Offering up a “little update” on Friday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham admitted that the story of homeless vets being displaced by migrants was a hoax, adding that she had “no clue” why a group would make up a story her network stoked days of outrage over.
A week after the New York Post reported the sensational tale of 20 “struggling homeless veterans” getting booted from upstate New York hotels to make room for asylum-seeking migrants, the story fell apart. In reality, Sharon Toney-Finch, the CEO of a veterans’ advocacy organization, had concocted the tall tale and apparently even recruited men from a homeless shelter to pose as the displaced vets for the media.
Of course, by the time the fraud was exposed, right-wing media had run wild with the story. Fox News led the way, airing dozens of on-air segments raging about Democrats placing the needs of “illegals” over the well-being of “people who served our country and need a little boost.” Ingraham, known for her anti-immigrant rhetoric, helped lead the charge.
“We know what the intention was,” Ingraham fumed on Tuesday night. “Second-class citizens are veterans. Primary, most celebrated citizens who get all of the benefits [are] non-citizens, fraudulent asylees into the United States.”
However, on Friday, it was time to eat a bit of crow after the GOP lawmaker who initially backed Toney-Finch’s claims reversed course and denounced her, claiming he was “devastated and disheartened” to discover she fabricated the whole thing. The New York State attorney general is now looking into whether any laws were broken by Toney-Finch and additional questions swirl around other claims she’s made about her military service.
After Fox News ran an on-air report giving a “quick update” that they were “now looking” into reports that Toney-Finch “misled lawmakers and media outlets,” Ingraham issued her own mild correction during her primetime program.
“Alright, before we go, a little update on a story we brought you this week about homeless vets being displaced from hotels so that illegals could move in,” she said just before heading to a commercial break.
“Turns out the group behind the claim made it up,” Ingraham added. “We have no clue as to why anyone would do such a thing, but we’ll bring you any updates should they come.”
Considering the amount of attention Toney-Finch’s organization got from conservative media that was more than willing to credulously amplify the outrageous story, it really is a mystery why anyone “would do such a thing.”