Fox News had to issue a correction Saturday night to a story about Muslim "no-go zones" in Britain and France, so called because they operate under Sharia law and non-Muslims and police just don't go there. Correction: No-go zones don't actually exist.
"To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion," Fox's Julie Banderas announced.
Fox News had previously issued minor apologies for the no-go zone claim, but largely dismissed the error because the lie was usually advanced by guest experts, not Fox News' own pundits. But the network was forced into admitting the whole thing was a sham by the brilliant work of Le Petit Journal, a comedy news program that's something like a French Daily Show.
Petit Journal host Yann Barthès prodded at Fox News for a week, running clips of the numerous times Fox News mentioned the alleged "no-go zones":
And sending reporters into the dangerous! Muslim-only! Sharia law! Zones! that Fox News guests had compared to Iraq and Afghanistan, to show what they're really like:
Oh my god! A couscous! Paris is clearly in disarray. We should send in NATO immediately.
The final piece of Le Petit Journal's full-court press against Fox News was "Operation Shut the Fuck Up," a campaign late last week encouraging viewers to write to Fox and force an apology for misrepresenting France. 40,000 people responded with emails and letters.
It probably didn't take an apology for most people to realize the no-go zone meme was a farce—at one point, a Fox News guest claimed the entire British city of Birmingham was open only to Muslims—but the full "correction" was a moral victory for Le Petit Journal, France, and facts.