Yes, I believe that Emerson should be socially penalized for his joke on Fox News. I think that it is very important that figures in the media, especially in the news realm, are held accountable for the things that they say. Emerson's comments were simply ignorant and I believe that he deserves a bit of backlash because of it. News anchors should know that they will be held accountable as well for their words.
Emerson feels that non-Muslims will be uncomfortable in that city because they are a minority. For some reason that offends people. But he shouldn't have to apologize for offending people for what he feels is the truth. When we socially penalize people and make them feel they are wrong for a suggestion or statement, we begin to oppress those people's opinions and silence them.
Emerson's comical joke on Fox News about Muslims was a little out of context and unnecessary, but I do not think he should be socially penalized because he did in fact apologize to Birmingham's 1.1 million people for his joke, and then he proceeded to pledged a donation to the city's children's hospital.
The people who are on Fox News, and the people who are on other cable news networks, have a great deal of time to fill. I can't imagine being scrutinized under a microscope for everything I ever said. These people have to be entertaining and funny without being so concerned about every little word.