Video: Did Brian Williams bow to Barack Obama?

posted at 11:29 am on June 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Drudge has this one, and Stormin’ Morning Java has the still. When I first saw it, I thought, “Nah. Brian Williams must have looked down. Americans don’t bow to their political leaders, and especially not the American media.” Wrong!

We made hay when Obama bowed to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, and this feels almost as bad. Shouldn’t the American media have more of a sense of separation, observance, and skepticism? All right, all right, stop laughing.

Bonus question: If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night? On second thought, I don’t want to know.


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So perfect…

tottoritodd on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I’ve bowed to people the same way Brian did when saying goodbye, and it looked like the President did a little bow back (not as big as the bow he gave to the dude from Saudi Arabia).

JeffreyLloyd on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Only because he wasn’t wearing a ring to kiss.

roninacreage on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Utoob is blocked…but I’m not surprised. Time to link this to Facebook…lol.

Asher on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

It was taken out of context, Captain Ed. Brian was simply practicing going down on the One.

andycanuck on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

They just cannot help themselves! Hah.

javamartini on June 3, 2009 at 11:34 AM

I’m shocked — SHOCKED — to find gambling going on here.

John the Libertarian on June 3, 2009 at 11:34 AM

It would have been funnier if Brian would have genuflected! haha

JeffreyLloyd on June 3, 2009 at 11:34 AM

You did not see what he did behind closed doors.

Mr. Joe on June 3, 2009 at 11:34 AM

If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night?

Why does the phrase “drop to their knees” spring to mind…?

tree hugging sister on June 3, 2009 at 11:34 AM

This is NOT funny.

This is DANGEROUS.

artist on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Hmm, it looks like Jeffrey is used to going down too, and by his own admission.

andycanuck on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Andy! You didn’t just say that… did you!!??!!

JeffreyLloyd on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Sickeningly predictable and based on not one iota of common sense or dignity.

clnurnberg on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

That’s the “Official State News Agency” to you…..

………. comrade!

Seven Percent Solution on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Bonus question: If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night?

Spit or swallow?

BPD on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

street legal:

http://www.polmachina.com/?p=329

ranchoforte on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night?

They know when there’s a knob that needs polishing.

CDeb on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Hey Brian, you got a little something on your chin you might wanna wipe off. Unless you’re saving it for later.

dinkyjackson on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

mebbe Brian’s turning Japanese?
I think he’s turning Japanese.
I really think so.

John the Libertarian on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Bonus question: If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night?

It’s best not to ask on a family-friendly site like this lest Bill O’Reilly criticize you.

LFRGary on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

ALL HAIL OUR MESSIAH!!!

Outlander on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve
Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve!

Spectreman on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Brian, what is that behind you ear. Is that . . . hair gel?

Leopold Stotch on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

And the comment posted at 11:35 simultaneous to yours, too, Jeffrey.

andycanuck on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

I have a feeling this is just the first time it was caught on camera. Somebody will probably be fired for letting it slip through.

AbeFroman on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

More proof of the State-Run media.

garry on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Kneel before Zod!

jharada on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

All current journalists should be summarily executed. Well at least forced to find other employment. They are endangering the freedom of this country.

This is sick.

petunia on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

What you couldn’t see was Williams smacking his boot heels together in unison with the bow.

Patrick S on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

This is NOT funny.

This is DANGEROUS.

artist on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

+1 The media is enabling a tyrannical takeover.

flyfisher on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Maybe that’s the new super secret handshake.

Brat4life on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Okay, look. I’m no fan of either Williams (nor the media in general) or Obama. But that, strictly speaking, ain’t a bow. I an known to make exactly the same gesture to retail customers with whom I work, at least the few who are older than I, whom I really like – mostly old women.

sondiehl on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

I’m going to hurl

deedtrader on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

This is pretty scary in a funny way. Next they’ll be openly asking for their talking points from Obama or something.

Kronos on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I think you’d be hard pressed to call this a bow.

lorien1973 on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

AHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAA.

I’m laughing so hard I’m crying.

No wait. I’m really crying. What has happened to my country in 5 months?

Brat on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

I PRAY that O’Reilly and Hannity run this clip tonight, and that Rush mocks Williams all day today.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:39 AM

It’s no longer bias:

In a flash of insight, Breitbart realized that the media were the Democratic Party, that the NAACP was the Democratic Party, that NOW was the Democratic Party and that the false notion that the media and the various rights groups were acting in the best interests of America independent of ideological bias seemed less laughable than criminal to him.

faraway on June 3, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I think you’d be hard pressed to call this a bow.

lorien1973 on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

It’s a modified bow.

I have Asians in my family, I know what it looks like.

In fact, I do it too when around elders.

artist on June 3, 2009 at 11:40 AM

If Williams bowed, what would Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do to wish the President a good night?

The imagination knows no bounds to what these true worshipers could do. I imagine smoking a cigarette afterwards sums it up.

portlandon on June 3, 2009 at 11:40 AM

This is NOT funny.

This is DANGEROUS.

artist on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

And downright scary.

Daggett on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

WIlliams was actually going down to kiss Obam’s ass but he realized the cameras were on so he pulled out in mid bow.

izoneguy on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

It’s the same bow Catholics make before receiving Communion. We bow before Christ. The media bow before their messiah.

Sensible Mom on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Spit or swallow?

BPD on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Option #3: “Now, kiss me”

BobMbx on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I am known to make exactly the same gesture to retail customers with whom I work, at least the few who are older than I, whom I really like–mostly old women.

As a sign of respect that you don’t show to everyone. That’s the point, sondiehl, even if you don’t want to call it literally a bow.

And that raises two points… Did you ever see a conservative do that to President Reagan or Bush 43? And did you ever see a reporter do that to Bush 43?

andycanuck on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

I’ve bowed to people the same way Brian did when saying goodbye, and it looked like the President did a little bow back

JeffreyLloyd on June 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

That how I read it. A small bow, one of courtesy — Obama bowed back, however slightly.

Really, back in the day when people had manners, bowing was commonplace.

BigD on June 3, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Bow down before the one you serve,

you’re going to get what you deserve.

BobMbx on June 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Actually, Williams may have an excuse. Obama is the first AA President.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Too bad to be true. Maybe he was getting ready for salat?

abobo on June 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

This is silly. He was merely trying to be respectful. Albeit, in the Japanese kinda way.

But, are there any clips of this guy doing the same with GW ? Doubtful….although, I’d love to just brush this off as showing respect for the office the man holds….

bridgetown on June 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

lorien1973 on June 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

It’s easy to distinguish a bow from, say, a head nod. In fact, this video itself provides an example of each.

Williams inclines his whole upper body, which, in the common understanding of the word, constitutes a bow. Obama then nods his head at Williams, which, please note, involves no inclination of the torso.

See? Easy.

Hesiodos on June 3, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Stock up on knee pads and vaseline.

BuckeyeSam on June 3, 2009 at 11:43 AM

If not a full fledged bow it at least looks like the bobbing of the head a well trained serf or minion makes to his overlord.

katiejane on June 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM

He just dropped something.

LibTired (KO) on June 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM

It’s not a bow, it’s a nod. Obama nods back.

Phoenician on June 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM

I an known to make exactly the same gesture to retail customers with whom I work

sondiehl on June 3, 2009 at 11:37 AM

That makes it even worse.

csdeven on June 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Williams gave him the Nazi stiff-arm before the interview started.

Bishop on June 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Was there a second bower, and was there a third one on the grassy knoll?

portlandon on June 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Or maybe Williams is tricking Obama, and bowing to the white half. Either way, I bet Williams is going to bow to someone else real soon, on tape, to prove that he just likes bowing.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Williams wanted to curtsy but he was afraid of ripping his pants.

Bishop on June 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Off topic, but look at this.

The United States and the Western world must learn about Islam, and indeed if we count the number of American Muslims, we see that the United States is one of the largest Muslim countries on the planet,” Obama said. Interview with French LaMonde. (hat tip Boquisucio):

From:
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/06/abc-news-discovers-the-muslim-president.html

Well I guess that explains why he said we were not a Christian nation.

Also Michelle Malkin has an excellent column today on the double standards between Christians and Muslims.

Sometimes it is good to be old. Maybe I’ll be out of this life before the eventual bloodbath occurs.

PrincipledPilgrim on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I try to be respectful, and nod my head or something when I feel it’s appropriate. While the media should respect the office of the president, this is simply inappropriate.

I’m looking forward to seeing similar examples of reporters bowing to W. Don’t think any exist, but if even one clip exists you know it’ll be publicized STAT.

cs89 on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

It’s not a bow, it’s a nod. Obama nods back.

A nod and a wink from GE/NBC to Barry. Yeah, you’re probably right.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

How much longer before we see a curtsy?

qestout on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

See? Easy.

Hesiodos on June 3, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Do you realize you are trying to educate liberals who universally are suffering from serious psychological disorders? To liberals, up is down, down is up, right is wrong, wrong is right, and they are only content when chaotic irrational policies are in effect.

csdeven on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Obama’s probably doing some bowing himself today. They’ve banned cameras from his meeting with the Saudi King.

kingsjester on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Holy crap, people. IT’S A BOW. He didn’t just nod his head; his shoulders dipped forward. No, it’s not a full-body “Hai, sensei” kidna bow, but it’s coming from SOMEONE IN THE MEDIA, fer crissakes! These people are supposed to be the watchdogs!

I am just amazed… I have watched that clip five times now, and I am still not done being shocked…

kiltedscotsman5 on June 3, 2009 at 11:48 AM

They all rise when Obama walks in.

They bow when they shake his hand.

They never joke about him.

They make many, many photos of him with halos over his head.

They sell merchandise with his image on it. (NY Times shop and Time covers)

Sounds like they revere him.

faraway on June 3, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Williams was looking for the economy.

csdeven on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Actually, Williams also seems to be informing Obama that his elevator is ready. Perhaps the bow, and the delivery to the elevator means that Williams is a bellboy. Was Williams carrying a suitcase by any chance?

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

It’s not a bow, it’s a nod. Obama nods back.

Phoenician on June 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Read the other posts. It’s a modified bow, the upper torso moves.

Obama nods.

artist on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

The people asked for a king and got it.

PrincipledPilgrim on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I PRAY that O’Reilly and Hannity run this clip tonight, and that Rush mocks Williams all day today.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Wont matter dude, the DNC/RNC/moderateNC has already decided that they can live without the nation’s 25% harcore conservatives, it’ll just legitimize BriWi to the other three fourths.

abobo on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Williams is just acknowleging that president ass-clown is a muslum.

ambuldog on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Williams wanted to curtsy but he was afraid of ripping his pants.

Bishop on June 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM

OK, that made me laugh.

BigD on June 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve
Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve!

Spectreman on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Nine Inch Nails. So apropro. Love it!

mrsmwp on June 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Easy way to put this to bed. Since a lot of these types of gestures, head nod not bowing, are ingrained in us over years and not something spontaneous, just find video of Williams saying goodnight to President Bush and see if he “head nods”. If so, then its simply Brian’s gesture of thanks to anyone of importance, if not, then he’s prostrating himself before The One.

smfoushee on June 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Okay folks. Time to contrast and compare. And be sickened.

Newsbusters has the scoop…

Easily Amazed? Brian Williams Finds It ‘Unbelievable’ to Watch Obama Eat M&Ms Inside the White House

Williams on the Obama White House:

“There’s stuff we’ve never seen of how the White House operates,” he says. “We were pretty stunned at how much we were able to record and how natural events seemed to be.”

Brokaw on the Bush White House, January 2002:

Tom Brokaw knew George W. Bush was putting on a show.

“It goes without saying that they don’t wake up and say, ‘Oh, my God. NBC is coming!’ ” Brokaw says. “They obviously arranged a very full day for him.”

Brat on June 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

BPD on June 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

no doubt, swallow.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Obama’s probably doing some bowing himself today. They’ve banned cameras from his meeting with the Saudi King.

kingsjester on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I told you…….

………. the American people will only ‘hear’ what Brian Williams and Obama want you to hear,

not what Obama is actually telling Muslim world.

Seven Percent Solution on June 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM

How much longer before we see a curtsy?

qestout on June 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

They only curtsy to Michelle.

sammypants on June 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM

RUSH RUSH RUSH–ARE YOU READING????

PLEASE MOCK AND RIDICULE THE BELLBOY AND THE HOTEL GUEST ENDLESSLY.

( I also want to know if Obama tips well.)

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I vote nod. Obama’s bow to Abdullah was much more.

Ferris on June 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Homer nods. Williams bows.

faraway on June 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

kiss the ring!

youngO on June 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

O come all ye faithful, liberal & triumphant
O come ye, O come ye, to Wash-ing-ton
Come & behold him, born the king of satan

O come let them adore him
O come let them abhor (oops, adore) him
O come ye, O come ye, drop onto your knees

Ris4victory on June 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve
Bow down before the One you serve
You’re going to get what you deserve!

Spectreman on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

This is PERFECT. Right tone, right reference. I love a good NIN quote. *appropriate goth’y sulking scowl*

tickleddragon on June 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM

NOW are we ready to DO something????

tickleddragon on June 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Pathetic.

AZCoyote on June 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

I PRAY that O’Reilly and Hannity run this clip tonight, and that Rush mocks Williams all day today.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Don’t think so. Rush will sometimes comment on Brian William’s comments, especially when they are part of a media montage to demonstrate the echo chamber. Apart from that, they are friends at some level. I think Williams called on air during Rush’s 20th anniversary celebration week.

BigD on June 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

abobo on June 3, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Unfortunately, I think you’re probably right. But for me, it makes the destruction of the US easier to swallow, when I can see with my own eyes that it’s increasingly not worth saving.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Pravda strikes again.

omnipotent on June 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Hasn’t Brian Williams met Presidents before? If the average person did this, I would understand, but really, a member of the national news media?

Speedwagon82 on June 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM

BigD on June 3, 2009 at 11:53 AM

The stakes can’t get much higher, for us, and even for Limbaugh. If I can write off most of my own family, and have, Limbaugh to mock Williams, for the cause.

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Hasn’t Brian Williams met Presidents before? If the average person did this, I would understand, but really, a member of the national news media?

Speedwagon82 on June 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM

But this is a ruler, not a leader

clnurnberg on June 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM

That should be “Limbaugh can mock William”

JiangxiDad on June 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Brian isn’t worthy to touch the hem of The One’s garment.

Conservative_SAHM on June 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM

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