Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Idiot "Fist Bump" Coverage

At the speech celebrating his victory over Hillary Clinton last Tuesday (June 3), Barack and Michelle Obama greeted each other with a dap -- or fist bump -- a sign of solidarity.

This nonverbal communication has seemed to baffle a number of people in the press, not the least of whom (actually, it might be the least of whom) is Fox News' E.D. Hill. In teasing a segment for her Friday, June 6, American Pulse show, she said:

"A fist bump, a pound, a terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says."

After coming back from a commercial break, Hill introduced the segment by asking what happened to "the old pat on the back? A handshake? A hug?" She followed this wistful lament by having body language expert Janine Driver interpret the Obamas' odd form of communication. Driver assured Hill that the dap did not signal anything nefarious. It was merely two people signaling that they have a connection with each other.

On today's (June 10) American Pulse program, Hill offered this explanation:

"Want to start the show by clarifying something I said on the show last Friday about an upcoming body language segment. Now, I mentioned various ways the Obamas' fist pump in St. Paul had been characterized in the media. I apologize because unfortunately, some thought I personally had characterized it inappropriately. I regret that. It was not my intention. And I certainly didn't mean to associate the word 'terrorist' in any way to Senator Obama and his wife."

I'm sorry, but when you tease a segment by labeling a gesture "a terrorist fist jab," you are making an association -- that is, gesture = terrorist fist jab, Obamas use gesture, therefore, Obamas use terrorist fist jab.

Even more outrageous was the fact that Hill didn't even identify where or how the notion of the dap being a "terrorist fist jab" came about. It was just put out there without any context.

In my opinion -- and this is only my opinion -- this incident occurred for one of two reasons. The first reason it may have happened is that E. D. Hill is never going to be mistaken for a member of MENSA. Critical thinking skills are not exactly her strong suit.

The second reason is more troublesome for me. There is little doubt that FOX News is rooting for John McCain and against Barack Obama. I think the terrorist angle to the fist bump could have been put out there as part of the network's campaign to generate as much fear about Obama as possible. After suffering a lot of ridicule from other media outlets, FOX News backed off a bit today with an explanation as incredulous as the original charge was ... stupid. But, the network did manage to throw a bit of mud on Obama.

In the interest of full disclosure, my daughter and I dap all the time. But, please don't tell the Department of Homeland Security. We don't want to be mistaken for a terrorist cell.


Blogger 7sky said...

Yes, and touching his nose might have some sinister meaning -- it might be itchy. When are we going to get some substantial issues coverage?

(P.S. Always thought there was some secret message being passed between you & A.)

3:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home