The Programme Code requires that all factually-based programmes should be characterised by “a respect for truth”; that in Personal View programmes the opinions expressed, however partial, should “not rest upon false evidence” and the “facts should be respected”. To ensure fairness, programmes which contain a damaging critique of any individual or organisation should normally offer those criticised an opportunity to respond.
Even taking into account that this was a ‘personal view’ item, the strength and number of allegations that John Gibson made against the BBC meant that Fox News should have offered the BBC an opportunity to respond.
Fox News was therefore in breach of Sections 2.1 (respect for truth), 2.7 (opportunity to take part), and 3.5(b) (personal view programmes - opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence) of the Programme Code.
Read the Ofcom decision here. The best bit is where Fox News admits that their evidence for the anti-American bias of the BBC came from putting the phrase "anti-American BBC" into Google…