A short history of the teleprompter
- 2009/09/07 02:48:59
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The teleprompter was invented in the 1950's by an actor. It replaced the cue cards in use at the time- teleprompters allowed the speaker to make eye contact with the camera, whereas cue cards always left the speaker looking slightly off to the side.
Let's list all the presidents who have used teleprompters, shall we?
George W. Bush
George H.W. Bush
Gerald Ford (and in fact, his teleprompter frequently contained cues telling him what physical actions to use along with the words!)
Lyndon B. Johnson
John F. Kennedy
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Harry S. Truman
In fact, *every single President* since the invention of the teleprompter, including Republican heroes like Reagan...except for Richard Nixon. He used notecards and memorization, but he also was not a natural extemporaneous speaker, and prepared painstakingly for every event.
So can we tone down the teleprompter rhetoric? Unless you want to say every President since Truman (except Nixon) was some sort of cheater for not memorizing every word they said, there's no call to be criticizing Obama for using a highly useful tool for public speakers.
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