Late last night BBC’s Newsnight hosted an unbalanced GB News bashing panel where both Adam Boulton and Caroline Nokes called for the channel to be taken off-air because Laurence Fox was rude. Ofcom, when it ruled against GB News over impartiality, reminded broadcasters:
“The Code is clear that when programmes are dealing with matters of major political controversy and current public policy, the heightened special impartiality requirements apply. Specifically, Rules 5.11 and 5.12 require that an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in such programmes, or in clearly linked and timely programmes.”
Calling for the shutdown of a broadcaster because a presenter has behaved badly is an extreme stance. Despite the BBC’s roster of presenters including the likes of Russell Brand, Jimmy Saville and John Peel – all of whom behaved far worse than Laurence Fox – their misbehaviour has not resulted in calls for the station to be shut down. Newsnight’s panel did not constitute the required “appropriately wide range of significant views” as required by Ofcom. If co-conspirators want to make a complaint to Ofcom about Newsnight’s lack of impartiality they can do it here.
Over on Sky News earlier last night Guido’s editor was part of a more balanced discussion with Gina Miller where he derided the idiocy of Laurence Fox whilst defending the upstart station’s output and journalism:
Rival channels have a self-interested motive to protect what Adam Boulton phrased as the “delicate and important broadcast ecology” from the upstart channel which is regularly beating them in terms of ratings. Ava Evans herself opposes any move to close the channel. The calls for Ofcom to sanction the station come from politicians opposed to the political skew of the channel and the self-interest of rival broadcasters.
UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out Ofcom will only investigate a BBC-related complaint once the BBC complaints procedure has been exhausted. Complaints can be directed here…