In the United Kingdom, a Fox News-style channel debuts with truly disastrous results.
The United Kingdom’s newest news station, dubbed “anti-woke” and “opinion-led,” has had a rocky first five days on air.
On its premiere night—Sunday, June 13—GB News, which is led by veteran political journalist Andrew Neil, was tarnished by technical glitches and beset by pranks all week.
Despite the channel’s strong ratings, a number of major advertisers have already pulled their advertising, with Ikea, Nivea, and Grolsch among those who have done so.
“It’s a new way of doing news,” Neil said in a monologue on the first night of the show. “What could possible go wrong?” says the narrator.
Well, quite a bit, to be honest.
GB News has been frequently criticized by viewers and critics, with presenters being mooned live on air and broadcasters reading out spoof identities such “Mike Hunt.”
During a discussion regarding Prince Andrew’s old friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019, the channel also faced embarrassment when a contributor initiated a dispute about the definition of the word “pedophile.”
“First and foremost, may I state that pedophile is a medical term, as is hebephile, as is ephebophile, and Jeffrey Epstein was an ephebophile,” Lady Colin Campbell, a royal biographer and former reality TV competitor, explained.
Presenter Dan Wootton tried to redirect the subject by proclaiming Epstein a pedophile, but Campbell’s remarks prompted outrage among viewers.
It is, to say the least, unique. pic.twitter.com/HrS2bIy1Lg
15 June 2021 — Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson)
Ikea had previously said on Tuesday that it had unintentionally advertised on GB News and that it had banned all paid display advertising.
“We have safeguards in place to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that are not in line with our humanistic values and vision to side with the many people,” the company said via a Twitter statement.
It added: “We are in the process of investigating how this may have occurred to ensure it won’t happen again in future, and have suspended paid display advertising in the meantime.”
Meanwhile, beer company Grolsch said in a statement: “We have ceased any further appearances of the Grolsch advert on this channel as we look to understand with our media partners how this happened.”
Although viewers have drawn comparisons to Fox News, the bosses of GB News. This is a brief summary.