ABC Wonders If You Care About Bow; What White House Calls 'a Lean'

In the brief "Closing Arguments" segment on Wednesday's "Nightline," ABC's Terry Moran credulously repeated the White House contention that Barack Obama didn't bow to the King of Saudi Arabia last week at the G-20 summit. As video of the incident played, Moran narrated, "He sees King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Goes in for the hello. There's a hand shake. Obama bends at the waist. But was it a bow?" [Audio available here.]

He then recited, "The White House called it a lean, pointing out the King's shorter than the President." Inviting people to respond on his Twitter page, Moran wondered, "So, tonight, we ask you, was it a bow and do you care?" A search of @TerryMoran responses on Twitter shows a healthy number of people somewhat incredulous at the host's lack of skepticism. DesigningDi instructed, "Are you blind? Of course he's bowing. Don't play stupid!"

ABC should be given credit for actually showing the video, but the question is, was Moran attempting to dismiss the situation as frivolous and not important or actually investigate its relevance?

A transcript of the brief segment, which aired at 12:04am on April 9, follows:

TERRY MORAN: ["Closing Arguments" logo comes up]: That means it's time for tonight's closing argument. President Barack Obama standing among fellow leaders at the G-20. He sees King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Goes in for the hello. There's a hand shake. Obama bends at the waste. But was it a bow? A breach of presidential protocol when greeting royalty. The White House called it a lean, pointing out the King's shorter than the President. So, tonight, we ask you, was it a bow and do you care? Tell us on the "Nightline" page at ABCNews.com, the "Nightline" Twitter page or at my Twitter page.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org