The story that Vietnam vets, upon returning to America, were spat on and called “baby killers” is an urban legend concocted in a Stallone movie. But you might be surprised that the guy who injected it into the mainstream was Glenn Beck:

Beck then goes for the emotional jugular for the first time. The move comes in the form of a story about an unnamed “friend” of Beck’s. This friend returned from Vietnam only to endure the abuse of protesting peaceniks. “He got off the plane from Vietnam and a woman spat in his face and called him ‘baby killer,'” explains Beck. “Then he left his medal of honor in a trash can.”

Whether Beck was aware that he was quoting almost verbatim from Sylvester Stallone’s closing monologue in “First Blood,” it is impossible to say. But whatever its source, the story is dubious. As documented by Jerry Lembcke in his book “The Spitting Image,” stories of Vietnam vets being spit upon didn’t gain currency until the 1980s. So many of those stories dissolved upon closer inspection that even after serious research efforts, not a single case of a Vietnam veteran being spat upon has ever been documented.