John Oliver takes Fox News to task for comparing refugees to terrorists - using footage from 2010

The network used old footage it claimed showed 'Muslim refugees' for a segment entitled 'Terrorists Inbound?' 

Heather Saul
Monday 28 September 2015 18:01 BST
John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO
John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO (Getty Images)

John Oliver took Fox News to task after the network compared refugees fleeing Syria to terrorists in its coverage of the refugee crisis.

The refugee crisis continues to dominate the news agenda internationally, with reports largely reflecting the sudden surge in support for families fleeing war - weeks after David Cameron described the influx of refugees arriving in Europe as a “swarm”.

In its own coverage, Fox News dedicated one segment to demonstrating why "some people" are worried the growing number of refugees could be allowing terrorists to enter Europe undetected - by using a video from 2010, before the humanitarian disaster began.

Kristen Fischer, a news reporter, introduced footage of a group of men shouting “Allahu Akbar ( “God is great”), who she said were “reportedly Muslim refugees”.

Fischer hastened to add that she was not labelling any of the refugees in the video as terrorists or suggesting they were associated with a militant group such as Isis. She said this as the tag line “Terrorists Inbound?” continued to flash along the screen, adding: “It does highlight just how many of these refugees who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria are Muslim.”

Oliver ridiculed the network for reducing those involved in the crisis to one stereotype on his weekly HBO satirical news round-up, Last Week Tonight.

“First, you don't get to claim that you're not calling those people terrorists when your lower third says, 'Terrorists Inbound?'," the British comedian said. "If you are really not saying they're terrorists, maybe change that to something more accurate, like 'people take train,' or 'some wear hats, others less so.'

“Second, describing that as a new video that sheds light on the migrant crisis is a little misleading, because in researching this story, we found a version of that same video uploaded onto YouTube back in 2010, well before this migrant crisis even began.

“And, if you are going to use misleading, old footage to try and make people frightened of Muslims, why stop there? Just go the whole way and use a clip from True Lies.”

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