The Pentagon Tuesday suggested that an erroneous report from Fox News Channel
led to rumors about U.S. ground troops in Iraq and caused a drop in stock
prices, according to Associated Press.
Fox News said it made no such error and it stands by its reporting, which, it
added, was that special operatives were doing intelligence work in Iraq.
AP reported the Pentagon's denial Tuesday that ground troops were in Iraq,
although the source of that reported rumor was unclear.
A Pentagon spokesman told AP at first that the mistaken report that caused
the stir originated with Fox News -- which, the spokesman said, later told him
it had mistakenly rerun a report from last week that had been already been
denied by the Pentagon.
Fox News said it had not run such a report, but it had reported instead that
special operatives in Iraq were either fomenting internal unrest or identifying
Fox News said it stands behind that report, and it has made it clear that the
Pentagon did not coordinate the forces.
In subsequent AP reports -- neither the spokesman nor the AP reporter could
be reached for comment -- the erroneous week-old report was not mentioned, and
the Pentagon proposed that a shorter 'crawl' message on Fox News summarizing the
report led to the rumors of military activity that prompted the market
The subsequent reports also suggested that the stock decline could have been
the result of a report on declining consumer confidence.