The transmission of the Ofcom watchdog “gave directions” to ITV following Eamonn Holmes’ comments on 5G technology and coronavirus this morning.
The regulator said that Holmes’ remarks were “ambiguous” and “misjudged”.
Ofcom said it “risked undermining viewers’ trust in public authority boards and scientific evidence.”
The regulator also found the local London Live TV channel in violation of the standards for an interview with David Icke on the coronavirus.
Conspiracy theorist Icke, he said, “expressed opinions that could potentially cause significant harm to viewers in London during the pandemic.”
- The watchdog evaluates Eamonn Holmes’ 5G comments
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On April 13, in a segment with Alice Beer, consumer editor of This Morning, Holmes expressed doubts about the media that had disproved the myth that 5G causes coronavirus.
Beer, previously presenter of the BBC’s surveillance program, said that the theory, which led to the fires or vandalism of the telephone antennas, “is not true and incredibly stupid.”
“I totally agree with everything you’re saying,” said Holmes. “But what I don’t accept is the mainstream media that slaps it immediately as untrue when they don’t know it’s not true.
“Nobody should attack or harm or do something like that, but it’s very easy to say that’s not true because it fits state fiction,” he continued.
Holmes was widely criticized for his comments, which he said had been “misinterpreted” on the following day’s program.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to clarify that there is no scientific evidence to support any of those 5G theories,” he continued.
Ofcom claimed to have considered this airing statement, along with the “context” provided by Beer, before deciding to provide guidance to ITV “and its presenters.”
“In our view, Eamonn Holmes’s ambiguous comments were misjudged and threatened to undermine viewers’ confidence in public authority boards and scientific evidence,” he said.
“His statements were also very sensitive in light of the recent attacks on mobile phone trees in the UK, caused by conspiracy theories linking 5G technology and the virus.
“Broadcasters have editorial freedom to discuss and challenge the approach taken by public authorities for a serious public health crisis like coronavirus,” he continued.
“However, discussions of unproven claims and theories that could undermine viewers’ confidence in official public health information need to be fully integrated into the context to ensure viewer protection.”
- Ofcom “urgently” investigates the Icke TV interview about the virus
- YouTube tightens Covid-19 rules after Icke interview
In a separate judgmentOfcom said ESTV, owner of the London TV channel London Live, broke the broadcast rules by broadcasting an interview with former footballer and TV presenter Icke.
He said the interview, recorded on March 18 and broadcast on London Live on April 8, “included potentially harmful content on the coronavirus pandemic.”
While not mentioning 5G by name, Icke was referring to an “electromagnetic, technologically generated radiation toxicity soup” that claimed to have damaged the immune system of the elderly.
He also said that official health advice aimed at reducing the spread of the virus was implemented to foster the ambitions of a clandestine “cult” rather than to protect public health.
Ofcom said he was “particularly concerned” by Icke “by questioning the reasons behind the official health advice to protect the public from the virus”.
“These claims were not contested during the 80-minute interview and were made without the support of scientific or other evidence.”
The London Live program was produced by an independent company based in London.
London Live is owned by Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, who also owns the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers.
The channel will be required to transmit a summary of Ofcom’s results and may be subject to further sanctions by the media regulator.
Conspiracy theories linking 5G signals to the coronavirus pandemic continue to spread despite there is no evidence that cell phone signals pose a health risk.
Full Fact Fact Verification Benefit he linked the claims to two erroneous theories.
One erroneously suggests that 5G suppresses the immune system, the other falsely claims that the virus is somehow using the network’s radio waves to communicate and collect victims, accelerating its spread.
While 5G uses different radio frequencies than its predecessors, it is important to recognize that the waveband in question is still “non-ionizing”, which means that there is not enough energy to break the chemical bonds in the DNA in our cells to cause damage. .
Earlier this year, scientists from the International Commission for Protection from Non-Ionizing Radiation completed an important related research study on the subject.
While recommending slightly stricter limits on the transmission capacities of the phones themselves to minimize any chance of damage caused by heating human tissue, his key finding was that there was no evidence that 5G networks or previous systems could cause cancer or other types of disease.
The second theory appears to be based on the work of a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who suggested that bacteria could generate radio waves.
But this remains a controversial idea well outside traditional scientific thinking. In any case, Covid-19 is a virus rather than a bacterium.
There is another major flaw with both of these theories. Coronavirus is spreading in cities in the United Kingdom where 5G has not yet been distributed and in countries such as Japan and Iran that have not yet adopted the technology.