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Last week, Fox News guest Steven Emerson‘s comments that Birmingham, the U.K.’s second-biggest city, was a “totally Muslim city” and a place “non-Muslims just simply don’t go in” was met with widespread ridicule on social media as well as from British prime minister David Cameron, who called him “a complete idiot.”
The unsubstantiated and demonstrably false generalizations forced Emerson into an embarrassing apology, and now Fox News has followed suit with a correction. Justice With Judge Jeanine host Jeanine Pirro broke into her broadcast with a correction, principally apologizing for not challenging Emerson’s “serious factual error” over his claims regarding the Muslim population of Birmingham. “We could find no credible sources that indicate that Birmingham is a so-called no-go zone. We deeply regret these errors and apologize to the people of Birmingham, our viewers and all who have been offended,” said Pirro.
Think Progress reports that Fox News also apologized for erroneous reports on Muslim-dominated no-go zones in other European cities, particularly Paris, when it was reporting and analyzing the roots of the recent terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo. As was the case with the Birmingham story, Fox News was widely mocked in France for likening parts of Paris to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fox News anchor Julie Banderas apologized formally on air, saying: “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion. … We deeply regret the errors and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense, including the people of France and England.”
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