Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3171: Brooke Baldwin - Blames Vets for Riots? Then Apologizes - Contrasting Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

These two videos are an excellent study in contrast. Yesterday, CNN Anchor Brooke Baldwin, in an interview Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on the subject of the rioting in Baltimore, said, I was talking to a city councilman here last week who was saying, ‘Brooke, these people have to live in the communities. There’s no emotional, or there’s a lack of emotional investment,’ ” Baldwin continued, “And a lot of these young people … and I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities and they’re ready to do battle.

Note Baldwin's hand and arm movement during the dialog in the above video. In body language terminology these are examples of what are termed "Illustrators". Yet they are incongruous in both amplitude and context with her words (As if she was an orchestral conductor and the music is "off" to a bit). This disparity is a strong signal of insincerity. It shows us that Brooke Baldwin either did not believe what she was saying - or that she was being melodramatic and trying to inject (act) sincerity and emphasis when she was not well thought (or fully emotionally present) on the specifics. Either way this is insincere behavior.

Understandably, many have blasted her for making this statement.

Today she apologized for her words (See video below). In contrast to the above AND with vast majority of other apologies of celebrity and public officials - this one was sincere. Note that she did NOT read her apology. An apology that has to be read (and written by lawyers) is not spoken from the heart and not sincere. An unscripted apology, even to an eight-year old "feels right". Both Baldwin's vocal qualities and her choice of words were also sincere.

[For some reason, several months after it was posted, CNN has removed Brooke Baldwin's apology from their YouTube channel. The image captured below however, was taken during this apology.]

From a nonverbal perspective, Ms. Baldwin's central forehead is contracted and directed upward (an Upward CFC). Her inner eyebrows are also vectored up. In addition, Brooke's mouth configuration is consistent with mild pain and sadness. While her facial expression could have been more extreme, this is certainly consistent with sincerity and emotional pain.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3170: Angry mother beats son for participating in Baltimore Riots - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2863: Gary Oldman's Apology on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Sincere or Insincere?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3092: Brian Williams' Apology - Was He Sincere? - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3115: Giuliana Rancic apologizes to Zendaya Coleman comment made regarding her dreadlocks at the Oscars - that she "smells like patchouli oil and weed" on "Fashion Police" - Is She Sincere?