted broadcasting code when given permission Naomi Wolf For repeatedly comparing Covid-19 vaccination to mass murder without being challenged.

The American author made an appearance on GB News’s Mark Stein show last October and claimed the vaccine rollout was a premeditated crime, adding that it was comparable with the actions of “doctors in pre-Nazi Germany”.

media regulator on Tuesday, Ofcomsaid it was particularly concerned by Wolf’s “significant and dangerous claim” that mass killing was occurring through vaccination, which he repeated three times without challenge or significant inclusion of context.

In its defence, the channel argued that its audience had different expectations as “the approach of GB News is different from many other factual channels”. The channel said it promoted “controversial and contradictory”. [views] as a way of provoking thoughtful inquiry and debate and reappraisal of important issues”.

This is the second significant breach of the broadcasting code recorded by GB News and the media regulator is requesting the broadcaster to attend a meeting “to discuss its approach to compliance”. However, there is no indication that Ofcom will impose financial penalties as the regulator struggles to deal with new upstart channels pushing the boundaries of the broadcasting code.

GB News also argued that it did not defend Wolf’s views as “literal truth”, but that his comments were protected as freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. It also said that Naomi Wolf, as a Jewish woman, believed that the comparison with doctors in Nazi Germany was “excessive and not a fair comparison”.

The channel argued that it was a mistake to claim that “vocal and combative language advocating an idea that seems outside the bounds of ‘polite discourse’ must be harmful in some way”. It considered the statements made in the program “at most, may have given some viewers ‘pause for thought’ about the wisdom of another vaccination” but maintained that this was “part of the value of differing opinions”. and in no case can be considered in isolation”.

It comes two months after the watchdog’s ruling on an episode of The Mark Stein Show that aired last April broke its broadcast rules and was “potentially harmful and materially misleading” with the “false claim” that UK Health Protection Agency data showed a link between a third Covid-19 vaccine and higher rates of infection, death and hospitalisation”. Provided evidence of definite causal link”. ,

Ofcom said of the latest investigation: “It is important to emphasize that in line with the right to freedom of expression, broadcasters are free to broadcast programs that contain controversial and challenging ideas, including those about Covid-19 vaccines or conspiracies.” principles are included. However, alongside this editorial freedom, the Broadcasting Code imposes an explicit requirement that if such material is likely to be harmful, the broadcaster must ensure that its viewers are adequately protected.

“Our investigation concluded that GB News fell short of this requirement by allowing Naomi Wolf to promote a serious conspiracy theory without challenge or context – for example through other contributions to the program or by the presenter, which were not her Many appeared to support the comments. The evidence she claimed to support her claims was also unverified.,

Ofcom said it had received 422 complaints alleging Wolf’s comments were “dangerous” and included misinformation which went uncontested.

The regulator said it recognized the author’s right to have his own views and opinions, GB News’s right to broadcast them, and its audience’s right to receive them: “We emphasize that the code does not reflect these views and opinions.” does not prohibit it from being broadcast. However, defining the material as opinion does not obviate the requirement under the Code for the broadcaster to ensure that viewers are reasonably protected from potentially harmful material in the programme. has been preserved.

Stan leave gb news In February, when the channel tried to hold him personally liable for any fines imposed by Ofcom against his broadcasts, he repeatedly railed against the media regulator, claiming it was acting as a state censor. Is.

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