Caught on Video: Sean Hannity’s Five-Second Flip-Flop on Teleprompter Use

Click the screenshot to see the video at
Click the screenshot to see the video at

Before his identity was uncovered and Fox News fired him, the “Fox Mole” provided a video to Gawker of an off-air, sotto voce pre-interview conversation between Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity in which they both criticized Pres. Obama’s use of teleprompters and then, literally within seconds, reversed themselves on the subject, with Hannity even agreeing that Romney’s dependence on teleprompters is “smart.”

In the video, Romney, a world-class champion flip-flopper, executes his 180-degree flip on teleprompters in a heart-stopping one-half of a second. It takes Hannity, the slow poke, just five seconds to completely reverse his opinion from being against teleprompters when the president uses them to being for them when Romney, the official presidential candidate of Fox News does — and 22 seconds after dissing the president, Hannity even tells Romney he is “smart” to use teleprompters because “they’re out to just eviscerate anybody who makes a mistake.” (The Gawker video is unembedable, but you can watch it by clicking here or the screenshot at the top.)

Here’s the transcript, which picks up at about 28 seconds into the video:


Mitt Romney, 65,000 Seats, 1,200 Chairs, Four Cars and Two Teleprompters


Mitt Romney gave a speech at Ford Field in Michigan today. Apparently, the only venue his advance team could find was an indoor football stadium that reportedly seats 65,000, so they set up a stage on the 20 yard line and brought in seats for the crowd, reported to be 1,200. At the end of the event, Romney extemporized with this riff:


Romney Pulls a Palin – Reads NH Victory Speech from Teleprompters

Mitt Romney, with one of two teleprompters he used to deliver his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary
Mitt Romney, with one of two teleprompters he used to deliver his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary

One of Sarah Palin’s favorite digs at Pres. Obama is that he often reads speeches from teleprompters.

photos-palin-teleprompter-montage-verticalIf you are a liberal or not a political junkie, you probably found Palin’s harping on Obama’s use of teleprompters confusing. “So what?” you may have said to yourself. “So did Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton. They all do it.”

Or, if you were paying close attention to Obama on the campaign trail, you might have noticed that he hosted dozens of town hall events during which he spoke extemporaneously for 90 minutes or more. (For teavangelical types who may be reading this, “extemporaneously” means “without the aid of a teleprompter.”)

What liberals and other regular Americans were missing in Palin’s sneering about Obama and teleprompters was a dog whistle message to the Republican Party’s half-witted racist base. What she was really saying was, “Pssst. See, he’s black, so not smart enough to think up all those big words on his own. He only got where he is because of affirmative action.”

Reality has a left-wing bias, as Stephen Colbert has said, so it did not matter that Palin — who, pssst, really is a dumbass — used teleprompters just about every time she spoke in public during her failed vice presidential run in 2008. (For your convenience — and, we can only hope, to make tea baggers heads explode — we have compiled a photo set of about two dozen different events in which Palin read her speeches from teleprompters and posted it here.)

In the current campaign, after making some seriously stupid gaffes while campaigning in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney took no chances when it came time to read his victory speech last night, according to his hometown paper, the Boston Globe:


Another Tired Tea Party Teleprompter Joke Delivered Via Teleprompter

Scott and his two friends, Tele, left, and Prompter, right, at Presidency 5

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (Tea/GOP) misplaced his sense of irony at a recent appearance, according to TPM. Speaking to those gathered in Orlando for Presidency 5 (I don’t know why it’s called that but those at the event — who selected Herman Cain as their straw poll winner — inexplicably think the meeting important), Scott gazed deeply into his teleprompters so he wouldn’t flub the punch line on this joke about the president. Obama, like all presidents and other major public speakers since Herbert Hoover, often uses a teleprompter.

Good afternoon, and welcome to Presidency 5!

“I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I looked out here. I saw all the TV cameras and a teleprompter. I figured President Obama must be here – giving another speech about raising taxes!“[emphasis in the original]

Seriously, though, it’s great to see you all today.

Is that funny or what? Man, he had me at Pres. Obama being there, but then to go on to mention raising taxes – whooey, that is good stuff! I’m just glad he used the teleprompter so he could deliver it verbatim, word for word, just as the mad jokester who wrote it intended, and not lose a single shred of the funny.

It could have been worse, I guess. At least the governor didn’t read off any jokes about Obama’s birth certificate or the first lady’s fight against childhood obesity or any of the other hot button issues surrounding the Obamas of concern to tea partiers today.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Reads Ad Lib about Obama and Teleprompters from a Teleprompter

I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I looked out here. I saw all the TV cameras and a teleprompter. I figured President Obama must be here — giving another speech about raising taxes!

– Florida Gov. Rick Scott (GOPT), who actually read this lame quip from a teleprompter, according to a reporter in the room. The punchline was underlined to remind the governor to play it for laughs.

AZ Sen: McCain, 74, Reads Primary Win Acceptance Speech from Teleprompters

McCain reading rant from teleprompter during 2010 primary acceptance speech
McCain reading rant from teleprompter during 2010 primary acceptance speech

Sen. John McCain, who will be 74 years old on Sunday, acknowledged winning the Arizona Republican Senate primary yesterday by reading prepared remarks from a teleprompter. McCain spent $20 million to defeat J.D. Hayworth, a disgraced Republican congressman, TV pitchman and local right-wing radio talk show host.

In order to win nomination for a fifth term in the Senate, McCain had to run to the right of Hayworth, whose main appeal was among tea baggers. McCain won with a margin of 25 percent, but in doing so he trashed his former pose as a principled politician by flip-flopping on immigration, campaign reform and other issues.

In a telling moment, McCain’s desperation to win at all costs even drove him to deny that he’d ever been a “maverick,” despite the fact that the term had been used by his presidential campaign as a theme at rallies and in television ads and that he’d applied the term to himself in multiple quotes that were easily found on the Internet.

McCain faces Democrat Rodney Glassman, a former Republican, whose campaign drove itself into a ditch last Friday, Aug. 20, when three of his top aides abruptly quit. Confidential sources say the resignations were a response to Glassman’s “berating staffers and volunteers in public, even yelling at them” and because of a homophobic remark he made about an openly gay Tucson city councilmember that the councilmember has confirmed.

Ironically, in a vote among staffers on Capitol Hill, John McCain was once named the second most bad-tempered elected official, behind the late Sen. Ted Stephens (R-Alaska). McCain also spouts anti-gay rhetoric, despite the fact that his wife and daughter have come out in favor of gay civil rights.


Speaking without a Teleprompter for Once, Palin Demands That Obama ‘Refudiate’ NAACP Charge That Tea Baggers Are Racists

At minute 2:37, Palin: (The Obamas) have power in their words. They could refudiate what it is that this group is saying.

See what happens when she speaks without a teleprompter? (See here, here and here for more on Palin’s teleprompter addiction.)

As we’ve often said: George Bush in a skirt.

Fox cleaned up the transcript, of course: