Mark Steyn show on GB News breaches Ofcom code with Covid claims for second time
Ofcom has ruled that an episode of the Mark Steyn show on GB News has breached its broadcasting code with Covid claims for the second time.
The media watchdog said an episode on October 4 2022 saw an interview between the Canadian author and presenter and guest Dr Naomi Wolf, who made “serious claims” about the Covid-19 vaccine, including that its rollout amounted to a pre-meditated crime using the term “mass murder” and was comparable with the actions of “doctors in pre-Nazi Germany”.
Ofcom said it received 422 complaints that alleged these comments were “dangerous” and included “misinformation” that went “unopposed”.
🧵We have found GB News in breach of our broadcasting rules.
This follows an investigation relating to comments about Covid-19 vaccines, made by Naomi Wolf during an episode of the Mark Steyn programme on 4 October 2022.
Read more: https://t.co/TpEK4ty7O5 pic.twitter.com/j9nHqzhe6e
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) May 9, 2023
On Tuesday the UK regulator said it was particularly concerned by Ms Wolf’s “significant and alarming claim” that mass murder was taking place through the rollout of the vaccinations, which she repeated three times.
Ofcom said GB News “fell short” of the requirement to protect audiences from potentially harmful content by “allowing Naomi Wolf to promote a serious conspiracy theory without challenge or context”.
It also said Ms Wolf was presented as a “figure of authority”, which “would have lent credibility to her unchallenged claims”, and GB News did not take “adequate steps” to protect viewers from the potentially harmful content.
It is the second “significant breach” of the code recorded against GB News and therefore it is requesting the broadcaster attends a meeting “to discuss its approach to compliance”, Ofcom said on Tuesday.
It comes two months after the watchdog ruled an episode of the Mark Steyn show which aired on April 21 2022 broke its broadcasting rules and was “potentially harmful and materially misleading” with an “incorrect claim” that UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data provided evidence of a “definitive causal link” between a third Covid-19 vaccine and higher rates of infection, death and people being admitted to hospital.