“Body Language Investigations” Abound

“It’s a body language investigation!”

The IRE should have an award for this. Granted, no shoe leather was harmed (not a scuff!) during this investigation. It doesn’t require the resources of, say, a year-long re-reporting of “Washington’s most famous unsolved crime” or even some Gitmo series. What’s needed is a certain… in-studio gesticulation-judging ability.

We’ve commented before on Bill O’Reilly’s use of a body language “expert,” but until this morning I hadn’t seen O’Reilly’s show promote, specifically, a “body language investigation” (“Is this missing toddler’s grandmother telling the truth? It’s a body language investigation.”)

On MSNBC — not one to ignore, particularly when it comes to presidential candidates, the language of the body — Chuck Todd performed his own such investigation this morning, translating the language spoken by Barack’s body on yesterday’s Meet the Press (as Tom Brokaw worked to get Obama to talk Veepstakes— specifically, Brokaw asked, “Is [Hillary Clinton] on your list?”):

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: [Obama] did not rule out Hillary Clinton.

CHUCK TODD: [Long pause]. Well, no, but that’s one where if you watch the — I’m sorry, if you watch his body language, he certainly did eliminate Hillary Clinton.

BRZEZINSKI: Did he recoil?

TODD: Recoil wasn’t the right word. He flinched a little. It was a weird body language. I sat there and said, okaaaay. He hesitated…

Is Obama telling the truth? It’s a body language investigation…

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.