Donald Trump is being praised by his increasingly desperate apologists for turning to the teleprompter in his hour of need. He and they, no doubt, feel it will save his failing campaign.
We all remember Republicans mocking President Obama’s use of a teleprompter. The reason they mocked it is simple: Obama gives good speeches.
In a day and age when oratory is not as highly prized as it once was, Obama’s ability to stir crowds is to be envied, and as Philip Rucker wrote for The Washington Post in 2011, “one of his biggest strengths.”
Of course the teleprompter had to be mocked. As Rucker explained,
“If Obama can’t give a two-minute speech without a screen telling him what to say, the critique goes, it’s a sign that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and can’t be trusted to do his job.”
On the other hand, Donald Trump has been living proof that not using a teleprompter doesn’t exactly prove you know what you’re talking about.
One of Obama’s biggest critics has been Fox News’ Sean Hannity, as hardcore a Trump apologist as can be found. After years of mocking Obama, once joking that the president goes to sleep with “a teleprompter on either side of the bed,” he told Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway that,
“I like [Trump] on prompter myself, my own personal preference,” adding Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated “he found the secret sauce, and he’s still Trump being Trump.”
Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask you this. He gave two speeches, this is what I — this is what I think is the secret sauce.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes.
HANNITY: He only talked about Hillary and Obama, he was on prompter. I like him on prompter myself, my own personal preference. But he stayed on a very powerful Donald Trump message. It was totally him, and he made very powerful points, but he outlined the failures and offered solutions.
In a single sentence Hannity managed to celebrate Trump using a teleprompter to attack Obama and Clinton, both of whom he himself has attacked for using a teleprompter. All without a trace of irony. You have to wonder what sorts of shots they’re giving people at Fox News to immunize their stars from reality.
Trump himself has taken hypocrisy to new and ridiculous heights by surrendering to the teleprompter to control his pie hole. He has mocked Hillary Clinton’s use of a teleprompter, and CBS News noted in an earlier Trump experiment with the teleprompter in June that,
“Trump gave the speech with the assistance of teleprompters, which he has previously derided for being a tool of entrenched politicians,” adding that Trump “has even called for banning them for presidential candidates.”
The Clinton campaign had its revenge Thursday night with a bit of its own teleprompter mockery when Clinton deputy communications director Christina Reynolds said in a statement that “We learned tonight that his speechwriter and teleprompter knows he has much for which he should apologize.”
A teleprompter will no more save Trump than the GOP, and the fact-free Sean Hannity will no more be impressed by a reminder of his own previous mockery of teleprompter use than Trump will be regretful – or saved.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.