In a statement on Tuesday, Ofcom wrote that it had opened an investigation into an episode of the Mark Steyn programme broadcast on GB News on Oct. 4.
It said that it will consider whether comments made during an interview with American author and journalist Naomi Wolf about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout raised potential issues under its Broadcasting Code.
An Ofcom spokesperson told The Epoch Times by email that “we are investigating whether this programme broke our rules designed to protect viewers from harmful material.”
They confirmed that this was the second investigation of GB News in relation to COVID-19 content.
The regulators said that it had received 411 viewer complaints about Wolf’s comments.
It is believed that Wolf describing the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as “mass murder” is being investigated.
On his show, Steyn pressed Wolf on topics she had raised over the past two years for which she has been called a “conspiracy theorist.”
Wolf, a co-founder of the DailyClout website, is a widely published journalist and bestselling author of books such as “The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women” and “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.” She was an adviser to then-President Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign and to then-Vice President Al Gore, both Democrats.
She has been critical of vaccine passports, mRNA vaccines, lockdowns, and media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wolf told Steyn that “millions of women have been harmed in terms of their menstrual health by these mRNA injections” and called them “bioweapons.”
Steyn said that these vaccines “cause almost every conceivable kind of damage” and they do “terrible things to healthy young men.” Wolf also said that the United States and Britain have been co-opted by “bad actors trying to destroy civil society.”
In an email, Wolf told The Epoch Times that “questioning the scientific conventional wisdom, and government policies that are based on it, is not harmful, but rather, is exactly what the world needs right now.”
“It used to be called ‘reporting.’ My sources are all primary, notably from the Pfizer records themselves. Standing up for the right of women to have accurate information about their reproductive health is what I have done for my entire career,” she said.
“I will keep doing this, even in the face of Big Media and Big Tech titans who profit by censoring and suppressing open discussion about women’s health,” added Wolf.
Last year, Wolf told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” that “a handful of bad actors” including the Chinese Communist Party, Big Tech, and the World Economic Forum used the pandemic to “exploit the crisis in such a way as to reengineer our free democratic open societies, especially in the West, especially in the United States, into a post-free society, a post-humane society.”
Wolf’s legal team forwarded a letter to The Epoch Times that had been sent to other publications that said Wolf’s GB News comments were “based on work performed by a group of approximately 3,500 medical and scientific experts.”
“The team reviewed many reports, including peer-reviewed studies from the National Institutes of Health and respected scientific journals, plus internal Pfizer documents that were released under an American court order,” they said.
In March 2020, Ofcom issued a Note to Broadcasters (pdf), reminding them it “will consider any breach arising from harmful Coronavirus-related programming to be potentially serious and will consider taking appropriate regulatory action, which could include the imposition of a statutory sanction.”
In 2021, the most complained-about show was “GMTV,” when host Piers Morgan made comments about the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle on March 8. Ofcom received 54,595 complaints about Morgan’s comments on Markle’s revelations about her mental health and feelings of suicide. The programme was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing by Ofcom (pdf).
According to numbers reported by political news site Guido Fawkes, Mark Steyn had 65,600 viewers on Oct. 10 compared to rival TalkTV’s Piers Morgan’s 27,800.
The Epoch Times has asked GB News for comment.
Masooma Haq, Jan Jekielek, and Matthew Vadum contributed to this report.