Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Immediately after Sarah Palin's convention speech, right-wingers floated a story -- soon picked up by Drudge -- that her teleprompter broke down midway through the speech and the gutsy gal was reciting the speech from memory. Politico's Jonathan Martin -- who was there and could see the teleprompter -- shot that story down immediately. He said flatly, "The teleprompter did not break."

That should have been the end of that. But hey, when has the McCain campaign let the truth stand in the way of a good story?

Now Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper has published a piece under the byline of John McCain's brother Joe, in which this tall tale is revived, with a few new details. First, Joe McCain tells us that the pit bull/lipstick joke was an ad lib. Then he writes:

...In fact she went off book so much, and so far, that the teleprompter operator went half mad trying to find out where he had messed up: national convention teleprompter operators who get lost are sometimes hanged from the rafters by irate speakers ... er ... readers. Finally, just before taking his cyanide capsule, he realised his text and her speech had the similarity of Saturn and a lawn chair, so I hear he just turned it off....

No, Joe -- he didn't.

We know he didn't because (as I said at the time) you can see the prompter working, and you can see it's in sync.

In my earlier post I linked to Shakesville, where C-SPAN's broadcast of the speech was embedded. Now, since these bastards insist on dredging this up again, I'm embedding the YouTube version of the C-SPAN video and telling you again where you can see the teleprompter working perfectly:

The time counter on the YouTube version doesn't match the one on the original C-SPAN video,so here are the YouTube time readouts where you can watch what Palin is saying and what's on the prompter over her shoulder:

* 21:57: "When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged -- directly to the people of Alaska"

* 26:24: "And there is much to like and admire about our opponent."

* 32:15: "They're the ones who are good for more than talk."

Not only, that, you can actually see her consulting papers on the lectern (for instance, between 20:16 and 20:19)

"Off book"? Give me a break.


Oh, and here's righty blogger Don Surber trying to soak the rubes by pretending to believe all this:

How many times has Palin read off a Teeleprompter in her life?

I'm guessing zero.

So she winged it.

How many times? Schmuck, she was a sportscaster. You can watch her reading from a prompter right here.


UPDATE: Oh, hell, it's not just Joe McCain and Don Surber -- it's Palin herself lying about this now. Jake Tapper reports:

At a fundraiser in Canton, Ohio, this evening, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had an interesting description of her speech to the Republican convention.

"There Ohio was right out in front, right in front of me," Palin said. "The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn't follow it, and I just decided I'd just talk to the people in front of me. It was Ohio."

A skeptical Tapper asks McCain flacks Jill Hazelbaker and Tucker Bounds about this -- and they compound the lie by giving two different deceitful reactions to what Palin says here:

McCain-Palin spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker says, "She was off the prompter at points."

Bounds says anyone who thinks Palin was implying that her speech was ad-libbed is unfairly reading into her remarks. Whether she was reading the speech or had it memorized, she delivered it and delivered it well, he says.

The Bounds statement is the most bizarre -- after Palin lies flatly about the faulty teleprompter ("The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn't follow it"), he tells you that you're being unfair to Palin if you think she's saying that, well, the teleprompter got messed up and she couldn't follow it.

These people are beyond shameless.

Prediction: This is going to become a permanent part of the stump speech. She's going to go around the country now telling the story this way, and in each state she's going to say she "just decided" she'd "just talk to the people" of whatever state she happens to be in.

No comments: