Skip to comments.ABC Omits Critics of Obama’s ‘Jarring and Inappropriate’ Bow to Emperor;
Posted on 11/16/2009 11:31:20 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
ABCs Good Morning America finally picked up on the deep bow President Obama performed for the Emperor of Japan over the weekend. Co-host Diane Sawyer ran through how other U.S. Presidents have greeted either Emperor Akhito or his father, the late Emperor Hirohito over the years some bowing, some not. Sawyer claimed that Americans are not trained to greet royalty and its just too confusing.
Actually, the government employs lots of experts on culture and protocol to make sure that our presidents are fully trained on what to do when they represent our government overseas which is not to say that all of our presidents perform these duties flawlessly.
Missing from Sawyers run-down is a tidbit that ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted on his Political Punch blog Sunday afternoon. Tapper said he received a note from an old friend whom he described as an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama. According to this expert, it wasnt necessarily incorrect for Obama to bow, but the Presidents forward lurch was jarring and inappropriate.
The expert described the bow as in the form of a first year English teacher trying to impress with Karate Kid-level knowledge of Japanese customs. The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms. He noted also that Japans Kyodo News emphasized footage of Obamas more restrained bow to the Emperors wife, pictures that show the president as dignified.
Heres Sawyer on Monday mornings Good Morning America, as transcribed by the MRCs Scott Whitlock:
DIANE SAWYER: And before we leave the topic of the president's trip overseas I've often thought the hardest subject for every President, what do you do with royalty? We're not trained to greet royalty since 1776. [Onscreen photo of Obama bowing.] The President, as we saw with the emperor, went the full way, lots of comment about that. But we look back over the years and you have, of course, George Bush, former president George Bush Sr. there, head nod. There was Ronald Reagan, hand shake. [Pictures appear onscreen.]
ROBIN ROBERTS: Hand shake. Thats always good.
SAWYER: Richard Nixon went from the waist [Nixon appears to be leaning in.] and Bill Clinton, what was that? [Picture of Clinton clasping his hands, could be clapping.] Kind of yoga thing there. Anyway who can blame them for not knowing what to do? Allegedly, Teddy Roosevelt said once If I see another king I'm going to bite him. It's just too confusing when you're American.
That Teddy Roosevelt quote, by the way, came from a 1994 New York Times Week in Review item that made the rounds this weekend after Obamas bow. If Sawyer read the whole item -- related the controversy over then-President Clintons much milder bow before the Emperor -- she would have learned that theres not that much confusion over American protocol. According to the Times (then): the thou need not bow commandment from the State Department's protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years.
A Washington Post item from that same week (retrieved via Nexis) quoted Clintons top protocol officer talking about the arrangements for Emperor Akihitos state visit to Washington: Americans do not bow, said Chief of Protocol Molly Raiser. The emperor is known to shake hands. This emperor is much more informal than his father was.
Today's New York Times briefly mentions the bow controversy, blaming it on the "conservative American bloggers" who critized Obama. "'During his meetings and his speech in Tokyo, the President observed protocol and enhanced the status of American interests in Japan and across Asia,' said an administration official traveling with the President, who spoke on the condition of anonymity according to protocol. 'Those who suggest otherwise are way off base and only looking to score political points.'"
Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.
In case you have not seen it, here is the youtube compilation of greeting the emperor.
This bow was a coverup to distract us from remembering THE bow, the one to the Muzzie King, the one that was HEARTFELT.
Maybe there’s an upside-can we teach BO hara-kiri?
Our training as Americans on this issue started in 1776.
AMERICANS DO NOT BOW TO ROYALTY.
It is as simple as that.
yes, it is all just too confusing
who among us has not been confronted with the dilemma of how an American citizen is to greet a Japanese emperor or Saudi king?
I like our treasured FReeper Potlatch’s version bettah...
Americans are not trained to greet royalty and its just too confusing.
Yeah...too confusing...let’s put him in charge of HEALTH CARE...
Bummer looks like his back went out. With everyone else there was at most only a slight respectful lean, or in one case a bit of a curtsy.
“AMERICANS DO NOT BOW TO ROYALTY.”
Agreed. Which is why it was OK for 0bama to bow to the Emperor.
Thank you so much Ern, I appreciate your nice comment!
Sawyer as all the MSN are democrat whores.
Proves that the Obama administration lied when they claimed that Barack was NOT bowing to the Saudis.
***Americans are not trained to greet royalty and its just too confusing.
Yeah...too confusing...lets put him in charge of HEALTH CARE...***
Hehe. Good one.
Obama is bowing to his superiors and expects us to bow to him.
If Obama had actually bitten a foreign leader I would have a lot more respect for him.
What’s Barack going to say on December 7th, the anniversary of when Japan dropped that bomb on Pearl Harbor.
I’m not POTUS but am an American and it’s easy for me-—I would never acknowledge a title ...not even to the Queen of England, nor I would ever kiss a ring.
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