Fox News Blunder Sparks Viral Backlash

Fox News may have gotten a bit overzealous in their coverage of the murders of journalists in France. On the heels of its very public falling out with Dish Network, Fox News is making headlines again, this time for inaccurate reporting. During its extensive coverage of the violent attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead, Fox News invited author and self-proclaimed Islamic terrorism expert Steven Emerson.

Steven Emerson leads the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a group whose goal and purpose is to gather data on Islamic extremists and terrorist groups. During the Fox News coverage, Emerson described to Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro a city in Great Britain named Birmingham. Emerson described Birmingham as a “totally Muslim city” where “‘non-Muslimism’ just simply don’t go.”

Emerson continued, describing the secret police in parts of London which allegedly are “actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.”

The statement seemed to shock Pirro, who said, “You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country.”

There’s only one problem — neither of the statements Emerson made on Fox News were accurate. According to the Guardian, a British daily paper, the population of Birmingham is 80 percent non-Muslim, so to say that people who aren’t Muslim don’t go to Birmingham is simply inaccurate. In fact, according to the Guardian, Birmingham is the second most populated city in Britain.

Emerson apologized for the inaccuracy, though Fox News did not issue an apology.

“My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.”

The apology came too late for residents of Birmingham, who took to Twitter to express their ire.

Others quickly joined in, giving their tweets about Fox News the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts. Comments ranged from simple corrections to sarcastic retorts.