Fox News apologizes to family of fallen Marine for "disgusting" false story it didn't correct

Though the network eventually removed the false report, it never publicly explained its reason for doing so

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published August 28, 2023 12:32PM (EDT)

A Fox News logo (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
A Fox News logo (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Fox News has issued an apology to the family of a fallen Marine after publishing an erroneous July 25 report saying that they had to pay $60,000 to transport the body of 23-year-old Sgt. Nicole Gee from California to Arlington National Cemetery. Gee was among 13 U.S. service members killed in a bombing in Kabul during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Marine Corps contacted the conservative network repeatedly, asking to have the story, written by Michael Lee and founded on false allegations made by Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla. Marine Corps spokesman Maj. James Stenger emailed Fox News executives not long after the article was published, writing, "The allegations originally published turned out to be false, which I suspect Mr. Lee knew in the first place, and was the reason he did not seek comment from the Marine Corps." Fox first amended the story's headline and changed the opening paragraph; however, Stenger followed up, stating that the piece was still incorrect. "Using the grief of a family member of a fallen Marine to score cheap clickbait points is disgusting," he wrote. 

"The now unpublished story has been addressed internally and we sincerely apologize to the Gee family," a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement after the network removed the post in its entirety. The Washington Post reported that Fox has not corrected the false report, nor has it clarified its reasons for deleting it.