April 24, 2012

Stephen Colbert's most excellent takedown of the faux journalism practiced (or malpracticed) at Fox News. In this instance Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy decides to paraphrase President Obama with words he figured the President might have meant to say, but didn't you know, actually say them. He meant them, which is more than enough these days at Fox to report him as saying them.

Here's a partial transcript:

Folks, I gotta tell ya, the general election campaign is barely underway, and President Obama is already resorting to ad hominem attacks, trying to divide the country just when the Republicans are trying to unite us against him.

Fortunately, Fox & Friends' chief friend Steve Doocy isn't letting him get away with it. Talking with Mitt Romney on Thursday, Doocy quoted the President's blatant attack on Mitt.

STEVE DOOCY (4/19/2012): He said, "Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."

(awkward Romney laughter)

"Unlike some people", oh gee, who could Obama possibly mean? We all know when you're talking about someone born into privilege, it can only mean Mitt Romney. So petty! And it is bound to backfire on the President, because being born rich is Mitt Romney's greatest accomplishment.

And I believe it is a cowardly statement by the President, made all the more cowardly by the fact that he never actually said it.
But, folks, that does not mean it was poor journalism. Doocy was practicing journalism plus, by quoting the subtext. It works like this:

I don't give out handjobs at the bus station... (massive audience laughter and applause) ... unlike some people.
So excellent reporting, Steve Doocy. And I know good reporting. I am an independent newsman, not some smug, self-satisfied brownnoser toting to the Republican establishment... unlike some people.

Meanwhile, this morning Steve Doocy offered the Fox brand of non-apology we've become accustomed to hearing from this fake news organization.

DOOCY: "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. 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."

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