Ofcom Charlie Hebdo Fox News

Fox News in breach of Ofcom code with Birmingham non-Muslim 'no-go zone' broadcast


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

September 21, 2015 | 2 min read

A Fox News current affairs programme analysing Islam in Europe in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre has been found in breach of Ofcom regulations.

Comments made during ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ by guest Steve Emerson sparked four complaints to the watchdog following the original 11 January 2015 broadcast.

Emerson said: “In Britain there are not just ‘no-go zones’ there are actually cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.

“[In] parts of London there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim religious attire.”

An Ofcom spokesperson told The Drum: “Fox News’ ‘Justice with Jeanine Pirro’ was materially misleading and could have caused harm and offence to its viewers.

“Fox News broadcast two subsequent apologies but this was a serious breach for a current affairs programme.”

The broadcaster took a full week to issue apologies for the broadcast which raised a “serious factual error” which was “wrongly let stand unchallenged and uncorrected”.

However, Ofcom claimed it was “concerned that the licensee had not acted sooner to correct the statements or to broadcast an apology”.

As a result, the broadcast was found to be in breach of rule 2.2 of the Code: “Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience."

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