Tuesday, June 19, 2012


THE BELTWAY MEDIA HAS REACHED EVER GREATER DEPTHS OF CONTEMPTIBLE. All day today, driven among other whispers by a chronology of Obama-Putin JPGs in Psychology Today, the raspy whispers spread like wildfire among the ranks when Presidents Obama and Putin emerged from their lengthy mano-a-mano confab. Chuckles Toddy and his 12 dwarves breathlessly reported alarming "body language" signs between the two leaders with adjectives like "chilly" and "icy." The hilarious Chuckles Toddy earnestly observed that the usually unflappable Jay Carney was getting testy about all the "body language" WH press corps queries.

His remote buddies kept egging Chuckles to jump in the pool behind him (my thoughts exactly) to which he demurred, claiming "work." (Hey man, it's Cancun!) Meanwhile, Psychology Today actually mocked much of the alarmist "body language" nonsense, which was kind of cool. Although, the article got into the Beltway Bots' mood when it came to reading Obama. The Beltway Bots also deliberately misreported the lack of "eye contact" (Chuckles made a little drama of it), which was patently FALSE (see below and PT article). Here's Rachel Maddow driving the final stake into this story, with great context and unflattering contrast between the Commander-in-Chief butting heads with his Russian counterpart, and the guy who wants his job wearing an apron and rolling pastry to make cookies. Oops.

Two things. In all these pictures, the ALPHA MALE is NOT Mr. shirtless Russian presidential sex symbol — President Obama's the DUDE in the so-called "body language" photos. As the PT article asserts, President Obama is the more territorial of the two. His jaw is set, his look is steely, and the American flag in the backdrop framing him gives the President a pretty awesome authoritative power look. Following the handshake President Obama gave Mr. Putin a little tap on the arm with his right hand. To me that spoke volumes, e.g., "no need to bitch and pout, Mr. President. This is non-negotiable, capisce?"

And here's the coup de gras in Rachel's report, which speaks to the advantage (sometimes) of batting cleanup in the 24/5 news cycle program format. Remember that Russian cargo ship carrying  attack helicopters headed for Syria, which provoked vehement protests from the U.S. and its allies? Well, hours after the Obama-Putin meeting, the ship turned back. Whether it was some sweet nothing the President whispered to Putin or the cancelling of its insurance by a UK company we can't say, but when I saw President Obama's locked jaw and Putin's unhappy look I couldn't help thinking of the Cuban Missile Crisis and President Kennedy standing up to the Soviets, as Russian cargo ships laden with missiles headed for Cuba, and saying for all intents and purposes: No pasarĂ¡n!

Hail to the Chief, baby.

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