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U.K. TV network ordered to apologize for spoof

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Sep 10, 2001 | 1:34pm EDT

Britain's Channel 4 was locked in battle with the Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the country's official TV watchdogs, after the two regulators issued an order for the commercial network to apologize for a satirical documentary that it aired in July that was intended to spoof how the news media sensationalize stories about pedophilia. The program, Brass Eye, starring comedian Chris Morris, touched off a political uproar after it was broadcast, with Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell charging that it was helping to tear down "all the boundaries of decency on television." The ITC held that the program violated its rule to "avoid gratuitous offense" and that Channel 4 had failed to broadcast a required warning that "some viewers may find the program disturbing or offensive." Channel 4, however, issued a statement standing by the program and quoted CEO Michael Jackson as saying, "We would not hesitate to ... transmit such a program again."

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