A New York Post story claiming that 20 homeless veterans had been kicked out of hotels in upstate New York to make room for migrants and was later spotlit on Fox News turned out was a lie.
Without fact-checking the story or reaching out to the accused hotels for comment, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham highlighted it with a chyron that read “New York City Puts Illegals Ahead of Veterans,” while Republicans raged at Biden, with Nikki Haley calling it “liberal insanity at work.”
However, reporting by local outlet the Mid-Hudson News not only found holes in the Post’s story, but what appears to be outright fraud, with homeless men telling the Hudson Valley paper they were given food and money to pose as veterans and claim they’d been displaced by migrants at the Crossroads Hotel in the town of Newburgh, New York.
The men said they were paid by Sharon Toney-Finch, the CEO of the Yerik Israel Toney Foundation. She also allegedly forged credit card receipts to make it appear that the hotel had accepted payment from YIT, State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson of Newburgh said on Friday.
The Post has since updated their original story with the note: “This non-profit CEO has since been accused of misrepresenting the veterans who have been displaced for migrants.”
“The recent arrival of asylum seekers in the Town of Newburgh has caused disruption enough without the additional outrage generated by Toney-Finch’s lies. Before her sham was revealed, Republican legislators like assembly member Brian Maher, Senator Rob Rolison, and Senator Bill Weber quickly moved to fan the flames of xenophobia by recklessly amplifying Toney-Finch’s falsehoods on Fox News and a range of other media outlets,” Jacobson said.
Maher, who originally embraced the Post’s story, told the Times Union of Hudson Valley that he personally called Toney-Finch, who admitted the story was false. He joined Jacobson in asking State Attorney General Letitia James to investigate her and her foundation.
At 2 p.m. ET on Friday, Fox News correspondent Nate Foy reported, “We are now looking into new reports that a veterans advocate misled lawmakers and media outlets about the story and that some homeless men may have been hired to pose as veterans. We have reached out to the organization for a statement but so far have not heard back.”