Right-wing media are attacking President Obama as disrespectful for saluting Marines while holding a coffee cup. The attacks come even though President Bush saluted service members while holding his dog.
Since the president took office, conservative media have repeatedly seized on petty minutiae unrelated to policy issues to attack the president. These supposed scandals include Obama ordering a burger with mustard, purportedly "ogling" a young woman at a G8 summit, decorating the White House Christmas tree with inappropriate ornaments, and using a "chintzy" paper clip on a jobs proposal.
Here's a look back at some of the silliest and short-lived Obama administration scandals.
1. The time Obama ordered a burger with mustard.
In May 2009, conservatives criticized Obama as an elitist because he ordered a burger with "spicy mustard" or "Dijon mustard." Fox News host Sean Hannity said "man of the people" Obama ordered a "fancy burger" with a "very special condiment" and ran the caption "President Poupon." Radio host Mark Steyn asserted Obama is trying "to enlighten us" with his mustard order. And radio host Laura Ingraham asked of Obama: "What kind of man orders a cheeseburger without ketchup but Dijon mustard? ... The guy orders a cheeseburger without ketchup? What is that?"
2. When Obama dared to use a "chintzy" binder clip.
When President Obama presented his American Jobs Act in September 2011, he held a physical copy of the plan accompanied by a paper clip, which conservatives attacked as "chintzy."
The New York Post said the plan was "bound by chintzy fastener," and expanded: "President Obama's plan to reverse the nation's staggering jobless rate is held together with a paper clip! 'Here it is,' Obama said, waving a copy of his jobs plan during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden yesterday, an enormous paper clip binding the pages together." Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy remarked of the presentation: "Hundreds of billions in tax hikes and new spending bound together with a chintzy clip. Look at that thing." The Five's Greg Gutfeld said: "You make a good point about them scrambling because if you notice, that was not in a binder. It was held together by a paperclip ... Come on, this is your jobs bill. That deserves a large shiny binder. Instead, it's with a little clip."
3. When conservatives claimed that Obama was "checking out" a young woman at a G8 photo shoot.
In July 2009, a photo appeared of President Obama purportedly "checking out" a young woman at a G8 summit photo shoot. However the still photo was not accurate as "viewing video of the event makes clear that Obama was attempting to navigate high steps, while reaching back to help someone behind him do so as well." Fox News host Greta Van Susteren stated: "Yes, a still picture can lie. And this one does. The president was not [checking out the young woman], well, we'll let you see for yourself. The lying picture that's going around the web."
Despite video evidence to the contrary, conservatives, including Van Susteren's colleagues, attacked President Obama. Fox & Friends aired a caption stating as fact that Obama took a "sneak peek" at a "beauty's backside," while Fox Nation ran headlines such as "Busted?" and "Girl Obama Was Checking Out is 17?" The New York Post ran the headline, "TAIL TO THE CHIEF" and claimed Obama was "getting Yankee Doodle randy." And Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce reacted to the "ogling" by claiming "disgusting" Michelle Obama has "confidence and self-esteem issue. And maybe now we know why."
4. The time conservatives lost it over White House Christmas tree decorations.
During Christmas 2009, conservatives attacked the White House over Christmas tree decorations. Breitbart's BigGovernment suggested the White House was making "some political statements" by having "Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree." Fox News' Special Report eatured the "interesting ornaments" on its "Political Grapevine" segment. And the Washington Times linked to and quoted an entry on the conservative NewsReal blog attacking the White House for choosing "a lovely ornament featuring China's mass murderer, Chairman Mao, to adorn our national Christmas tree at the White House."
In reality, Fox News itself noted that the "first lady's office says local community groups were asked to decorate hundreds of ornaments but that they are unaware of these specific decorations."
5. The widespread conservative "shock" and "outrage" over Obama putting his feet on his desk.
Pictures have shown President Obama putting his feet on his desk in the White House. That has led to "shock, outrage and mocking criticism" from conservatives who feel the pictures confirm their view of Obama as disrespecting the office of the presidency. Despite the outrage, President Bush was also photographed with his feet on the desk.
Fox Nation ran a 2010 picture with the caption, "Is Pres. Obama disrespecting the Oval Office?" Glenn Beck said he was outraged by the 2010 photo and suggested Obama "should leave office" for showing such disrespect. A 2013 WND column wondered, "Obama Sending Muslim Subtle Message?"
6. When Obama happened to be golfing during a small earthquake.
When a 5.8 earthquake hit the East Coast, conservatives attacked President Obama for being on the golf course.
Fox News host Steve Doocy said: "So there you got panic, panic, and where was the president? He was golfing." Washington Times editor Emily Miler tweeted: "Where Was Obama During The DC Earthquake? Golfing Of Course!" And conservative blog Ace of Spades wrote: "Obama Was ... On The Golf Course When The Earthquake Struck ... This SCOAMF Doesn't Know Shit About Jack."
CNN reported that "No major injuries or extensive damage were reported after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake."