GB News broke broadcasting rules over 'Nazi Germany' vaccine claims

The channel did not fulfil its duty to challenge a guests claims, Ofcom has found


Controversial broadcaster GB News broke broadcasting rules by airing an interview with a guest who compared the Covid vaccination programme to Nazi Germany.

Journalist Naomi Wolf, who is Jewish, claimed the vaccine rollout amounted to “mass murder” and that the government was using “bioweapons” to sterilise the population. 

On October 4 of last year, she told host Mark Steyn: “It was the doctors in pre-Nazi Germany in the early thirties who were co-opted by the National Socialists and sent to do exactly what we're seeing kind of replaying now. 

“It was the medical organisations in the early thirties who were emboldened to be the arbiters of, you know, ‘life worthy of life, life unworthy of life’, um, and to, kind of, medicalise and pathologise dissent or difference. 

“So we're seeing wholesale purchasing of the medical establishment in the United States, in Britain and in countries around the world to do things much more serious.”

Steyn introduced the feminist author by announcing that they would be discussing "an ever more horrifying public scandal.”

Wolf was subsequently presented to viewers as a source of scientific authority, an Ofcom report released May 9 concluded.

This lent credibility, it says, to her “serious, unchallenged conspiracy theory."

“There was also no scrutiny of the evidence she claimed to hold to support her claims,” Ofcom said.

“We concluded that the programme did not provide adequate protection to viewers from the potentially harmful content.”

GB News were also told they must attend a meeting with the broadcast regulator to discuss its approach to compliance.

Speaking to Steyn about covid vaccines, Wolf said: “I'm not ashamed to say it at this point I've got so much evidence. 

“This is why I believe these are bioweapons because they are literally sterilising people. They’re poisoning breast milk. There's not just mRNA in breast milk. 

“There's there's, uh, there's polyethylene glycol now in vaccinated mom’s breast milk. They're damaging the placentas of women so that they can so that we're seeing chromosomal abnormalities and they’re negatively, they're, they're emasculating men, essentially.”

The leading third-wave feminist thinker could describe the vaccination programme as mass murder with “calmness”, she added.

“It's the biggest public scandal this century if Western governments knew about the damage right at the beginning, right in those first weeks, and they still, and they're still insisting right now that everybody gets the 37th booster shot,” Steyn added. 

“Thank you very much, Naomi. We're gonna have more with Naomi later in the week.”

Steyn, who previously hosted GB News’s 8-pm peak time slot, quit the channel in February after its chief executive reportedly demanded he cover any Ofcom fines personally, a highly unusual arrangement. 

The Canadian presenter, who had been off air since last year after suffering two heart attacks, rejected the station’s terms. 

“I’m on the hook for Ofcom fines but I don’t have any say in our defence against an Ofcom complaint – that’s all done by GB News. Ofcom’s b*tch, as I call the compliance officer, will be making the weedy defence to Ofcom and then I’m the one who has to pay the £40,000 fine,” he said in a video posted to his personal website.

Earlier this year, the Board of Deputies called on GB News to address “conspiratorial antisemitism” broadcast on the channel after presenter Neil Oliver appeared to reference a conspiracy theory.

Nicola Richards, the Conservative MP who co-chairs the APPG against antisemitism, said: “Media diversity is incredibly important but not at the expense of professional standards.

“These developments should be of concern to GB News editors, owners, and producers and I hope they will be carefully reviewing them. 

"With any public platform, there is a responsibility not to open the door to conspiratorial antisemitism or other misinformation. No doubt Ofcom will be keeping a close eye on developments at GB News but let’s hope that the channel will get its house in order.”

At the time, a GB News spokesperson told the Guardian: “GB News abhors racism and hate in all its forms and would never allow it on the channel.”

Mark Steyn said: "Do knock it off with the conspiracy b****cks. Naomi Wolf is a practicing Jew and, as such, joked on my show that she was therefore 'allowed' to make the Nazi comparison.

"The Israeli cardiologist quoted by Andrew Bridgen presumed the same thing, as did the many Jewish scientists from around the world who wrote the open letter to Mr Sunak calling on the Conservative Party to withdraw its slander.

"The notion that merely mentioning the governing party of Germany from 1933-1945 is enough to get an observant Jew labeled a Jew-hater is patently absurd.

"The issue here is that Ofcom is exceeding its statutory authority in a way none of its predecessor entities - the IBA, the Radio Authority, etc - ever did.

"It has become a kangaroo court, micromanaging UK media coverage on critical aspects of public policy in ways that deeply damage free and open discourse in a land that was once the crucible of liberty.

"I am already taking Ofcom to court over their previous decision, and we will add this latest rubbish to the charge sheet."

A spokesperson for GB News said: “We accept Ofcom’s finding that our former presenter Mark Steyn and his guest Naomi Wolf breached the Ofcom code in their broadcast about Covid vaccines last October.

"Mr Steyn last appeared on the channel five months ago. GB News chose to be an Ofcom-regulated channel and we are proud to play our part in bringing a wider range of opinion to Britain’s media landscape.

"We take Ofcom compliance seriously and we also take freedom of speech seriously. The balance between these two is not always clear cut and presents vital issues for our democracy.

"The Communications Act of 2003 and the Ofcom Code which stemmed from it were not framed with channels like ours in mind, nor did they fully envisage the current mix of news and opinion in broadcast, or indeed the online and social media world.

"We welcome the opportunity to meet Ofcom and to work with them in ensuring that our legal freedoms to speak freely are robustly protected, while remaining aligned with some of the best journalism and broadcasting standards in the world.”

Naomi Wolf has been contacted for comment.

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