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Saturday, June 7, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Ok, on Tuesday June 3rd, as Obama was about to give his first speech as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, he and his wife Michele engaged in a fist bump:

The move did stand out to me at the time, but not for any other reason than it was certainly a somewhat “younger” move than one was likely to see from the 71 year-old John McCain. It also struck me as a moment of real intimacy between the spouses that was far more genuinely spontaneous than the Al and Tipper Gore lip lock at the 2024 convention.1

I figured we’d be seeing it over and over, as it is the kind of thing that cable news loves.

What I did not expect was that it would be considered somehow confusing or alien to the broader culture.

Nonetheless, here we have E.D. Hill getting all confused about over at America’s Pulse yesterday.

Here’s the intro to the segment featuring “body language expert” Janine Driver:

A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?2The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We’ll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.

The video of the whole segment:

Ok, really: how ridiculous is that tease? The fist bump has been around for quite some time, so I am not sure what the mystery here is that needs analyzing. Beyond that, “terrorist fist jab?” You have got to be kidding me. And it is rather problematic given past incidences like “Barack Hussein Obama” and the whole “he’s a secret Muslim” business that Hill would go with that description of what the move might mean to people.

Yes, the whole thing is such a mystery to the American public and so tied to terrorism, that it was a prominent part of a Bud Lite commercial a year or so ago. Note that the commercial only works if it is assumed that the bump has become passé–meaning that it was assumed that the fist bump had already penetrated the basic pop culture consciousness:

The even more hilarious aspect of the whole thing is the possibility that it etiology can be found in the Wonder Twins. Yes, the Wonder Twins. From Time (A Brief History of the Fist Bump)

Some claim the act of knuckle-bumping began in the 1970s with NBA players like Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim the fist bump emerged off the court, citing the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna-Barbera superhero cartoon The Superfriends, who famously touched knuckles and cried “Wonder Twin powers, activate!’ before morphing into animals or ice sculptures. One might also credit germaphobics for the fist bump’s invention. Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel reportedly adopted the gesture as a friendly way to avoid his contestants’ germs.

The Wonder Twins were annoying, yes; terrorists they were not (and at least they weren’t Wendy and Marvin).

May I also note that I saw Larry David fist bump Jeff in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (two white, middle-aged Jewish guys, I would note. Not exactly al Qaeda).

h/t: Media Matters.

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  1. If anything it was a “you did it, now go get ‘em!” move. []
  2. Emphasis mine. []
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    1. [...] Michelle gave a fist bump most people with lives shrugged. But some saw something perhaps sinister. Read Political scientist Steven Taylor’s look at this “issue.” P.S. Even if a talking (empty) head on a news network uses it to hype an upcoming segment, it [...]

      Pingback by Around The Campaign 2024 Sphere June 8, 2024 — Sunday, June 8, 2024 @ 10:23 am

    2. This bizarre paranoia about the Obamas reminds me of the Clinton Campaign’s poring over young Barak’s kindergarten records.
      It misses the point. His tolerance for viciously fascist advisors and his willigness to throw them overboard only when they get attention that detracts from his aura, for that matter, to pander to anyone at all, seem a bigger deal. Getting bogged down in paranoiac mini-ball seems the wrong way to go for the right.
      But who am I to judge? This sort of thing worked so very well for Hillary, after all, and her advisors were the world’s smartest, right?

      Comment by Jenda — Monday, June 9, 2024 @ 10:22 am

    3. Dr. Taylor, get ready for a tidal wave of such crap from the MSM, as they desperately try to stop the Democratic Party. They played this game against Bill Clinton and Kerry. And from various psycho commenters (examples not needed).

      Comment by Barry — Tuesday, June 10, 2024 @ 12:52 pm

    4. [...] a follow-up to my post on the Obama’s fist pound and the discussion of which my E.D. Hill on Fox’s American [...]

      Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Revisiting the “Terrorist Fist Jab” — Wednesday, June 11, 2024 @ 11:06 am

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