Fox News' "body language expert" accused Clinton of exhibiting "evil laughter"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On the September 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during the weekly "Body Language" segment, which, according to host Bill O'Reilly, "has been switched to Mondays because of popular demand," Fox News body language expert Tonya Reiman asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) exhibited "evil laughter" during her recent Fox News Sunday interview with host Chris Wallace. After playing video clips of Clinton laughing at different moments during the interview, O'Reilly asserted: "Well, she looked like she's having a swell time." Reiman replied: "Oh, contrived, contrived. That was the first word that came to mind." O'Reilly then asked: "[Y]ou mean, those laughs weren't genuine?" to which Reiman responded: "I saw some evil laughter." "Evil?" O'Reilly asked. "Evil laughter," Reiman repeated.

During the show, Reiman elaborated on her "evil laughter" conclusion: "[Y]ou know, just the way her face contorted -- the different shifts in her face -- and then the length of time that you laugh and smile. You can kind of tell a lot from the length of time that someone branches out with a smile. Real, genuine smiles are quick. They flash. She went into a full body laughter, which is bizarre for this kind of an interview."

Reiman also asserted that Clinton "used" laughter to "lighten the situation." O'Reilly then stated: "[M]ost people know that's not a sincere laugh" and asked Reiman, "Don't they?" She replied: "Yeah," and referring to the video clip of Clinton's September 23 Fox News Sunday appearance, said: "The first smile that she gave, you can see that it was more genuine, because I think she was a little bit surprised and actually starts to chuckle. You can tell that because her eyebrows dipped down. When you see someone's eyebrows dipping down, you can kind of assume that that's a genuine smile. Throughout the next few laughters, I can get the impression that those are not as genuine."

Reiman has previously given her assessment of Clinton's body language, as Media Matters for America has documented. On the January 30 O'Reilly Factor, also during the "Body Language" segment, O'Reilly stated that "Hillary just look[ed] like a zombie" during part of President Bush's State of the Union address. Reiman then analyzed Clinton's body language during a January 28 speech in Davenport, Iowa, in which Clinton responded to a question by saying: "What, in my background, equips me to deal with evil and bad men?" While watching video of Clinton making the joke, Reiman said: "Watch how she sways back and forth. It's almost childlike, the way she moves back and forth." Reiman then said that Clinton was in a "little-girl posture," while O'Reilly added: "Right. 'I'm bad, I'm bad.' "

From the September 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, our weekly "Body Language" segment, which has been switched to Mondays because of popular demand -- with us now, body language expert Tonya Reiman. And before we get to the sound clips -- Ahmadinejad, what did you pick up from his appearance today?

REIMAN: You know, when I watched him, it was interesting. He comes across as trying to be very powerful, with the finger pointing, and the shifting in position, but what I noticed during this very short clip was that he constantly licked his lips, so he's trying to come across as dominant, but he is, in fact, quite nervous.

O'REILLY: OK. Hillary Clinton appears on Fox News Sunday, and you might remember that with Chris Wallace and her husband, Bill Clinton, had a little dust-up. So it was interesting that Mrs. Clinton appeared. Roll the tape.

[begin video clip]

WALLACE: Why do you and the president have such a hyper-partisan view of politics?

CLINTON: Well, Chris, if you had walked even a day in our shoes over the last 15 years, I'm sure you'd understand.

[...]

WALLACE: Let me ask you about health care because you did come out --

CLINTON: Yeah, I'd love for you to ask me about health care.

WALLACE: You did come up with a new plan this week. Don't be a stranger, and please send my best to the president.

CLINTON: I'm sure he'll be happy to hear that, Chris. Thank you.

[end video clip]

O'REILLY: Well, she looked like she's having a swell time.

REIMAN: Oh, contrived, contrived. That was the first word that came to mind.

O'REILLY: They -- you mean, those laughs weren't genuine?

REIMAN: They -- some of those -- I saw some evil laughter.

O'REILLY: Evil?

REIMAN: Evil laughter.

O'REILLY: Whoa! How did -- what's evil laughter?

REIMAN: Yeah, you know, just the way her face contorted -- the different shifts in her face -- and then the length of time that you laugh and smile. You can kind of tell a lot from the length of time that someone branches out with a smile. Real, genuine smiles are quick. They flash. She went into a full body laughter, which is bizarre for this kind of an interview.

O'REILLY: Yeah. So, you're not -- you thought that the laughter was -- why would she use that?

REIMAN: Like, look at that look. Right there, it was almost annoyed amusement.

O'REILLY: But why would she use laughter? Why would she use that?

REIMAN: To lighten the situation; to make herself look like she's --

O'REILLY: But it -- but I have to agree with you. I don't think most people -- see, right there. She looks fine. She looks fine.

REIMAN: Yeah. And then she bursts out, too.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but most people know that's not a sincere laugh.

REIMAN: Yeah.

O'REILLY: Don't they?

REIMAN: Yeah. See, she did have certain points. The first smile that she gave, you can see that it was more genuine, because I think she was a little bit surprised and actually starts to chuckle. You can tell that because her eyebrows dipped down. When you see someone's eyebrows dipping down, you can kind of assume that that's a genuine smile. Throughout the next few laughters, I can get the impression that those are not as genuine.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Tonya Reiman
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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