Freedom of Speech vs Fox News
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a lot has been made of freedom of speech. Words and images are powerful tools but that people should be killed as a form of criticism against their art is obviously a world none of us wants to live in. Yes Freedom of expression is vital in a balanced world, but a recent news item on Fox News also highlighted the other side of the coin. News channels obviously have an obligation to report responsibly, to deliver as factually accurate information as possible. So when Fox News pundit Steven Emerson took the seat as a political and terrorist expert to report on Birmingham, UK recently I'm sure looks of bafflement, amusement and horror greater his report, at least here in the UK. To report that what is widely regarded as England's second city was an Islamic enclave was a complete fabrication -
“In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.
“And, parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.”
Birmingham has a population of about 1.1 million, about 20% of which are Muslim. Yes there are areas that are culturally more Muslim than anything else and within those areas there will be some who take a more fundamentalist view point. Within that minority there may even be those willing to use violence or intimidation against non-muslims, but that amounts to a ridiculously small amount of people. To claim that the city would be a no-go area to non-muslims is irresponsible. I'm sure most people in the UK laughed off such reporting but this was an American "expert" on an American channel. Firstly if such blatant miss-management of the truth is being openly peddled by the media, what other overseas information is also being edited to suit a purpose. Secondly, how many people buy into this without questioning the facts.
Freedom of Speech is one thing but surely corporate mangling of the facts is just as much a travesty as those who oppose such hard won freedoms.
Image Credit » personal photograph