No-go zones?

I think this is really serious: that’s the story of an “expert” on terrorism, who’s commented on Fox News about the situation in Europe. If you really want to laugh about it, you just take this at face value, as, erm, let’s just say, “somebody” who just said a bunch of nonsense on TV.

But I think there’s so much more to it, particularly after hearing an interview with this guy (on the BBC Radio 4 programme PM $-$ I’m sure there’ll be a link to today’s broadcast shortly). The point is that this guy is kind of defending himself by just saying that he’s sorry for not having done his homework properly, and just taking as true oral information coming from some sources. He said he had used these sources in the past, so effectively didn’t even bother to stop and think whether he was making a fool of himself.

It’s astounding that you can get away, on TV, by just making a claim such as “in London, Muslim religious police beat anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire” (which is just not true!) without pointing out to any hard evidence to substantiate your claim.

In fact, I think there’s a wider problem: when I was reading the book on Enron scandal, I had noticed that quite often the authors stated something like “a source says…”, or “one of the people involved in this said…”, without going in to the details (NB: I should say that this is not an attack to the authors of that book $-$ just the way it is, I guess). Of course, in our line of work, you could never do anything like that. I suppose it may be time the media start following suit…

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