When President Barack Obama stepped off of Marine One today in New York City on Tuesday for a series of meetings at the United Nations, he chose to salute the two U.S. Marines saluting him at the bottom of the helicopter with a coffee cup in hand in what many have seen as an unprofessional gesture.
By the time Tuesday night came and the evening newscasts of the major broadcast networks aired, two of them omitted the story from their programs. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Both CBS and NBC failed to mention the story in their respective programs while ABC World News Tonight with David Muir mentioned the story for 13 seconds and combined with two teases earlier in the program for a total of 25 seconds of coverage.
Anchor David Muir summarized the story during the program’s “Instant Index” segment (which focuses on short news briefs on what one may consider “watercooler stories”):
Our “Instant Index,” this image of President Obama today here in New York, stepping off Marine One, saluting with a cup in his hand. Tonight, some now calling it the latte salute. You'll remember it was President Reagan who started the traditional of saluting service members back in '81.
The criticism of Obama’s “latte salute” spread widely across social media on Tuesday, with some calling the move disrespectful, sloppy, and rude.
An article on ABC News’s website dismissed Obama’s salute, stating that: “[w]hile it is protocol for U.S. service members in uniform to salute the commander in chief, it’s not required for a civilian president to salute back, military experts say.”
The relevant portions of the transcript that mentioned President Obama and his so-called salute on the September 23 edition of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir are transcribed below.
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir
September 23, 2014
6:44:33 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
DAVID MUIR: A lot of people weighing in today on this salute from President Obama. Take a look there and how have other presidents saluted the troops? We'll look back here tonight.
6:49:04 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
MUIR: And the President and the wave tonight, with a cup of coffee or tea there, but folks are weighing in on the salute.
6:52:33 p.m. Eastern
MUIR: Our “Instant Index,” this image of President Obama today here in New York, stepping off Marine One, saluting with a cup in his hand. Tonight, some now calling it the latte salute. You'll remember it was President Reagan who started the traditional of saluting service members back in '81.