Fox News shows ruled too biased for UK

Fox News shows ruled too biased for UK, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity segments broke impartiality regulations.
Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity Photo credit: Fox News

American broadcaster Fox News broke British impartiality rules with two segments broadcast this year.

UK broadcast media regulator Ofcom ruled a Tucker Carlson Tonight segment about the Manchester terror attack and a Hannity Tonight segment on the proposed Muslim immigration ban were unfairly biased.

The ruling comes at a sensitive time for the Rupert Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox as it attempts to fully take over pay TV network Sky.

Carlson's segment made highly critical statements about British authorities, which it labelled "totalitarian", "wicked" and accused of having "political correctness" stop them from preventing terrorism.

"There was no reflection of the views of the UK government or any of the authorities or people criticised, which we would have expected given the nature and amount of criticism of them in the programme," states Ofcom.

"The presenter did not challenge the views of his contributors, instead, he reinforced their views."

Ofcom found the programme breached rules 5.9, 5.11 and 5.12 of the British broadcasting code. These relate to adequate representation of alternative views on discussions programmes, due impartiality on matters of major political or industrial controversy and including a wide range of significant views when dealing with major political or industrial controversy.

Hannity's segment broke the same rules according to Ofcom as he gave "enthusiastic support" for US President Donald Trump and "repeatedly dismissed or ridiculed" those against the travel ban.

The rulings will likely encourage groups opposing the Fox takeover of Sky.