Obama watched documentary last night? FOX botched this one...

FOX News botched it this morning when a morning news host reported that President Obama watched an HBO documentary about his campaign last night.

UPDATE: Late this afternoon, FOX News explained the erroneous report was a result of a misunderstanding.


Whatever precipitated the ill feelings that the White House has toward FOX News, the network wasn't doing itself any favors today.

Speaking on the morning broadcast (see video below), Fox News host Martha MacCallum reported that President Obama opted to watch an HBO documentary about his presidential campaign instead of last night's election results.

Said MacCallum:

"Robert Gibbs, the press secretary, has been speaking with some reporters and he was asked, 'So why didn’t the president watch last night?'"
"And Robert Gibbs said, 'Well, he was actually watching, you know, the HBO special about his year-long campaign and how it all went.' So he was watching that last night."

The problem with that? It's not true. Many news organizations attended the morning briefing and The Vote obtained a transcript.

Gibbs never said the president watched the documentary last night. He was asked that question but replied that he didn't know.

He was asked if the president watched the returns. To that, Gibbs replied that the president was not sitting in front of the TV watching them.

On the topic of the documentary, Gibbs was asked if the president liked it. He replied that Obama had seen it before and did enjoy it.

How MacCallum came to her conclusion is a mystery. But the damage is done. Because as soon as the report aired, other organizations echoed the charge.

Take Newsbusters -- the conservative media watchdog organization. They put up the video and reported what FOX said verbatim.

While the conservative "Townhall" website repackages the video, puts their logo on it, and makes it available not only their site but on YouTube.

Sure, FOX can issue a correction. NewsBusters and Townhall can remove their blogs. But the misinformation has already been spread. And putting the genie back in the bottle is impossible to do.


Hey, we'll never report you if you're watching a documentary. But if we do, we'll let you know about it on Twitter!

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