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Media watchdog Ofcom has once more found GB news to be in breach of broadcasting rules.

The regulator ruled that an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News in which the former actor Laurence Fox questioned who would want to “shag” a female journalist broke broadcasting rules.

Fox’s disgraceful comments about JOE Media’s political correspondent Ava Evans led to 8,867 complaints being made.

In a statement, Ofcom said: “We found that Mr Fox’s comments constituted a highly personal attack on Ms Evans and were potentially highly offensive to viewers. They reduced her contribution to a broadcast discussion on mental health – in her professional capacity as a political journalist – to a judgment on whether she, or women like her who publicly expressed their political opinions, were sexually desirable to men.

“As such, we considered that Mr Fox’s comments were degrading and demeaning both to Ms Evans and women generally and were clearly and unambiguously misogynistic.”

The regulator also criticised Wootton over his ‘limited challenge’ which did not ‘mitigate the potential for offence’. It added: “Rather, they exacerbated it by contributing to the narrative in which a woman’s value was judged by her physical appearance.”

Ofcom however were criticised by some for not taking stronger action against GB News. Adam Bienkov, political editor at Byline Times, posted on X: “Ofcom once again finds that GB News has broken broadcasting rules and that they have “significant concerns” about editorial controls at the channel.

“Their punishment? Another stern letter and a request for a chat in their office.”

It’s not the first time that Ofcom has found GB News to be in breach of broadcasting rules and regulations.

In September, GB News was found to have breached impartiality rules by airing an interview with UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt that was conducted by two other Conservative MPs.

Esther McVey, a former pensions minister, and her husband Philip Davies, a longstanding MP, were accused of hosting a “love-in” interview with Jeremy Hunt on 11 March for their weekly morning show on the channel.

In December, an Ofcom investigation found that GB News broke due impartiality rules during a summer episode in promoting a campaign called ‘Don’t Kill Cash’. The programme, Ofcom found, “failed to preserve due impartiality in its coverage of this matter, with only limited references to different perspectives.”

Ofcom said GB News “clearly endorsed the campaign” across its programming, including with a QR code that encouraged audiences to sign a petition.

After the latest breach, isn’t it time Ofcom took stronger action?

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

The post Ofcom finds GB News broke broadcasting rules after Laurence Fox’s misogynistic comments about journalist appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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