If a Teleprompter Falls in the White House Does It Make a Sound?

Jul 13, 2009 5:32pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller and Jake Tapper report:


If a teleprompter falls in the White House, does it make a sound?


Yes, especially when it’s the President’s teleprompter – or TOTUS as it is often referred to.


Midway through his speech on urban and metropolitan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building this afternoon, one of his two small glass prompters came crashing down, hitting the wood floor and crashing in many pieces. It made quite a ruckus.


“Oh, goodness,” a startled President Obama said. “Sorry about that, guys.”


He then proceeded on with his remarks, “To pull our economy back from the brink, including the largest and most sweeping economic recovery plan in our nation’s history…”

For the rest of the speech the president relied on the one remaining teleprompter, to his right, and notes on his podium to finish his speech.


Shards of glass remained near the president’s feet for the duration of his speech.


The President’s fandom for his nearly omnipresent prompter has become something of a joke, even to him. In May at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner the President poked fun at himself, declaring that he wanted to “speak from the heart” and “off the cuff.”


Two large teleprompters then rose, with a big smile from the President, and laughs from the White House press corps.


Prompter problems also recently plagued Vice President Joe Biden as well. During a commencement address in May to graduates of the Air Force Academy, a gust of wind knocked over his teleprompter.


The VP took the opportunity to crack a joke at his boss’s expense.


“What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken?” Biden joked, “What will he do then?”


Of course, television reporters and anchors never become over-reliant on teleprompters. Never happens. Nope. Never.


-Sunlen Miller and Jake Tapper

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