British Media Regulator Finds Fox News in Breach of Impartiality Rules

Ofcom releases ruling on Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson shows even though network was pulled from U.K. in August

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The British media regulator Ofcom has found that two Fox News shows from earlier this year, “The Sean Hannity Show” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” breached the nation’s impartiality rules.

In updates issued Monday, according to Telegraph reporter Chris Williams, Ofcom said that the broadcasts violated British broadcasting requirements for “due impartiality.”

The agency issued its findings after a single complaint was filed in each case even though Fox News is no longer on the air in the U.K.; there were no fines issued in either case.

In August, 21st Century Fox pulled the plug on the U.S.-based news network in the U.K. as Ofcom continued to evaluate the company’s $15 billion proposal to acquire the remaining stake in Sky TV that the Murdoch-run company does not already own.

Ofcom noted that “Fox News is a US news channel, directed at US audiences” and that “people who watch it in the UK are aware that it is a US channel and their expectations are different.”

Nonetheless, the agency found that a Jan. 31 episode of Hannity’s show involving President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban failed to provide “adequate representation of alternative views in ‘personal view’ or discussion programmes” and to offer “appropriately wide range of significant views” on the issue.

It issued a similar decision for a May 25, 2017, episode of Carlson’s show concerning the response of the British government and police to the deadly terrorist attack at the Manchester arena.

Ofcom particularly criticized the show for what it called “highly critical statements” about the response to the attack, including “accusations that particular individuals and public bodies had done nothing to: counter terrorism; stop radicalization; protect citizens from terrorism; or protect ‘thousands of underage girls’ from rape and abuse.”

A rep for 21st Century Fox declined to comment.