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Commented: China would be proud...

Ofcom decides on overt political censorship of the words of Rishi Sunak being questioned on GB News


Link Here28th May 2024
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom wrote:

People's Forum: The Prime Minister
GB News, 12 February 2024, 20:00

Ofcom received 547 complaints about this live, hour-long current affairs programme which featured the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in a question-and-answer session with a studio audience about the Government's policies and performance, in the context of the forthcoming UK General Election.

We considered that this constituted a matter of major political controversy and a major matter relating to current public policy. When covering major matters, all Ofcom licensees must comply with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code. These rules require broadcasters to include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views within a programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.

Ofcom had no issue with this programme's format in principle. Broadcasters have freedom to decide the editorial approach of their programmes as long as they comply with the Code. We took into account factors such as: the audience's questions to the Prime Minister; his responses; the Presenter's contribution; and whether due impartiality was preserved through clearly linked and timely programmes. In this case:

  • 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 some future policies that his Government planned to implement, if re-elected in the forthcoming UK General Election. Neither the audience or 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, licensees 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.

  • The Licensee 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 found that an appropriately wide range of significant viewpoints was not presented and given due weight in this case. As a result, Rishi Sunak had a mostly uncontested platform to promote the policies and performance of his Government in a period preceding a UK General Election.

GB News failed to preserve due impartiality, in breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code. Our decision is that this breach was serious and repeated.

We will therefore consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction

 

Update: GB News to challege Ofcom's censorship in the courts

21st May 2024. See article from pressgazette.co.uk

A GB News spokesperson responded to the Ofcom censorship:

GB News has begun the formal legal process of challenging recent Ofcom decisions which go against journalists' and broadcasters' rights to make their own editorial judgements in line with the law and which also go against Ofcom's own rules.

Ofcom is obliged by law to uphold freedom of expression. Ofcom is also obliged to apply its rules fairly and lawfully. We believe that, for some time now, Ofcom has been operating in the exact opposite manner.

We cannot allow freedom of expression and media freedom to be trampled on in this way.

Freedom of the press is a civil right established by the British in the seventeenth century with the abolition of censorship and licensing of the printing press.

We refuse to stand by and allow this right to be threatened. As the People's Channel we champion this freedom; for our viewers, for our listeners, for everyone in the United Kingdom.

 

Ofsite Comment: Ofcom's contempt for GB News viewers

21st May 2024. See article from spiked-online.com by Andrew Tettenborn

How, you might ask, could a show featuring independently selected, non-aligned voters directly quizzing an embattled PM breach impartiality rules? The Ofcom ruling makes no sense, at least if you look at it from the perspective of the average, level-headed man or woman in the street. But then, the apparatchiks who run Ofcom are neither particularly level-headed nor remotely reflective of the average voter.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

Ofsite Comment: The real reason Ofcom has gone after GB News

27th May 2024. See article from spectator.co.uk by Toby Young

 

 

Extract: Kind Hearts and Coronets bowdlerised when broadcast on Talking Pictures...

Trigger warnings are bad enough -- but this butchery of classic films is unforgivable. By Simon Heffer


Link Here 23rd November 2023

The word ['nigger'] has been excised from the film I regard as the pinnacle of British cinema, Kind Hearts and Coronets. In a crucial scene, the about-to-be-hanged murderer and his mistress quote the traditional version of the rhyme Eeny, meeny, miny, moe: it is the moment when he realises that she knows he has murdered several members of his family, and might just murder his wife, too, if the mistress can have him reprieved. A TV channel on which I recently rewatched the film eliminated this exchange, rather than show a warning that it includes racially offensive language.

It is patronising to assume most of us don't know that the past is a foreign country; that they did things then that we are enlightened enough not to do now. Otherwise, Bowdler-like, we shall according to the latest obsession falsify whatever parts of our heritage culture warriors take exception to. We can't go through life without being offended; but we can and should present our cultural past honestly and in context, and explain the importance of its integrity.

 

 

Wrong type of bias...

Ofcom criticises GB News for deviating from the 'right think' line


Link Here24th October 2023
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Martin Daubney (standing in for Laurence Fox)
GB News, 16 June 2023, 19:00

The above current affairs programme dealt with the topic of immigration and asylum policy, in particular in the context of controversy over small boats crossing the English Channel. The presenter, Martin Daubney, gave his own views on this topic and interviewed the leader of the Reform Party, Richard Tice.

Ofcom received a complaint about the programme.

We considered that immigration and asylum policy constituted a matter of major political controversy and a major matter relating to current public policy. When dealing with major matters, all Ofcom licensees must comply with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code. These rules require broadcasters to include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views.

We found that Mr Tice presented his position on a matter of major political controversy and a major matter of current public policy with insufficient challenge, and the limited alternative views presented were dismissed. The programme therefore did not include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views, as required by the Code.

The Licensee accepted that the content was not compliant with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code.

GB News failed to preserve due impartiality, in breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code.

Ofcom recognises that, in accordance with the right to freedom of expression, broadcasters have editorial freedom and can offer audiences innovative forms of discussion and debate ... However... in light of the likely similarity of the views of the participants in this programme on the major matter being discussed, the Licensee should have taken additional steps to ensure that due impartiality was preserved.

We expect GB News to take careful account of this Decision in its compliance of future programming.

 

 

Harsh words...

GB News gets in trouble with Ofcom about nasty remarks by Laurence Fox


Link Here28th September 2023

TV censor Ofcom has launched an investigation into GB News over Laurence Fox's rant about a female journalist, Ava Evans after receiving around 7,300 complaints.

Fox was suspended on Wednesday after he was condemned for saying 'Who would want to shag that?

The complaints followed Tuesday night's episode of Dan Wootton Tonight, prompting its investigation. Dan Wootton has been suspended from GB News seemingly as he smiled or smirked at Fox's comments rather than opposing them.

Wootton said in an apology that he regretted the interview and should have intervened to challenge Fox. Meanwhile Fox has said he stands by every word of what I said.

Fox, who also hosts on GB News, made the comments discussing political journalist Evans' views on creating a minister for men to tackle a mental health crisis. Speaking on BBC Politics Live on Monday, the PoliticsJOE political correspondent said the idea would make an enemy out of women and that mental illness was not specific to men. Addressing the comments on Dan Wootton Tonight on Tuesday, Fox said:

We're past the watershed so I can say this. Show me a single self-respecting man that would like to climb into bed with that woman - ever, ever... That little woman has been fed, spoon-fed oppression day after day after day... We need powerful, strong, amazing women who make great points for themselves, we don't need these sort of feminist 4.0... they're pathetic and embarrassing. Who would want to shag that? Media caption,

Melanie Dawes, Ofcom chief executive, said:

Over the last few days there has been speculation and commentary about our role as the independent broadcast regulator. These are important issues and I wanted to be clear about our rules.

Parliament sets objectives on how the broadcast sector should be regulated. We set and enforce rules to achieve these objectives. Contrary to some claims, these rules remain unchanged.

They are designed to protect audiences from offensive and harmful material, and to uphold the integrity of broadcast news and current affairs programming, while always ensuring that freedom of expression is front and centre in every decision we take. This is highly valued by audiences and central to our democracy.

The decisions we take, always based on facts and evidence once a programme has aired, are vital if we are to protect our vibrant media landscape. We continue to apply and enforce these rules without fear or favour.

 

Offsite Comment: The establishment campaign to shut down GB News

25th September 2023. See article from spiked-online.com by Fraser Myers

Adam Boulton has said the quiet part out loud: the elites want to defend their cosy media club.

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