Monday, 12 January 2015

The best of #FoxNewsFacts


In early January 2015 Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel ran a bizarre fearmongering interview with a so-called terrorism expert called Steve Emerson, who made a series of increasingly bizarre and misleading statements including the claims that the city of Birmingham is 100% Muslim and that London has special Muslim dress code police who attack people who refuse to wear Islamic attire.

The embedded video below is the specific 30 second segment that triggered the #FoxNewsFacts Twitter storm, but the full five minute clip is actually much more disturbing because this supposed "expert" (who has apparently contributed to at least seven congressional committees) made a load of other fearmongering claims like "Europe is finished" with the presenter fueling the fire by harping on about how European countries like France, Belgium and Germany are "metastasizing" with "caliphates". You can see the full clip here.




#FoxNewsFacts

The reaction to this story on Twitter was absolutely brilliant, with thousands of British people mocking Fox News with made up facts of their own using the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts
Here is a selection of my favourites
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I couldn't resist having a go myself:
Some people couldn't resist spoiling the party by using the hashtag to present actual facts about Birmingham though!

Even after Steve Emerson apologised for having completely made up his claims about Birmingham the ridicule kept coming.


Conclusion

On the down side it is alarming that inaccurate fearmongering gibberish like that is being presented as "news" in the United States by a channel that is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is a guy who Tweeted that the Charlie Hebdo atrocity was the collective responsibility of all Muslims (Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Ibadi ... who cares? They're all the same right?).

On a more positive note, #FoxNewsFacts is a demonstration that when people make inaccurate or insulting comments about the British, we take the piss, and once we get going there's no stopping us. The fact that #FoxNewsFacts has been trending ever since this fearmongering rubbish was broadcast demonstrates that a significant percentage of Brits now see Murdoch's Fox News channel as a byword for inaccurate and misleading journalism, and little more than a target for satire.


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