He thought it might be funny to counteract the anger with silliness

Ah, Fox News. As an American, I apologize to the world for Fox News. (Or should I demand that Australians apologize to us?) An actual news organization, the BBC, reports on a faux pas from yesterday.

An American terrorism commentator has apologised for describing Birmingham as a “Muslim-only city” where non-Muslims “don’t go” during a Fox News interview.

Steven Emerson told the channel that in London “Muslim religious police” beat “anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire”.

He later issued an apology for his “terrible error”.

His comments have come in for ridicule, with the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts trending on Twitter.

Ridicule? Can you do that? Someone might misunderstand.

On social media, Mr Emerson has been the butt of jokes, while he has been accused of “speaking nonsense” by people posting on his investigative website.

One Twitter user said: “As someone born and raised in Birmingham, I must admit there was a pressure to read the Kerrang.”

“I was supposed to go to Birmingham last week but I forgot my passport,” said another.

Risky, very risky. People might actually start canceling trips to Birmingham because of these tweets.

The Guardian’s Simon Ricketts on #FoxNewsFacts

I was at home and the video of the Fox News “expert” Steve Emerson had popped up on my Twitter feed and people were rightly expressing their disbelief at what he had said.

I thought it might be funny to counteract the anger with silliness, so I wrote a tweet and stuck the hashtag (#FoxNewsFacts) on it.

Sometimes the best response to such nonsense is satire and mockery, rather than anger and outrage.

It is? I thought responding to nonsense with satire and mockery was racist and colonialist and bad.


  1. Jason Dick says

    Using satire and mockery to point out the absurdities of people in power is good.

    Using satire and mockery to make the lives of oppressed people worse is bad, and can often be described as racist and colonialist.

  2. says

    The grain of truth in what Emerson said is that Brum is horrible for non-Muslims. On the other hand, that’s because it’s horrible full stop.


  3. RJW says

    Actually Murdoch is a US citizen, so he’s all yours. Also the toxic News Ltd product is very popular, basically Murdoch and his Morlocks tell many people exactly what they want to hear.

  4. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I thought at first he meant Alabama….which would have been worse…or not?!? :-/

  5. RJW says

    @5 Ophelia

    “Yes but you guys whelped him.”
    Yes, therefore on that basis, Americans should apologise for Mel Gibson, who was born in America and is, as far as I know, still a US citizen, although I’ll have to concede he’s more or less harmless compared with Murdoch.

  6. Bernard Bumner says

    I think everyone can agree that Fox News is small-minded, racist nationalism given full vent. Murdoch doesn’t even believe in it – the ideology just feeds his cash cow.

  7. Brian E says

    Since we’re expecting apologies for nations, why doesn’t England apologize for Tony Abbott? And Austria for Hitler?
    But yes, I think Australia punches above its weight (politicians always love to tell us we’re more important than we are and can sit at the big-kids table with the U.S., China, and Russia, but we know we don’t and we can’t, so that’s why we love to hear it), in this regard and really has achieved something with Murdoch. It’s a terrible achievement, and I’m sorry for being responsible for whelping that mutt, even if I wasn’t born at the time.
    But at least we’re not responsible for Knickleback. Rebecca Watson is.

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