The Media's Imaginary Coffee Salute Scandal

Media personalities rushed to scandalize President Obama for saluting Marines while simultaneously holding a coffee cup, criticizing the move as disrespectful -- forgetting former President George W. Bush's habit of saluting service members while holding his dog.

This post has been updated. 

President Obama Salutes Marines While Holding A Cup

Wash. Post: "Obama Salutes A Marine While Holding A Cup." The Washington Post reported that President Obama saluted Marines flanking him as he exited Marine One in New York on Tuesday, with a cup in hand:

Salute[Washington Post9/23/14]

Media Invent A Salute Scandal To Attack Obama

Fox's Sean Hannity Asks Rove: Would Bush Ever Do The “Shocking” Latte Salute? On the September 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity and Karl Rove mocked Obama for “the latte salute,” and Hannity asked, “would President Bush ever do that?” Rove didn't comment on Bush's salutes, but called Obama “insensitive” and asked, “How disrespectful was that?” [Fox News, Hannity9/23/14]

Fox Nation Suggests Obama's Salute Was Disrespectful.'s September 23 “Pic of the Day” featured President Obama's salute and a caption that asked “Was Obama's Salute Disrespectful?” [, 9/23/14]

ABC News: Obama's “Unusual Gesture” Dubbed The “Latte Salute.” ABC News' The Note blog reported on President Obama's salute, calling it an “unusual gesture,” and nicknaming it the “latte salute.” [ABC News, 9/23/14]

Breitbart: “Obama's Disrespectful 'Latte Salute' Shocks And Offends.” Breitbart criticized the president's “sloppy salute,” claiming the gesture shocked and offended people. [Breitbart, 9/23/14]  

Fox Contributor Allen West“Latte Salute” Proves Obama's Low Regard For Military. Fox contributor Allen West tweeted that President Obama's salute “seals the deal,” as proof of the low regard Obama has for the American military:

Allen West[, 9/23/14]

Conservative Pundit Jim Hoft: “Most Degrading Salute Ever.” Conservative pundit Jim Hoft tweeted that President Obama reached “a new low,” calling his salute the “most degrading salute ever”:

Jim Hoft[, 9/23/14]

Fox Radio Host Todd Starnes Calls The Salute “Disrespect.” Fox radio host Todd Starnes tweeted that the president's salute meant “disrespect”:

Todd Starnes[, 9/23/14]

Mark Levin Told Obama: “When You Get Off That Damn Helicopter ... You Salute With Respect. A Nice, Crisp Right Hand Salute.” On the September 23 edition of his radio show, Mark Levin accused Obama of failing to show respect for men and women in the military (emphasis added):

LEVIN: Now let me tell you something, Mr. President. You don't have a son. You never had the son in the military. Your daughters are not in the military, and they're not intending to go into the military. I believe your grandfather, or you had an uncle that served in WWII, and you talked about that endlessly in 2008. But the vast majority of your family has never been in the American military. It's about damn time, almost six years in office, that you show our men and women in the military some respect. Which you do not. And when you get off that damn helicopter, you salute, and you salute with respect. A nice, crisp, right hand salute. Got it? [Cumulus Media Networks, The Mark Levin Show9/23/14]

President Bush Routinely Saluted Service Members While Holding His Dog

President George W. Bush Saluted While Holding His Dog. During his tenure as president, George W. Bush was photographed saluting while holding his Scottish Terrier, Barney:

Barney[, 9/23/14]

LA Times: President Bush Saluted While Holding Barney. On another occasion, the LA Times reported that President Bush saluted service-members holding his dog, Barney, while departing Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base:

Barney2[LA Times2/6/13, Military Times9/23/14]