[imagesource: So What Now?]
Gareth Cliff is no stranger to controversy, but welcoming a conspiracy theorist onto your show without some mental prep is generally a bad idea, no matter how high it pumps your ratings.
The conspiracy theorist I’m referring to is David Icke (below) and you’ll need a bit of context before we go into why Cliff is going to have to pay a fine to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), for an interview with Icke on his show So What Now? on July 22.
We’ll start in 1990 when Icke visited a psychic who he said told him he had been placed on earth for a purpose and would begin to receive messages from the spirit world.
He also believes that an interdimensional race of reptilian beings called the Archons have hijacked Earth and that a genetically modified human/Archon race of shape-shifting reptilians manipulate global events to help keep humans in constant fear.
So you can imagine that when Icke was confronted with COVID-19, he had some pretty strong opinions which he shared with Cliff.
IOL sums his arguments up.
At the crux of the interview with Icke was the assertion that Covid-19 does not exist, and that the concerns regarding the pandemic are a scam who viewed the Covid-19 pandemic as a hoax and who said that “there was no virus”.
The lizard people didn’t come into it, so I assume he was holding back.
By the end of the show, Cliff hadn’t done much to curb Icke’s radical statements about the pandemic, or push back on the misinformation.
He did have the decency not to subject his first three panellists to Icke’s madness, so you’ll have to skip to the 34:44 mark for that interview:
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) submitted a complaint to the BCCSA after the show aired, citing the following reasons:
“MMA submits that the broadcast was harmful for at least three key reasons: (i) first, the broadcast intentionally disseminated disinformation based on facts that were untrue; (ii) second, the broadcast promoted unlawful conduct that was in violation of the regulations issued under the Disaster Management Act; and (iii) third, by denying the existence of Covid-19 and claiming it to be a scam, the consequence of the broadcast may result in people not following appropriate precautionary and health measures in line with the advice of the relevant authorities”.
The BCCSA tribunal ruled that all of that was valid and that the interview was not by any stretch of the imagination justifiable nor reasonable, because the misinformation spread by the interviewee could “cause harm to the people of South Africa”.
Cliff and broadcasters eNCA and e.TV was ordered to pay a fine of R10 000 and issue an apology that had to be broadcast live during the show.
[imagesource:flickr] One of the most idealised cities in the world is being overrun by ...
[imagesource:Facebook/Wernich Botha] Klerksdorp must be the angry armpit of South Afric...
[imagesource:unsplash] It's good to know that despite the shenanigans you got up to thi...
[imagesource:screenshot/youtube] Beyond the Light Barrier is a strange tale about the c...
[imagesource:x/jessicahawkins] In what will hopefully become the norm, Aston Martin con...