Fox News is in hot water yet again.
On October 8 the Fox show America’s News HQ aired a segment about John Garofalo, a glass artist who carved a giant presidential seal as a gift for President Donald Trump. Garofalo claimed he served during the Vietnam War as a member of the nation’s first Navy SEAL team. He also showed off 22 medals he had allegedly received, including two Purple Hearts.
Fox reporter Bryan Llenas called Garofalo “a hero” and “a tough, tough man.” The segment went viral online, racking up 1.5 million views on the Fox News Facebook page.
While Garofalo did serve in the Navy, he was never a member of the SEALs, he never received even one Purple Heart and the closest he got to Vietnam was Spain.
The military newspaper Navy Times first revealed Garofalo’s deception. He told the publication that he had told the false story for years.
“What I did I‘m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” Garofalo said.
Garofalo was in the Navy from 1963 to 1967. He was assigned to a tour in Rota, Spain as an aviation boatswain’s mate, a ground-based officer who operates and performs maintenance on boats and aircraft. The only medal he ever received was the National Defense Service Medal.
Several retired SEALs told the Navy Times that they contacted Fox the day after the segment aired asking for a retraction. But the network did not remove the false story from its Facebook page until yesterday.
Fox also issued a lengthy statement, claiming it hadn’t investigated Garofalo’s military past before the segment aired because he claimed it was “covert.”
“We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women,” the statement read.
The network also said it would run an on-air correction Sunday.