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Fox News Fabricates Obama Quote: Washington Post Runs with It (UPDATE: WaPo Corrects Itself)

By Allan
Sunday, April 22, 2012 13:18 EDT
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Steve Doocy is now writing copy for the Washington Post.

The Mayans were right.

Michael Thaddeus, posting at Newshounds, caught the Dooce red-handed shoving words into the President’s mouth. Thaddeus then tracks how the lie has been amplified, most egregiously at the Washington Post.

When President Obama spoke at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, on Wednesday, he said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.” But when Fox News host Steve Doocy repeated it on Fox & Friends to Mitt Romney, it was a false version: “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

The first three words, “unlike some people,” are a complete fabrication. President Obama never said them or anything like them.  The difference is very significant, as it is much easier to interpret the fabricated quote as a deliberate mockery of Romney.

What happened next?  The Washington Post reported the story without noting Doocy’s fabrication and put his words directly into the mouth of President Obama.

Three little words. “Unlike some people.”

Philip Rucker’s story for the Washington Post, in which he includes those words in quotation marks and attributes them to the President, links in turn to an earlier WaPo story on the speech, in which those three words are conspicuously absent. Because, of course, they were not spoken by the President. Read the opening of Philip Rucker’s article, which turns President Obama’s general statement into a specific attack on Romney.

After President Obama took a not-so-subtle jab at his Republican opponent Mitt Romney by saying, “unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Romney on Thursday accused the president of “attacking people” when he should be “attacking problems.”

Thaddeus notes that the false version of the Obama quote is all over the rightwing blogosphere and in the Murdoch “news” papers, which is predictable. But when legitimate newspapers like The Washington Post take dictation from Steve Doocy rather than reviewing the original source material, we have a problem. And when “journalists” like Philip Rucker put words inside quotation marks that the speaker never uttered, their credibility is destroyed.

Mr. Thaddeus has so far been unable to get the Washington Post to correct its error, so we can anticipate that it will be cited as a resource for the duration of the election cycle as a reliable source, and the Obama quote that never was will become part of the permanent record. Nice work, Doocy!

UPDATE: Sometime this afternoon, the Washington Post corrected its error. The article now opens with the note:

An earlier version of this post incorrectly quoted President Obama’s reference to not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. This version has been corrected.

Ball’s in your court, Fox News.

 

Allan
Allan
Allan is ABLC's northern California correspondent. A freelance writer, blogger, social media consultant and political activist, Allan writes about politics, electoral strategy, LGBTQ issues, diversity, and whatever shiny object has just captivated his attention. You can follow him on the Twitters as @allanbrauer.
 
 
 
 
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