The Sarah Palin Broken TelePrompTer Myth

It malfunctioned a bit, but not very badly.

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ST. PAUL—Interesting bit of myth-making, mistaken reporting or both. Did Sarah Palin's TelePrompTer malfunction? A very little bit, but not much.

RedState is reporting that Sarah Palin's TelePrompTer broke last night, scrolling "significantly from where Governor Palin was in the speech." Politico's Jonathan Martin disputes the report. "Perhaps there were moments where it scrolled slightly past her exact point in the speech," Martin writes. "But I was sitting in the press section next to the stage, within easy eyeshot of the Teleprompter. I frequently looked up at the machine, and there was no serious malfunction. A top convention planner confirms this morning that there were no major problems."

I too was sitting in the press section, (behind Palin and off to her right side). I had a clear view of the TelePrompTer, and read along with her.

At one point I noticed, and remarked to a colleague, that it would jog a line or two ahead of where she had paused. I noticed that she seemed to use the pause afforded by applause to glance down at the papers in front of her. Having found the missing line or two (it was not more than that), she would resume.

Certainly she managed the hiccups smoothly, but this is not an example of winging it in the same vein as a Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, or Clinton might have.