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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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HomeCulture WarSee you in court! Mark Steyn bites back at Ofcom

See you in court! Mark Steyn bites back at Ofcom

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TODAY’S the day that Mark Steyn, the finest, the most talented and acute of journalists and broadcasters to have graced our TV screens in recent years, takes the UK’s state censor Ofcom to court. When Ofcom ruled against him (after only four complaints) for misleading his audience, every news outlet under the sun reported it. None queried it challenge it or stood up for him. Just us. Our article heading made clear what we thought of Ofcom’s selective targeting of the one broadcaster questioning the vaccination programme and reporting vaccine injuries. We said ‘Mark Steyn wears his Ofcom “death sentence” with pride but this is a tragedy for British broadcasting‘.

A tragedy indeed – not least for all the people who were being assured time and time and again by other broadcasters, and continued so to be after Mark’s departure, that vaccines were safe and effective and must not be questioned in any way at all, who’ve been permanently injured or have died as a result of accepting these assurances. Mark was the only broadcaster doing his job. Vindication if anymore were needed came just weeks after the ruling. Evidence after evidence has since continued to emerge of covid vaccines’ harms. Senior figures have joined Professor Dalgleish’s call for all mRNA vaccines to be banned, such are the risks. The ONS has been found to have lied about its vaccines safety and efficacy claims.

Despite illness, Mark has displayed not just pride but fortitude and determination. Almost straight away after the ruling his solicitor put Ofcom on notice. His barristers then exchanged ‘pre-action’ correspondence with Ofcom suggesting they reverse their erroneous and illegal decision. They didn’t. As Melissa Howes reported on June 5, 2023, Mark’s KC Gavin Millar filed a petition seeking judicial review by the King’s Bench Division of the High Court. You can find details here. It finally takes place today.

To remind readers of the biased and spurious case Ofcom laid against Mark Steyn and of GB News’s gutless failure to defend it and turn it into a test case for broadcasters’ freedom against the State, here is a reprint of my response to it a year ago last March: 

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‘AFTER much rumour and speculation, worst fears were confirmed on Monday when, in Mark Steyn’s own words, ‘The Ministry of Truth Ruled’. In other words Ofcom ruled against Mark Steyn; having abandoned their investigation into one of his shows, they managed to find a single word (‘definitive’) to hang him in a second programme. Here is their judgement: 

As for their excuse, because believe me it is an excuse (they needed a reason to clamp down on GB News and the threat to the official Cov-d vaccine narrative that Steyn’s brave and truthful broadcasting presented) this was, of course, nothing to do with free inquiry – of course not. Their words are pure doublespeak.

‘We’ve been consistently clear that broadcasters are free to air potentially controversial and challenging programmes or question government/official stats & evidence. However, with this comes an obligation to ensure audiences are not materially misled on factual matters.’

You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

What of their duty to ensure that audiences are not ‘materially misled’ by government/official statistics and evidence? What pit of lies did that disappear down? What of the material claims parroted by the broadcast media on the 500,000 Covid death projections (not true), on vaccine safety (not true), on informed consent (not true), and very specifically on the BBC’s repeated all-clear vaccine safety reassurance for pregnant women? Mark has his own devastating examples below. In fact the examples are so numerous and so routine they would risk overwhelming a proper commission of inquiry.

And where was Ofcom when this material misleading of young women was taking place? Hiding in plain sight – exactly as has this organ of State broadcasting control been from the start of the lockdown and throughout the all-but-mandated novel vaccine roll out.

Which brings us straight back to Mark Steyn’s peculiarly significant crime against the State. And let’s not bandy words on his exact crime, as some have – a ‘definitive’ claim or not – it does no one any favours to present this ‘error’ of Mark’s as a defence of Ofcom in this matter. It is specious.

Don’t tell me they weren’t on the look-out for the first ‘mis-speaking’, ready to pounce. No, it is not worthy and is playing Ofcom’s game. Where were these hair-splitting commentators when Lucy Chappell, Professor in Obstetrics at King’s College London, ‘definitively’ on the BBC told women it was safe to go ahead and get the jab. No mis-speak there, apparently. And anyway my memory is that Mark immediately opened himself up to challenge on the matter of these UKHSA vaccinated versus unvaccinated hospital deaths statistics from a top former ONS statistician. This was the epitome of truthful broadcasting, not the reverse.

But then this is only about one truth – that decided by Whitehall, the BBC and Ofcom – and let’s not forget the long term love-in between Ofcom and the BBC that is a matter of record. Or that it took the former Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre to dish the dirt on Ofcom – as it needed to be – when his own bid for the job of Ofcom chairman was thwarted by unelected civil servants

It is a tragedy for British broadcasting that GB News have not had the guts to face Ofcom down – they could have quoted Dacre to argue that Ofcom was a fix from the start, that those with independent minds and who do not espouse liberal-left views have less chance of being appointed to this public body than a dead sheep.

Their failure to defend and stand by their most talented and courageous broadcaster – one who was changing the dial after years of institutional capture – is a sad and bad moment in Britain’s history. We hoped they would champion independent investigative broadcasting. It was not to be. They have fallen at the first hurdle. Big Brother rules and all GB News, who failed to take a robust stance on Steyn’s behalf let alone allow him the right of reply, can say is that they are disappointed by it, while they rapidly appoint one compliant Tory MP after another to host their shows.’ 

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngellhttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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