Ofcom announced a new investigation into GB News on Wednesday. The regulator will look into comments made around COVID vaccines in an interview conducted by presenter Mark Steyn with author Dr Naomi Wolf. It said there had been 411 complaints from viewers following the interview, which aired on 4 October 2022, and explained:
We consider that comments made during an interview with author and journalist Dr Naomi Wolf about the coronavirus vaccine rollout raise potential issues under our Broadcasting Code.
Specifically, our investigation will consider whether this programme broke our rules designed to protect viewers from harmful material.
This week, comedian John Cleese announced he was headed to the outlet, having been impressed by some of those involved. He revealed that they explained to him that it is a “free-speech channel.” As discussed in Monday’s newsletter, the presence of Ofcom and its rules around “due impartiality” means there are checks and balances on what is broadcast in the UK, including on GB News.
This is not the first time the channel has prompted attention from Ofcom. Two previous investigations prompted no further action. A separate investigation into a monologue from Steyn about Covid vaccines remains ongoing.