Fox News has apologized for a Muslim-only comment made last week. For one of the first times, it issued the apology on-air over the weekend. However, Julie Bandera called it “a correction” during her appearance on the network.
Last week, Steve Emerson said that there were Muslim-only areas in some European countries. Birmingham and parts of London in England were his main target, but he said there were also areas in France. In these parts of these countries, he said, the state did not have control and they were ruled under Shariah law.
The self-described Islamist terrorism expert told Jeanine Pirro that non-Muslims do not enter these areas. There are Shariah courts and even the police do not enter. He described the areas as countries within countries. However, many people around the world quickly took offense to the comments.
Banderas was forced to make the “correction,” as a way to say that the comments were factually incorrect. She explained that the zones have no “formal designation,” and there is no “credible information” that supports the idea of people being excluded from parts of the countries due to their religious views.
Fox News has now issued as close to an apology over the Muslim-only comment as viewers are likely to see. Previously, the news channel refused to comment about it or have any of its anchors apologize for the gaff, saying that it was not made by a member of the staff. Therefore, they say it is not a Fox News error.
Previously, Emerson did apologize for his remarks, but mainly due to a large number of British Twitter users shaming him for his “sloppy research.” Fox anchor Pirro also apologized for her part in the situation. While she did not say anything to support Emerson’s claims—and she genuinely looked shocked at the comments—she also did not deny the statements or correct him for his mistakes.
The decision for Fox to issue the apology came mainly due to the pressure from Le Petit Journal, a French comedic news program. Host Yann Barthez showed many examples of where guests and anchors on the network have made similar claims in the past. Barthez also took to the streets of Paris to find out from the people if there were “no-go zones” due to religion, which people denied.
Barthez was not the only comedian to use the gaff in his show. Adam Hills shared the information on English comedy news program The Last Leg, where he asked for the public to share everything they loved about Birmingham. As it is live on air, there is the chance for the viewers to get involved. Unfortunately, there were more comedic comments about the things people hate about the city than the things they love. Hills commented on the program that he had hoped for at least one positive thing.
It is another lesson of not believing everything that is said on TV. Emerson was completely incorrect in his comments about Muslim-only areas in parts of Europe. It has led to Fox News being forced to apologize for the Muslim-only comments by issuing “a correction.”
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Miroslav Petrasko – Flickr License