Steve Doocy, a Fox News commentator and co-anchor of the hit morning show Fox & Friends, is in hot water for misquoting President Barack Obama during a televised interview with Mitt Romney.
Doocy used the misquote to elicit a response from the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. [Obama] had some fiery rhetoric pointed you yesterday. He said, uh, 'Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a spoon in my mouth,' Doocy said to Romney on April 19.
Romney responded with a chuckle. The president is really taking aim at anybody he can find these days, he said. In fact, in my case, I'm certainly not gonna apologize for my dad and his success in life. He was born poor, he worked his way to become very successful despite the fact that he didn't have a college degree, and one of the things he wanted to do was provide for me and for my brother and sisters. ... I know the president likes to attack fellow Americans.
But Romney needn't have gotten defensive; it was later confirmed that Obama had not in fact delivered the words unlike some people that Doocy quoted.
The mistake was first revealed by Talking Points Memo, but it gained widespread public attention when Stephen Colbert took the opportunity to mock Doocy during a Monday night broadcast of his satirical news show on Comedy Central. Colbert played a video clip of Obama's actual quote, which was made during a speech at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, on April 18.
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Because somebody did the groundwork, we created foundation for those of us to prosper, said Obama. Somebody gave me an education. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't. But somebody gave us a chance.
There was no allusion, direct or implied, to Romney during that segment.
So he didn't really say 'unlike some people,' unlike some people, joked Colbert. That does not mean it was poor journalism. Doocy was practicing 'journalism plus' by quoting the subtext! It works like his: I don't give out hand jobs at the bus station, unlike some people.
In Doocy's defense, it seemed quite possible that Obama's quote was meant as a subtle dig at Romney. But a look at Obama's past rhetoric reveals that this is probably not the case; Slate pointed out that Obama has been using the silver spoon phrase since 2009, long before Romney was a prominent opponent.
Made aware of his blunder, Doocy issued a public correction on Tuesday morning. It did not include an apology. Last week, President Obama talked about not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, said Doocy. That was interpreted as a big dig at Mitt Romney. When I was interviewing Governor Romney on this show, I asked him about it. However, I did some paraphrasing that seemed to misquote the president. So to be clear, the president's exact quote was, 'I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.' And I hope that clears up any confusion.
Doocy is a veteran reporter and news anchor who has been with Fox News Channel since 1996, according to his biography on foxnews.com. He has so far received 11 local Emmy awards, and he won the Feature Reporter of the Year Award from the Associated Press.