Menu

OPINION

Obama's Dirty Little Secret

By Noel SheppardAssociate Editor, NewsBusters.org

If former President George W. Bush had brought a teleprompter with him whenever he spoke at a public event, would the mainstream media -- who were always looking for new ways to depict him as a nincompoop -- have used it to prove their point?

If the answer is "Yes," then why isn't President Barack "Have Teleprompter, Will Travel" Obama being so eviscerated?

Our new president views his teleprompter much like the old American Express slogan: "Don't leave home without it!"
Before you answer, consider what Politico's Carol E. Lee reported Thursday:

President Barack Obama doesn't go anywhere without his TelePrompter.

The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president's prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks. ... Obama's reliance on the teleprompter is unusual -- not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small.

Wait a minute! Isn't this the most intelligent man in the world? Can't he memorize his speeches -- regardless of how brief -- like anybody else that engages in public oratory?

Apparently not. Just this morning, when Obama addressed Police Academy graduates in Columbus, Ohio, although he spoke for only about ten minutes, his trusty teleprompter was right by his side preventing him from making a boo boo.

Of course, as Lee pointed out, this crutch was quite obvious during the campaign:

After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii.

For those of you who have forgotten, here's candidate Obama speaking without his safety-net at a town hall meeting in Bristol, Virginia, last July:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDJSVPAx8xcfs=1]

That should tell you why our new president views his teleprompter much like the old American Express slogan: "Don't leave home without it!!!"

Yet, possibly more disturbing are the lengths the media are going to in order to hide Obama's insecurity from the public according to Politico:

His use of the teleprompter makes work tricky for the television crews and photographers trying to capture an image of the president announcing a new Cabinet secretary or housing plan without a pane of glass blocking his face.

Do you think media would have tried to capture former President Bush's image without a pane of glass blocking his face if he brought a teleprompter everywhere he went? Or would they have done their best to make him look foolish for doing so?

Yes, those are rhetorical questions.

Noel Sheppard is associate editor of the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. He welcomes feedback at nsheppard@newsbusters.org.

Noel Sheppard is associate editor of the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.org. He welcomes feedback at NewsBustersNoel@gmail.com.