It’s been about 24 hours since I saw THAT clip of Steve Emerson telling the world the shocking untruth about Birmingham being a non-Muslim no-go area, about people in London being beaten for wearing non-Muslim attire. On first watch I thought it was some kind of Brass Eye/The Day Today type spoof news. Surely no one could report something so utterly ridiculous and absolutely, positively untrue?
Wrong! It was the REAL news and Steve Emerson a terrorism ‘expert’, author of no less than SIX books on the subject!
That clip is disturbing enough, but the full one is even worse:
So apparently Europe is over? Shall we all head over to the US then Steve? I think we’re perfectly happy living right here thank you very much!
I love Birmingham’s multiculturalism, as do the vast majority of Brummies, and this is why we were all so angry at the lies that were told by Steve Emerson on Fox News.
As per my previous blog post, I started a petition to get Fox News to issue an on air network apology which has gained over 3,300 signatures in 24 hours:
Today I was interviewed on several radio stations, including BBC Radio WM & BBC Hereford & Worcester. I was then quoted in this BBC News article:
& this Birmingham Eastside article:
The Fox News clip sparked outrage across the internet. The mighty roar of Brummies could be heard on Twitter and Facebook throughout the night and day. The amusing #foxnewsfacts hashtag was trending with Brits jumping to the defense of Brummies & Londoners, with a touch of dry Brummie humour. I was crying with laughter at some of the brilliant spoof examples of ‘Fox News Facts’. I hope our friends across the pond got the joke as well.
Unfortunately, Fox News don’t seem to understand the concept of a sense of humour!
After coming under severe pressure from social media and receiving hundreds of emails, Steve Emerson apologised, he apologised in an email to Birmingham Updates, he apologised on twitter, he even apologised to our beloved Nick Owen on Midlands Today. He also made a (small) donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospice.
That’s a start, but what concerns me, is that the American public who watched that segment, can’t un-watch it. The ones who watch and believe everything on the news (there are plenty over here too), will actually think non-Muslims can’t go into Birmingham! For this reason an on-air network explanation and apology are urgently required to go some way towards rectifying this.
Or even better, how about a report on Birmingham that actually shows what it’s really like? People are still signing the petition which suggests to me they are not satisfied with what’s been done so far, I certainly am not. Whilst it’s been fun to mock Fox News, talk about how brilliant Birmingham is, and laugh at the online frenzy of jokes, this is still a very serious matter that needs to be properly addressed.
In the wake of some deeply disturbing events in France and Nigeria, for the world to be told Birmingham is some kind of separate Islamic extremist state is far from desirable. I’m sure it’s been mentioned that there are people of multiple faiths, races and nationalities living in Birmingham.
It’s important to remember that our unity is the best weapon available to us, well that and social media of course.