The ongoing orgy of Fox News gaffes continues with this remarkable report about alleged “no-go zones” in Paris.
Even better is this spectacular takedown by French TV show Le Petit Journal.
Journalist Nolan Peterson appeared on a Fox segment aired on Saturday in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, which asked: “Is France fueling the rise of radicalism by allowing no-go zones in Muslim neighbourhoods?”
(By the way, in a 12 January report Fox News described “no-go zones” as “neighbourhoods where neither tourists nor cops dare enter – poor and alienated Muslims have intimidated the government into largely ceding authority over them, prompting fears that the kind of jihad that gave rise to last week’s attack in Paris is festering unchecked.”)
Host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked him: “So you spent some time there, what did you see?”
Peterson, who was introduced as a “national security analyst”, replied: “It was pretty scary. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq and Kashmir, India, and at times, it felt like that, those places in these no-go zones.
“You see young men wearing Osama bin Laden T-shirts in a hookah shop. I saw a speech by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was leading an insurgency against American troops in Iraq at the time.
“It seemed very mainstream and very accepted.”
Cue Le Petit Journal host Yann Barthes nodding knowingly as Hasselbeck then cited a poll which claimed 16% of all French citizens had a “favourable” view of IS, with the number rising to 27% for those aged between 18-24.
The aforementioned poll was roundly discredited by the Washington Post in August last year.
Despite this, Peterson agreed that it was “shocking” and “scary that 16% of the French population would support a group who has made their brand with beheading US journalists.”
Barthes then addresses the Fox report detailing so-called “no-go zones” in Paris, including Belleville, Boulevard de Magenta, Place de la Republique and Pere Lachaise.
While Barthes admitted there were undoubtedly sensitive areas within the city, he assembled a crack team of, er, two decked in crash helmets to see just how similar the Fox News hotspots were to say, war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the Belleville area they encounter a man who said the area is: “Inexpensive and sympathetic” before adding: “That’s all really, I do my shopping here.”
Two younger men report no sightings of Osama bin Laden t-shirts, though admit they have seen some Marseille football strips.
Magenta yields the comment: “There is no problems, everyone gets on well.”
“Can we compare this area to Iraq or Afghanistan?” Is met with a straight: “No.”
When the same question is put to a grocer in Barbes, he replies: “No, not at all, we are in France.” A passer-by snorts: “No, it’s ridiculous.”
Porte de la Chapelle is described as a :“Nice, warm, working-class area”, while a respondent in Pere Lachaise simply retorts: “Your question is stupid.”
The report was broadcast on the same day that the channel hosted a “terror expert” who claimed Birmingham is a Muslim-only city.
Steve Emerson later made a grovelling apology, admitting he had made a “terrible error” and promising a donation to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.