Time's Scherer Sticks Up for Obama Re: Teleprompter Jokes

Mainstream media journalists delighted in joining left-wing bloggers in mocking President George W. Bush over his penchant for verbal miscues, often when speaking off-the-cuff. Of course, President Bush wasn't too prickly on this point and on occasion made self-deprecating jokes about his penchant for mangling the English language.

Yet when it comes to right-of-center bloggers playfully mocking President Barack Obama's dependence on the teleprompter, don't expect most journalists to yuk it up with conservatives.

Witness Time magazine reporter Michael Scherer's March 25 blog post with some thoughts on the president's second prime-time news conference:

I don't really get all this gabbing about Obama and his teleprompter. Does anyone really doubt Obama's ability to speak cogently and in detail without notes, after winning three presidential debates and slaying just about every press availability he gets? So he likes reading from a screen and not a piece of paper. But this whole line of attack, promoted widely by conservative blogs, sort of baffles me.

But isn't "slaying just about every press availability" an easy task when reporters are prone to swooning a-la Chris Matthews in his presence?

To be fair, Scherer did go on to link to the Web page for "Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog" and the Twitter page so readers could taste a sample of conservative humor about the president's autocue addiction.

Unlike Scherer, however, Newsweek "The Gaggle" blogger Holly Bailey pronounced it "strange, especially for a statement so short" to have a teleprompter at a press conference. After all, it "shows how worried Obama is about getting his words exactly right."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.