The U.S. television channel Fox News has apologized for posting a fake story about Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to its web site.

A Fox spokesman says political reporter Carl Cameron has been reprimanded for writing the story, which Fox says was written as a joke and was never intended for posting or broadcast.

The piece contained made-up quotes Mr. Kerry supposedly uttered last Thursday after his debate with President Bush.

One quote had the candidate praising the appearance of his own fingernails and cuticles. In another quote, Mr. Kerry allegedly said, "Women should like me! I do manicures."

Critics have accused Fox News of being biased in favor of Mr. Bush and the Republican Party. Fox denies those allegations.