John Garofalo appeared as a Fox News guest on Oct. 8, saying he was a Vietnam veteran as well as a Navy SEAL. Unfortunately for the network, the man was lying, and yet, nobody in the company was able (or even willing) to catch the lie in time.
The Hill has reported that the man not only lied about his service, he also lied about receiving awards, which included two Purple Hearts. Now that he has owned up to the lies, things don’t look good for Fox, whose careless screening gave a liar a platform just because he was a supporter of President Donald Trump.
During the segment, Garofalo talked about his time in Vietnam serving as a Navy SEAL. He also showed the hosts a large presidential seal made out of hand-cut glass he had made to honor Trump.
The sculpture impressed the hosts so much that one of them even said, “God bless John Garofalo. We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”
Unfortunately, his records show he was never in Vietnam. And while he did serve in the Navy, he was never a SEAL.
The man’s real military service history was exposed by the Military Times, and when pressed to come clean, Garofalo did, telling the publication that the lies “got bigger and bigger.”
“What I did I'm ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” he said.
Garofalo was first ousted after retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley contacted Fox News the day after the segment aired. Even after reporting their guest had lied about his past, Fox News failed to correct their guest’s claims, prompting Shipley to talk to Military Times.
The SEAL said that the network’s failure to withdraw Garofalo’s story drove him “nutty.” Still, Fox only issued an apology 11 days later.
This isn’t the first time Fox welcomed a guest who lied about his background, The Hill reported.
Wayne Shelby Simmons, who was later sentenced to 33 months in prison for fraud, had appeared on Fox regularly in the early 2000s, claiming he was a former CIA operative and an expert in terrorism analysis. The network failed to check his credentials, and he eventually gained employment as a defense contractor thanks to his television appearances.
With this history of featuring guests who like to flat out lie about their credentials, it’s easy to see how many would like to look at Fox News as one of the most successful “fake news” organizations out there, and yet, the network seems to be one of the few places from which the president likes to get his news. Quite odd if you consider how often he complains about “fake news” on Twitter.