Jon Stewart on Latte-Gate

Jon Stewart was both funny and filled with appropriate indignation at the Fox News orgy of faux outrage over President Obama saluting with a coffee cup in his hand. It’s bullshit like this that makes me want to beat Sean Hannity with the corpse of Eric Bolling. Yes, by all means, flip the fuck out about something totally irrelevant.

Clearly this is the gravest crisis since Obama wore a tan suit a few weeks ago, which was the biggest crisis since he put dijon mustard on a hamburger. Anyone who thinks this is anything other than focus-group generated bullshit, feel free to go fuck yourself, and that goes for all of the slack-jawed dumbasses who watch that shit and lap it up while Lee Greenwood plays in the background.

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  • Chiroptera

    Personally, I don’t think that the civilian President should be saluting members of the armed forces at all.

  • alanb

    Personally, I don’t think that the civilian President should be saluting members of the armed forces at all.

    From one of the articles on the incident:

    Reuters reported that Ronald Reagan started the military salute in 1981 and added:

    “Reagan’s decision raised eyebrows at the time. Dwight Eisenhower, a former five-star general, did not return military salutes while president. Nor had other presidents. John Kline, then Reagan’s military aide and now a Minnesota congressman, advised him that it went against military protocol for presidents to return salutes. Kline said in a 2004 op-ed piece in The Hill that Reagan ultimately took up the issue with Gen. Robert Barrow, then commandant of the Marine Corps. Barrow told Reagan that as commander in chief of the armed forces, he was entitled to offer a salute — or any sign of respect he wished — to anyone he wished, Kline wrote, adding he was glad for the change. Every president since Reagan has followed that practice, even those with no military experience.”

  • Michael Heath

    This faux-controversy also comes in the form of a conservative viral email. My newspaper this morning had an article from one of the fact-checker sites covering that email. The email has two pictures, one where he’s carrying the coffee cup and the other where the president is de-planing while talking on his mobile.

    According the fact-checker article, the email’s author/editor asserts that these photos proves that the President hates the U.S. military. Consider both the delusional idiocy and lack of concern regarding U.S. interests of those who receive these emails and forward them. While I’m all for lambasting Sean Hannity and Fox News, let’s not forget they don’t exist in their present form if there weren’t an audience for it.

    And what institutions develops the type of thinking open to such idiocy and nihilism? Let’s not forget them either.

  • Evan Brehm

    The most embarrassing thing about the ridiculous dijon mustard controversy from a few years ago was the person who rose a stink about it. It wasn’t some obscure Tea Party blogger or the usual Fox News blowhard. It was William A. Jacobson, a law professor at the IVY LEAGUE Cornell University.

  • kantalope

    Even if he was not a civilian; therefore not required to salute (see Eisenhower) at least for Marines anyway, he should not have saluted because he did not have a hat (cover) and he had things in both hands meaning also, no saluting required. He could have switched the coffee to his other hand where it looks like he had his jacket over his arm but since he is the senior and not the junior no one would say anything.

    His real crime for Faux News is Presidenting while black and/or Democratic.

  • celcus

    I remember something I read that sums this sort of thing up pretty well:

    “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.” – Geroge Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • blf

    [Obama’s] real crime for Faux News is Presidenting while black and/or Democratic.

    And not being a stooge controlled by Rupert Murdoch.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Actually, I do think that this is more than just focus-group generated bullshit. I think this is weapons-grade, desperation-induced bullshit. Do not use as fertilizer, because only noxious weeds will grow.

  • lorn

    The president is Commander-in-chief and as such head of the entire military. But also, and by design, the president is never part of the military. He or She is a always a civilian. Even if they have prior military experience and high rank. As such the president is never under military control or military rules.

    There is no rule that president can, or cannot, salute. Nor is there any rule as to how it should be done. I suspect that any show of appreciation is savored by the people in the military. Just making an effort counts for a lot.

    In this case, looking at the videos, the president’s left hand looks occupied doing something around the vest area. A situation that precluded his transfer of the coffee cup. It was clearly not his most graceful moment but the smile and good humor carry him through and I suspect all the military personnel present take it as it was meant, a show of appreciation ungracefully delivered. Of course, the talking heads on the right, always ready to find fault, didn’t like it and felt insulted for all the military personnel who, for the most part, didn’t feel particularly insulted.

    It also might be pointed out that the vast majority of those talking the loudest have never served and have nobody in their immediate family who served. Of those few who served and objected all of them are people making their money serving up right-wing talking points and objecting to everything Obama has ever done.

  • Dark Jaguar

    So what did presidents do before Reagan? I’m genuinely curious now.

  • tommykey

    One of my friends on Facebook ranted about this. She openly expressed her hope that someone would assassinate Obama for this. Because her recently deceased father was a marine, it obviously pushed an emotional button for her. But I responded to her “Seriously? He’s been president for nearly 6 years and this is the first time he ever did that.” I pointed out that we don’t know what happened on the helicopter before he stepped out. Maybe he had just woken up from a nap and was groggy, or he was mentally preoccupied because he was discussing something of importance moments earler. Of course, she didn’t care. Not saluting a Marine the way she expects one to is a death penalty offense in her mind.

    What this issue does point out though is that President Obama has a perception problem among a certain segment of the population. If you already think that Obama hates the military, then a stupid incident like this just feeds into it.