Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Fox News admits 'no-go zones' are fantasy

For days, Fox News and its various hosts, from Bill O'Reilly to Sean Hannity, had been frightening their audience with breathless tales of Muslim-dominated "no-go zones" in Europe and potentially even the United States, where national governments had allegedly ceded sovereignty to Sharia courts.

It was an absolutely ridiculous claim, as European media took great joy in exposing:

The mockery and derision grew so overwhelming that finally, in a broadcast Saturday, Fox News was forced to address the gaping chasm between the world as they were reporting it and the world in which the rest of us actually live.

Here's the text, as delivered by Julie Banderas:

"Over the course of this last week we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France. Now, this applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in and police supposedly won’t go."

"To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion."

"There are certainly areas of high crime in Europe as there are in the United States and other countries — where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense, including the people of France and England."

It will be interesting to see whether Hannity, O'Reilly and others address this complete and utter fabrication on their own shows, or whether they'll leave the clean-up work to the likes of Banderas. The larger problem is, the "no-go zone" hysteria is merely one small aspect of the Fox News Islamaphobic crusade, most of which is equally irresponsible and reprehensible.

I mean, what do you say about a major news channel that puts garbage like this on air:

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.