Here’s a Friday afternoon shocker for you: Someone associated with both Fox News and the Trump administration has been (gasp!) less than truthful about his personal credentials.
This week, Jon Garofalo—who presented himself to Fox News as a Vietnam veteran and Navy SEAL with 22 military commendations under his belt—admitted that, actually, he’d never served in the SEALS, never earned a Purple Heart for his service, and had never been anywhere near Vietnam during his stint in the Navy.
The news comes nearly two weeks after Fox News ran a hugely popular segment about Garofalo—who’d carved a massive presidential seal as a gift to Donald Trump—which lauded his military accomplishments. Before being pulled from Facebook, Garogalo’s star turn had racked up an impressive 1.5 million views, the Navy Times reported.
“God bless John Garofalo,” a Fox anchor said during the piece. “We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”
Almost immediately after Garofalo’s segment aired, actual Navy SEALS contacted Fox to point out that he—and by extension they—were full of shit.
“Fox News not withdrawing that story has drove me nutty,” retired SEAL Don Shipley explained to the Navy Times after having reached out to Fox to highlight Garofalo’s deception on Oct 9th, one day after the segment aired.
Fox has since published a short apology, writing:
Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal.
On Friday, the network issued an on-air correction:
“It got bigger and bigger,” Garofalo told the Navy Times in a telephone interview. “What I did I‘m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs.”