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article imageConflicting Reports About Sarah Palin's Teleprompter Problems

By Susan Duclos     Sep 4, 2008 in Politics
Sarah Palin's speech last night at the Republican Convention was loved, hated, praised, criticized, some became enthused, "alarmed" and some were described as "panicked." Quite a variety of reactions, then news comes that her teleprompter malfunctioned.
While crawling through the Internet forums, media outlets,and blogs from the right and the left, I have seen a mixed reaction over the speech that Sarah Palin delivered last night at the Republican National Convention.
Some loved her speech, some hated it, some, like The New Republic, claimed that the emails they were receiving were "alarmed" and some were "panicked". Others criticized her speech not liking her attacks on Barack Obama, others quoted those same attacks as why they think she delivered what was expected. Slate thinks Democrats should be scared and CNN reports that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid's spokesman thought Palin was "shrill and sarcastic."
The reactions go on and on as the day moves along.
Another meme roaming the web and even some media outlets, is the news that during the convention last night, first with Rudy Giuliani and then with Sarah Palin, the teleprompter that politicians use so handily these days, malfunctioned at times, leaving both speakers with certain moments of reading hard copy text, or outright winging the prepared speeches.
Red State first came out with the meme, stating "According to sources close to the McCain campaign, the teleprompter continued scrolling during applause breaks. As a result, half way through the speech, the speech had scrolled significantly from where Governor Palin was in the speech. The malfunction also occurred during Rudy Giuliani's speech, explaining his significant deviations from his speech."
Then when trying to confirm or debunk that assertion, I saw that others were told the same thing, with the Wall Street Journal reporter, Laura Meckler, who was at the convention saying the teleprompter malfunctioned and scrolled too quickly through applause and the first two lines of each paragraph after the applause scrolled up too far and were out of sight by the time she was supposed to deliver them.
Sarah Palin walking onto the stage at the Republican Convention
Sarah Palin walking onto the stage at the Republican Convention
by NewsHour
image:43059:9::0
Meckler reports that Palin did have a hard copy of the speech in front of her but it hadn't been finalized to the final version of the prepared speech.
One moment Meckler mentions is when the crowd, holding up signs, blocked the teleprompter from view, Palin ad-libbed the quick joke about the differences between a hockey mom and a pittbull being lipstick.
The National Ledger says that NRO reported that MSNBC had confirmed there was a teleprompter problem, although not the extent of what that problem was.
Fox News, via television, has mentioned the speech being delivered with the aid of a teleprompter with another pundit later saying that same teleprompter failed.
Jonathon Martin from The Politico blog says he was there and he remembers glancing at the teleprompter and claims it did not break down or malfunction.
It was the speech to which millions were waiting to see and since the reports from those there, and the news outlets, are conflicting, we may never know if the teleprompter malfunctioned or not, or if Palin simply strayed from the script when seeing it would be more effective.
I do not think the reactions from either side of the aisle are going to change based on whether she winged portions of her speech or if she followed along the dotted line.
If the teleprompter malfunctioned, it was not noticeable to the crowd nor by watching a second run through of the video. (Video found here)
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