Teasing a segment on the “gesture everyone seems to interpret differently,” Fox News' E.D. Hill said: “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? ... We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.” In the ensuing discussion with a “body language expert,” Hill referred to the “Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound,” but at no point did she explain her earlier reference to “a terrorist fist jab.”
During the June 6 edition of Fox News' America's Pulse, host E.D. Hill teased an upcoming discussion by saying, “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.” In the ensuing discussion with Janine Driver -- whom Hill introduced as “a body language expert” -- Hill referred to the “Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound,” adding that “people call it all sorts of things.” Hill went on to ask Driver: “Let's start with the Barack and Michelle Obama, because that's what most people are writing about -- the fist thump. Is that sort of a signal that young people get?” At no point during the discussion did Hill explain her earlier reference to “a terrorist fist jab.”
From the June 6 edition of Fox News' America's Pulse:
HILL: A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.
HILL: First, the president of America chest bumps an Air Force graduate. Next, Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound -- people call it all sorts of things -- but what happened to the old pat on the back? A handshake? A hug? Today's body language and what we can glean from it. Janine Driver is a body language expert and joins us now. Janine, thanks for being back with us.
DRIVER: Hi, E.D. Nice to be here.
HILL: OK, tell me about this whole thing. Let's start with the Barack and Michelle Obama, because that's what most people are writing about -- this fist thump. Is that sort of a signal that young people get?
DRIVER: I'm sure it is, without a doubt. And it's a connection that they have together. It's something just personal between the two of them, like “I'm proud of you.” You know, my husband and I, if we're walking down the street and he's proud of me, we have our own little method. He squeezes my hand three times, which means, “I love you,” and I squeeze his four times, saying, “I love you, too.” It's something intimate between them, but I'm sure young people in this country are going to kind of like them kind of representing a little bit.
HILL: Uh-huh. Has our communication style changed as a culture in America?
DRIVER: Oh --
HILL: Will we have more of this nonverbal communication?
DRIVER: Absolutely, E.D. I mean, just even look in business women -- we're wearing suits today, pants suits. The generation from my mother's mother's era versus today -- it's always evolving and always changing, and that's just part of what we see. Obama -- it is kind of a hip gesture that they're making there with that little fist bump, and it's just a connection. It's something personal between them. You know, the mistake that a lot of body language experts make, E.D., is they say, “OK, arms are crossed, so it means you're bored and disinterested.”
DRIVER: They pigeonhole one gesture into a certain meaning. That's not -- that's not -- that's unscientific. It's unscientific. The best thing to say is, “Obama, is there any reason why you guys did that? What did it mean?” And he'll tell you --
DRIVER: -- because we know what we're doing and what it means to others.
HILL: OK, let me ask you about this then, because I -- you know, George Bush is a little older than Barack Obama, and he did one of these -- look at that. Look at that, folks. Stop. Turn around. Look at your TV screen. He's doing that chest bump. Now I see that in the end zone in NFL games after somebody scores a major touchdown. I don't normally expect to see the president of the United States doing it. What does that mean?
DRIVER: E.D., you know, it's funny. When I saw these pictures, and your producers sent them to me today, I really cracked up laughing. You know, I -- these pictures with George Bush are being taken -- the president, George Bush -- are being taken out of context. He was there at the Air Force Academy. These people were graduating, these cadets, and he said, “What can I do? How can I represent you, and acknowledge your amazing effort, and what you're doing for this country?” So, sometimes -- one person said, “Call my mom and say, you know, you're proud of me to your mom.” Someone -- another picture he's doing the Heisman with someone. Another one he's making a muscle with this woman.
HILL: You know what?
DRIVER: This cadet wanted that. This cadet said, “This is what I want.” And the president did it.
HILL: If you can survive those presidential races, I guess you deserve to do whatever you feel like doing. Janine Driver --
DRIVER: E.D., it establishes rapport. That's the bottom line. The president's establishing rapport. He's becoming more like them. I give him a thumbs up for these gestures.
HILL: OK. Janine Driver, thank you very much.