Facing strong criticism, Fox News host Steve Doocy on Tuesday morning corrected a quote by President Obama that he partially fabricated last week, conceding on air that he “did some paraphrasing.”
“Last week President Obama talked about not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. That was interpreted as a big dig at Mitt Romney,” Doocy said toward the end of Fox & Friends. “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.”
As TPM reported Sunday, Doocy added some words to an Obama quote when he last Thursday claimed he said, “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.” What Obama actually said was, “Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”
Doocy’s rendition made it easier to portray the remark as a jab against Mitt Romney while interviewing him — Romney portrayed it as an attack on his father’s success. The misquote was then picked up by the Washington Post and New York Post — both of which later ran corrections — as well as conservative blogs.
The top-rated network came under fire Monday for the error, with a devastating critique by Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple as well as coverage from the Huffington Post, Politico, Mediaite and TVNewser. By late afternoon a Fox spokesperson told TVNewser that Doocy would correct the mistake.
It isn’t the first time Doocy has put words in Obama’s mouth. Last October he falsely reported the president was planning on apologizing to Japan for U.S. actions during World War II, only to later concede that what he said was false.
Watch Doocy’s correction Tuesday morning:
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.