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Obama's teleprompter hurls itself to an untimely end; the world reels

By Matthew Shaer / July 14, 2009

The scene of the crime at the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building on Monday.

Alex Brandon/AP

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At this point, we're going to have to assume that all teleprompters lean to the right.

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Either that, or Dubya left behind a litter of busted units for number 44 to enjoy. Here's what we do know: it's getting to look like "Final Destination 5: The Teleprompter Editon" around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In March, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen mistakenly read the beginning of a St. Patrick's Day speech from a teleprompter – a speech which was intended for Obama. The next month, in the midst of a major policy talk at the National Academy of Sciences, Obama watched as his teleprompter froze. (He handled the situation coolly, and managed to finish the speech.)

Then in May, Vice President Joseph Biden's teleprompter blew over during his graduation speech at the Air Force Academy, prompting Biden to crack a joke about his boss's reliance on the gadget.

Not again

Yesterday, during an afternoon speech on urban policy, tragedy struck again: Obama's teleprompter fell loudly to the ground, shattering into several pieces. (Evidence in photo above, and video below.)

"Oh my goodness," Obama said, clearly a veteran of teleprompter calamity. "Sorry about that, guys."

Reaction

Today, the Web was alive with news of the Teleprompter's death, from write-ups in the Los Angeles Times to blog coverage in Newsweek. But don't worry. According to the teleprompter's "official" blog, the damage was not fatal:

Today, Big Guy and I were scrolling and speaking to an interest group that supported us, and during the middle of the speech, one of my screens collapsed. Turns out Felix didn't tighten one of my screen's bracket rods, and one of my screens collapsed. It was kind of embarrassing, and the accident looked alot worse than the may have seemed on video.

Get better soon, buddy.

---We'll never break your teleprompter. So follow the Horizons team on Twitter @CSMHorizonsBlog.

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