Written by Media

Ofcom Raps Fox News

Remember that somewhat hyperbolic, and ever-so-slightly misleading Fox News opinion piece by John Gibson?
Well because Fox News is broadcast via Sky, they get to fall under Ofcom, who have today upheld a number of complaints made about it. This in itself probably doesn’t mean a great deal. However. repeat offences could result in sanctions being taken by Ofcom including financial ones, under the Programme Code. I believe that as a last resort, they can actually pull a channel off air, in the UK at least.
The most ridiculous part of the Fox News response is that if you type “BBC Anti-American” into Google you get 47,200 hits. Ofcom responded that this is hardly sufficient evidence to back up such a statement, and in any case, doesn’t make any editorial judgement about how those words are used. Needless to say, I could quite easily set up 47,000 web pages myself containing those words. And, oh, a search for ‘anti-american “fox news”‘ on Google returns 29,300 hits.
(Incidentally the other complaint upheld against the ITV drama Wire in the Blood is slightly disturbing. We have a 9pm watershed, yet you can’t simply start stronger programming straight away at 9pm. I don’t really understand this rational. Surely if a line is to be drawn, then that’s it, and stronger programming can then be shown – particularly if a warning is made).