Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, France claims “the image of Paris has been prejudiced and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced” and intends to sue Fox News for its a discussion of “no-go zones” in British and Paris neighborhoods, for which the network has apologized four times.
On her January 10 program, Judge Jeanine Pirro had Steve Emerson on her show to speak about these zones. Emerson said:
They’re sort of amorphous, they’re not contiguous necessarily, but they’re sort of safe havens. And they’re places where the governments, like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany — they don’t exercise any sovereignty so you basically have zones where Sharia courts are set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where police don’t go in.” Though Emerson claimed that this phenomenon plagued Europe very broadly, he zeroed in on Birmingham, England: “There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” he said.
Emerson’s mistake was going too broad. If he said parts of Birmingham rather than the entire city he would have made a defensible argument. Ever since Emerson made the claim, the network has faced pressure to retract, which it has.
On Tuesday afternoon, CNN broke into Ashleigh Banfield’s program to announce the lawsuit.
Banfield: Our breaking news comes to us out of Paris. The mayor of that city has just told our CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she is planning to take legal action against a TV network, Fox News. And it’s all because of comments that were made about so-called Muslim no-go zones in Paris. Just for some background, last week, a terrorism analyst on the Fox News channel suggested that there were entire cities like Birmingham in England there were no-go zones, that people who were not Muslim either could not or would not go, including police. Well, that led to a series of apologies and references to mistakes being made. Fox news is apologizing, suggesting this was an error. But the reporting did continue to include entire neighborhoods in Paris. And that presumably is what has the Paris mayor so upset. Have a listen.
Hidalgo (via translator) : I’m insulted. And when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue. I think they’ll have to go to court in order to have these words removed. The image of Paris has been prejudiced and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced. And I think in the great discussion of truth, everyone is to play its role and we have to be realistic and put things as they are.
Amanpour: Can you clarify which exact network you’re going to take to court and sue?
Hidalgo: Fox News. That’s the name.
In related news, The Gateway Institute, run by former UN Ambassador John Bolton, published a report Tuesday morning which seemed to prove that no-go zones do exist in France. Additionally, a two-year old video has been found showing a CNN report describing the no-go zones in London.