Fox News slammed for false report concerning Gold Star family

August 29, 2023

Fox News experienced a public relations disaster this past weekend after it was found to have published a false claim about a Gold Star family.

According to CNN, the network ran a story last month which said the family was forced to pay $60,000 out of pocket for the return of a fallen Marine from Afghanistan.

Story started with Florida representative

Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee was among 12 other Americans and nearly 200 Afghan citizens who were killed on August 26, 2021 when a suicide bomber struck Abbey Gate at what was then known as Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The allegation originated with freshman Florida Republican Rep. Cory Mills, who asserted that Gee's family was left with a $60,000 bill for the transportation of her remains.

However, CNN noted how an investigation published by Military.com on Saturday showed the story about Gee had no basis in fact.

Congressman says there was confusion between Pentagon and family

What's more, Mills later released a statement in which he apologized for spreading the story and explained that there had been confusion between the Department of Defense and Gee's parents over who would cover the costs.

In fact, not only was Gee's family not forced to pay for their daughter's return, but the Marine Corps made clear that this was the case in a series of emails.

While Fox News initially responded by making changes to the story in question, Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. James Stenger complained that it still contained false claims.

Marine Corps spokesperson calls story "disgusting"

"This headline correction is still misleading and your story is still false," Stenger wrote in an email which Military.com obtained via a freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

"Using the grief of a family member of a fallen Marine to score cheap clickbait points is disgusting," the major went on to add.

CNN pointed out that although Fox News did not put out a public retraction, it did remove the false report from its website.

A spokesperson issued a statement to CNN that read, "The now unpublished story has been addressed internally and we sincerely apologize to the Gee family."

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