The “Latte Salute” is a Latte of Crap

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Earlier this week President of the United States Barack Obama made a fatal error. He drank a cup of coffee and saluted our troops…with the same hand. This incited media coverage somewhere on par with a natural disaster, or maybe an assassination attempt. In fact, some members of the media covered what has now been dubbed the “latte salute” scandal as though it actually was an assassination — namely the assassination of American patriotism.

Jon Stewart’s takedown of Fox News’ coverage of the “latte salute” was pretty epic:


Stewart is 100 percent on point. But I think we can take this one step further. You see, this near- 24/7 news coverage of our President is relatively new. For hundreds of years, we didn’t have that kind of access, ability to record actions, or quite frankly, the desire to compulsively stalk our commander-in-chief, waiting for him to do something as innocuous as juggle a cup of coffee while saluting. The fact that we cover every moment of what the President does is literally insane. No one can hold up to those standards.

So what about some of our older Presidents? Did they ever do anything that was weird, or disrespectful, or embarrassing? Well, yes. A lot. So in honor of the “latte salute” headlines, I’m going to go over some of our past presidents’ indiscretions. And for some good measure, I’ll juxtapose those facts with some real headlines about Obama. This is going to be fun guys. And by fun, I of course mean infuriatingly depressing.


Who: Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. He must have been the epitome of patriotism, right?

What he did: He almost sparked an international incident by not dressing up enough to greet the British Ambassador. He wore old clothes, and carpet slippers.

And a Real Fox News Headline: Obama Insults Britain Again with a shameless nomination of top donor as US Ambassador to London.

Same thing, right?


Who: Andrew Jackson, a.k.a. Old Hickory. Military vet and arguably one of our most bad-ass Presidents.

What he did: Before becoming President, Andrew Jackson took part in a duel and killed a man named Charles Dickinson (not the author). Dickinson had accused him of cheating on a horse racing bet and insulted his wife. During this duel, he apparently acted with very little honor, shooting Dickinson in what was a violation of dueling rules. This had almost no effect on his campaign for President.

And a Real Brietbart Headline: Ayers and Obama: What the Media Hid. Because a potential relationship with a bad guy is so much worse than killing someone during a duel.

Historical Bonus Fact: Our former Vice President, Aaron Burr, actually killed someone in a duel too. The man he killed was Alexander Hamilton, one of our founding fathers. And Burr was Vice President at the time.

Who: President Gerald Ford, Republican replacement for President Nixon.

What he did: President Ford was an avid swimmer. He used to conduct press conferences while swimming laps.

Actual Fox News Headline: Obama’s golf trip after Foley press conference seems ‘disconnected,’ says loved ones.

My point here isn’t to bash Fox News and conservative media, it really isn’t. If there were a Republican in the Oval Office right now, MSNBC and other liberal media sources would probably be doing very similar coverage. And it’s not even that all conservative media does this — Bill O’Reilly actually defended Obama’s latte-burdened salute. My point is that the Latte Salute is ridiculous. It’s a symptom of a disease in this country. That disease is our obsession with analyzing every single thing that our President does. The man has to deal with international crises in the form of ISIS, Ebola, and the Ukraine. That’s on top of our epidemic of school shootings, a useless Congress, and everything else that’s happening right here in the U.S. But we’re fixated on the fact that he held a cup of coffee over his head once while saluting. Come on people, get a damn hobby.

And for the record, I wrote most of this post holding a cup of coffee.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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