Fox News has issued an apology after airing an interview with a US veteran who, it turns out, was not the hero he claimed to be. Introduced on the network Oct. 8 as a former Navy SEAL who served in Vietnam and earned 22 commendations and two Purple Hearts, John Garofalo has since admitted to the Military Times that he greatly exaggerated his military credentials. Garofalo is indeed a Navy veteran and a glass artist who hopes to gift President Trump with a 4-foot presidential glass seal, the focus of the Fox segment. But he was never a SEAL, he never served in Vietnam, and he didn't earn all those commendations, not even a single Purple Heart. Instead, he did a short overseas tour in Spain during four years of Navy service ending in 1967.
"What I did I'm ashamed of, and I didn't mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs," says the 72-year-old Garofalo, noting his lies about his service have gotten "bigger and bigger" over the years. Retired SEAL Don Shipley alerted Fox to Garofalo's lies after the interview aired, and the network plans to run an on-air correction in addition to those online. (Its interview with Garofalo had been viewed 1.5 million times on Facebook.) "Unfortunately, all of Garofalo's claims turned out to be untrue," the Fox notice reads. "We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women."