Steve Emerson, founder and executive director of the anti-Muslim Investigative Project on Terrorism, prompted immediate Twitter backlash and the #FoxNewsFacts hashtag after an appearance on Fox News. During the segment, the self-proclaimed “terrorism expert” said, “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.”
Emerson was egged on by host Jeanine Pirro who said “It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country,” but eventually even Fox News had to retract their expert’s statement.
This gaffe gained so much attention that even UK Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in, calling Emerson a “complete idiot.”
“When I heard this, frankly I choked on my porridge. I thought it must be April Fool’s Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot,” Cameron said. “Now he started with an apology – that’s not a bad start – but what he should do is actually look at Birmingham and see what a fantastic example it is of bringing people together of different faiths and different backgrounds and actually building a world-class, brilliant city with a great and strong economy.”
Here’s Emerson’s apology:
You may quote me on this as I will be posting this and taking out an ad in a Birmingham paper. I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham. I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham. I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake.
PS. I intend to make a donation to a Birmingham charity.
We can only hope that he’ll start to take the blame for more of the reckless misinformation he’s spewed over the years.