The “Silver Spoon” Misquote: Fox Pushes Blog Fabrication Into Mainstream Press

On the April 19 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney: “Speaking of rhetoric, [President Obama] had some fiery rhetoric pointed at you yesterday. He said unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

But that's not what Obama said. As Newshounds and Talking Points Memo note, in his April 18 speech, Obama did not preface his “silver spoon” remark with the words “unlike some people” [9:00]:

OBAMA: That's why we've got the best universities and colleges in the world. That's why we have cutting-edge research that takes place here, and that then gets translated into new jobs and new businesses, because somebody did the groundwork. We created a foundation for those of us to prosper. 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, just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.

As TPM points out, Obama has used similar “silver spoon” constructions since at least March 2009, suggesting that the comments were not “pointed at” Romney.

Doocy appears to have taken his misquote of Obama from a Hot Air blog post that appeared the previous day, which carries the headline “Obama: Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

Since then, the misquote has spread to the mainstream press. A Washington Post blog post by Philip Rucker reporting on Romney's Fox & Friends interview falsely puts “unlike some people” in quotes - even while linking to the Post's own report on the speech, which does not include those words. A New York Post editorial and blogs like Instapundit have also repeated the misquote.

This isn't the first time Fox News has promoted a misquote; last year, for instance, Fox ran with a fabricated quote of Teamsters president James Hoffa to accuse him of inciting violence against conservatives. And in 2010, Doocy made a similar mistake of apparently believing what he had read on a blog by suggesting that Obama was lying about Hawaii being struck by an earthquake in 2006.

UPDATE: As TPM noted on Sunday night, The Washington Post has corrected its article that included the “silver spoon” misquote.