Politician Glass

Have you ever wondered what those two thin pieces of glass that always seem to be in front of politicians when they give speeches to large crowds? I know you've seen them, but in case you've forgotten here's some in front of Trump: Picture of Trump speaking in front of podium with two pieces of glass suspended on either side of him

And Obama: Picture of Obama speaking

So what's the deal? I've heard several theories. Is it something to do with audio to filter out to crowd noise? Is it somehow blocking all the noise? Does it somehow provide security to the high profile speakers... like... do they move to deflect bullets?! Oh! They must interfere with sniper scopes, right?

Nope. Those answers are all wrong. And if you believed any of the above explanations you're going to be extremely disappointed when you read what those pieces of glass are actually for. I'll tell you, but, first, take a look at this next picture. It seems like everyone has these pieces of glass; Even Stephen Colbert!...

Picture of Stephen Colbert speaking ... Oh, oh wait. He doesn't have them... And I picked the worst picture, too since he's looking down at paper. Come to think of it... You know what you NEVER see politicians doing when giving a prepared speech or pumping up the crowd in a political rally? Looking at their notes. But how can they memorize their entire speech? No one really does that anymore. Memorize? Things? I, mean, sure... Maybe some of our politicians are memorizing their speeches but we all know some don't appear to know what year it is half the time. No, this all requires a whole lot of rote memorization and we've done away with that skill ever since we started putting the internet into everyone's pockets.

Okay, I'll get to the point I'm trying to make. Those weird pieces of glass? Yeah, they're teleprompters. Those politicians are just reading their speech... and it's hidden in plain sight!

Here's a full picture of the contraption: Picture of a teleprompter

They come with height-adjustable arms and can fit in a nice little(ish) box. How cute! Packaged picture of a teleprompter

The good ones are the fancy teleprompters that don't show the text on the other side... which is why a there's so much confusion around these things. From most angles it just looks like glass.

So now you know the dirty secret that every politician knows. Those pieces of glass make it seem like you're looking right at the audience but what you're really doing is reading... or trying to anyway.


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