Fox News calls Rivera's report an honest mistake

December 27, 2001|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER

Fox News Channel officials say they have reviewed war correspondent Geraldo Rivera's discredited "friendly fire" report and found it to be an honest mistake.

A statement released by Fox News said the cable news station's executives had viewed tapes of Rivera's work and concluded his errors were inadvertent. The news network said it will take no additional action in wake of the incident.

The Sun first reported that Rivera was hundreds of miles from the site of a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan that he described on the air on Dec. 6.

"Based on Geraldo Rivera's 30-year track record, Fox News has full confidence in his explanation and journalistic integrity," the statement from Fox News read, according to the Associated Press. "This is not the first, nor will it be the last, mistake made in a war zone."

On Dec. 6, Rivera reported he had said the Lord's Prayer over "hallowed ground" where three American servicemen were killed the day before by U.S. bombing raids. The soldiers died outside Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. At the time, Rivera was in Tora Bora, some 300 miles to the northeast.

In an interview with The Sun, Rivera said he had been confused by a similar incident that killed Afghan opposition forces on the same day.

But the Pentagon said that bombing raid occurred after the morning of Dec. 9 - at least three days after Rivera's initial report. Rivera later said he was referring to still another such event.

No journalist, international aid worker or Defense Department official interviewed could confirm the existence of another "friendly fire" incident on Dec. 5.

Fox News did not return calls seeking confirmation of the Associated Press report.

In a statement to CNN last week, the network blamed The Sun for trying to revive "a story that was dead on arrival." In a story published Monday, Rivera told the Washington Post that the The Sun had "impugned" his integrity.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.