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Late Night: Stephen Colbert rips Steve Doocy for fake Obama quote

April 24, 2012 |  8:23 am


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On Monday night, Stephen Colbert blasted "Fox & Friends" anchor Steve Doocy, calling him a "smug, self-satisfied brown-noser" for what he believes was an intentional distortion of recent remarks made by President Obama. 

Last week, during an appearance at an Ohio community college, Obama touted his working-class roots and the value of education. "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't," he told the crowd. "But somebody gave us a chance, just like these folks up here are looking for a chance."

Obama did not mention Mitt Romney by name, so whether or not the remark was meant as a jab at his rival is open to interpretation. But that doesn't matter, according to Colbert. "We all know when you’re talking about somebody 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."

Doocy would seem to agree. In an interview with Romney on "Fox & Friends," he misquoted the president as saying that "unlike some people" he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Of course, those three little words certainly change the tenor of Obama's remarks, from generic populism to a more pointed attack on his wealthy rival. 

Colbert didn't have a problem with Doocy's embellishment. "So he didn’t say 'unlike some people'... unlike some people. That does not mean it was poor journalism. Doocy was practicing journalism-plus by quoting the subtext." 

Besides, Colbert reasoned, Doocy's subtext must have "seemed true," otherwise papers like the New York Post and the Washington Post wouldn't have quoted it verbatim. 

The host ended the segment with some ironic praise. "Excellent reporting, Steve Doocy, and I know good reporting. I am an independent news man, not some smug, self-satisfied brown-noser toadying for the Republican establishment… unlike some people," he said.

As America's self-appointed guardian of "truthiness," Colbert loves calling out politicians and journalists for fudging the facts. It's surprising, though, that he didn't make Doocy the target of one of his infamous Twitter campaigns... unlike some people.

(Warning: The clip above contains some late-night language.)



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