LONDON ― British TV viewers complained that some Fox News segments featuring anchors Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson were too biased, the country’s media regulator said.
The watchdog, Ofcom, said Monday it determined that some content on both shows ― including coverage of President Donald Trump’s travel ban and reaction to the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England ― breached U.K. broadcasting impartiality rules.
Ofcom’s findings carry no consequence for Fox, which hasn’t been broadcast in the U.K. since August, when Sky News took Fox off the air due to low viewership. Still, Ofcom said it published its findings “to ensure there is a complete compliance record and to facilitate public understanding of the code.”
A January Hannity segment on Trump’s first attempt at a ban on Muslim-majority countries “didn’t include a sufficiently wide range of views, and any alternative opinions put forward during the discussion were dismissed by the presenter,” Ofcom told HuffPost in a statement.
People featured in the segment who criticized the ban, Ofcom said, were “dismissed or ridiculed by the presenter.” Plus, the only guests on the show were prominent Trump supporters, and Hannity himself voiced “his enthusiastic support” for the ban and the Trump administration.
On May 25, days after a bomb exploded in the Manchester Arena, Carlson accused the British government of “doing nothing to counter terrorism; stop radicalisation; protect citizens from terrorism; or protect ‘thousands of underage girls’ from rape and abuse,” according to the findings. Public leaders, including U.K. prime minister Theresa May, Carlson said, “were forcing an ‘official lie’ on citizens, which was ‘totalitarian’ and ‘wicked.’”
Ofcom acknowledged that Fox is a U.S. outlet and doesn’t cater to U.K. viewers. “However, we were also mindful that, in our view, this particular programme dealt with major matters relating to current public policy that, as well as being of international significance, were of particular relevance and significance to UK viewers.”
Several complaints also were lodged against the show “Fox & Friends,” but were dismissed, according to Ofcom.
Fox News didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.