The White House miscalculated on its “no-bow” response. CNN spends a couple of minutes calling them on it — and giving profuse credit to Hot Air while doing so. Take a close look at the video shots in this Jeanne Moos segment, which aired this morning, and you’ll recognize my handiwork, especially in the part where CNN compares the bow to Saudi King Abdullah and the correct protocol of a head nod to the shorter Queen Elizabeth (hat tip: HA reader Geoff A):
Here are the YouTube videos displayed in part during the segment:
Moos plays it down the middle in the inevitable man-on-the-street interviews, but winds up mildly chiding both the White House and the media for ignoring this. She plays a portion of Jay Leno’s focus on George Bush’s handholding with Abdullah, which got reams of press when it happened, strongly suggesting the double standard of the media in ignoring the bow altogether, at least until now. Moos also shows that the bow preceded the two-handed handshake, and concludes that the White House is not being terribly honest.
Kudos to CNN for covering the story at all — and kudos for giving us credit for the source material. They even covered the Obamateurism of the Day feature, and I’ll bet Chris Muir gets a kick out of that.
Instead of just acknowledging an error, Robert Gibbs lied about it, and all but dared the media to report it. CNN isn’t the only media outlet taking the challenge, either. The Chicago Sun-Times scolds Obama for his display, now that the White House tried to spin it:
Did he or didn’t he? Did President Obama bow to Saudi King Abdullah at the G-20 meeting in London? That question is creating a bit of a dust-up in the blogosphere. The brouhaha reminds me of the tsk-tsking a few years back when President George W. Bush was photographed holding hands with then-Crown Prince Abdullah. …
That said, the president of the United States does not bow to kings. He is not only the chief of government, he’s our head of state — the equal of any monarch. The White House says Obama didn’t bow, that he “grasped (Abdullah’s) hand with two hands and he’s taller than King Abdullah.”
Sorry, but a videotape on YouTube doesn’t quite back that up. Obama clearly bends his body toward the Arabian monarch, and Obama doesn’t grasp both the king’s hands until he’s standing straight up. As for the he’s-taller argument, the 6-foot-1-inch Obama towers over a lot of people, so we’d have seen him bowing during handshakes many times if that were the explanation. Furthermore, the king had his hand extended, so Obama didn’t have to reach down an inordinate amount to grab it.
Heads of state do not bow to other heads of state. Abdullah didn’t reciprocate with a bow to Obama, for instance, and none of the other heads of state in the original video did so much as a shoulder incline. It’s the act of a rank amateur, a man unprepared to represent a nation as head of state. Thankfully, a few people have begun to notice it.
Update: Deceiver experiences Wonkette’s “humor”, which relies heavily on fellatio.