Photojournalist Catches the Truth Behind Trump’s TelePrompter Flub

Photojournalist Catches the Truth Behind Trump’s TelePrompter Flub

President Trump stepped up to the podium last Monday to read prepared remarks about the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Except that in the final blessings of the speech, he named Toledo instead of Dayton, a different city about 150 miles away.

While many in the media were quick to blame a staffer or a teleprompter error, as is often the case, it took a photojournalist to provide a definite answer. Leah Millis, a photographer for Reuters, tweeted out a photo that clearly showed the president’s teleprompter during the part of the speech in question:

In the text, the words “Texas and Ohio” are clearly visible with Toledo nowhere to be found.

The White House, in what seemed to be a moment of self-awareness, did make a note of the error, which seemed to be entirely on Trump, via a strikethrough in the official transcript that was released to the media later on Monday.

It’s unclear if that would have been the case if the Millis photo had not been widely circulated after the statement.

This isn’t the first time Trump has been held to account by eagle-eyed photographers. Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford has previously captured Trump’s notes about Ilhan Omar and some really egregious spelling errors in remarks about democrats in the past.

It’s a bit of a sad commentary on photojournalism today when photographers have to worry equally about capturing the moment and surreptitiously capturing the president’s notes at the same time, just to make sure that they can prove their case if the president attempts to label their reportage as “fake news.”

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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What does this have to do with photography?

"Keep you views out of these communities"

Why? Because some people get upset when they are apparently forced to read an article about their dear old white supremacist?

This idea that a photography website should be devoid of politics or opinions is incredibly stupid.

Not really. It' just more prevelant unfortunately than some people would care to believe. Also, White supremacy isn't just guys with white hoods and swastikas.

If I give gasoline and matches to known arsonists and they burn down the joint, have I set any fires?

You didn't read that he started/originated anything in my post. What I said was he knows how to push their buttons without getting his hands dirty. Which is just as bad.

"If I give gasoline and matches to known arsonists and they burn down the joint, have I set any fires?"

Yes, it's called aiding and abetting.

Curious. How do YOU know if something is racist? You act like knowing something is racist is a forgone conclusion yet you act as if it's obvious that trump ISN'T racist. Is it possible that someone might have a more informed perspective on the subject than you? Just askin'.

People of color, maybe? People who have always been - and still are - victims of racism? They know what it looks like pretty damn well.

A vast majority of black Americans believe Trump is a racist. So that's one informed perspective.

You asked a question. I answered.

And you SHOULD give a shit about the US, just like I give a shit about other countries. Each country isn't an isolated bubble. The U.S. affects the entire global economy, for starters.

But you do you.

Trump is hard at work demonizing Canadians already. I might note that the misfortune we suffer here greatly redounds to the Canadian economy.

so does the word "duck" when there's a lot of them around.

Why do we have to listen your views?

Photographers doing something seems to be the source of this article.

Good question! Zero. Photography is not the gold standard of truth when it can be so easily manipulated anyway.

Photography, audio and print can all be manipulated. Therefore, when "truth" is presented in these categories, what do we do?

It has to do with photography in that it illustrates the role actual PHOTOJOURNALISM works. Had we not had this photo every one would speculate as to why Trump misspoke. HE claimed it was the Teleprompter. Thus he was caught in yet another lie. Whether that is news worthy with a person whose life is nothing but lies is arguable. OTOH as it is the President, it used to be a big deal when one did lie.
As to whether it was manipulated, the WH transcript confirms it was an accurate representation of the text.

Kind of a lot of outrage in your comment. Trump said Toledo and the world is wondering if his staff of writers is incompetent as he seemed to imply (Quelle Surprise!) or does he have Alzheimers?
Just because you may support him doesn't mean he is above scrutiny. IIRC the right went wild when Obama wore a brown suit. Yet paying off porn stars, yapping secrets to Russians in the Oval office and generally debasing the office is no reason for criticism as far as the right is concerned.
Sounds a lot like a fascist state to me.

Agreed, please let move it to RealClearPolitics or Twitter.
On a merit: If the transcript showed stricken word "Toledo" and below stands Texas and Ohio, a perceptual confusion is possible. Look as the amount of errors made by Joe Biden. I by myself am not able to see a typo in my own text, or even missing words, unless I re-read the text at the least 15min later. Prior to that my brain "manufactures" the missing parts. I have always my papers and other official texts proofread by technical writers. Is it related to photography? Not directly, unless we would compare it to image review with similar repercussions.

With the climate around FAKE NEWS and the current administration's open distain for journalism, I think this article is quite appropriate.

It's some of these so called "journalism" is what brought about the disdain, distrust and the term "fake news". One would have to be increbily pc and an enabler and who's got their head in sand to think some of these journalists didn't have an agenda. Or, just hates Trump. You know, kinda like the author of this article.

Can you cite any specific examples of this "so called" journalism? I'm honestly curious to read any and all justifications for Trump's open distain for journalists.

Jesus Christ enough with these articles! You just cant help yourself, can you?

Wasim Ahmad is just demonstrating his TDS

I thought it was interesting. 🤷‍♂️

Lol, sounds like you're trying to make this honest mistake an excuse to dispel all the fake news. Just another Fredo.

What's the fake bit?

Seriously? Either you're being coy, turned a blind eye, or really don't know. If the latter, maybe you shouldn't be commenting until you read up on some stuff. Good idea?

Everything they decide not to believe is "fake news."

Anyone who uses that term can be written off on the spot.

Because the majority of them are fake news. You can't seriously believe the likes of CNN haven't been caught (or have admitted) they made up stories against the Pres. They (media) brought the label "fake news" and doubt upon themselves.

Trump makes about 12 false claims PER DAY.

"Fake news" is a term that was created to instill fear into people (see also: calling the media "the enemy of the people") and allow them to ignore anything they don't want to believe. It's a pretty common tactic among dictators and would-be tyrants. If you can write off anything you don't like as "fake news," then you can say pretty much whatever you want. Like that windmills cause cancer - or that you didn't say something even if it's on video.

It is very possible. These are tracked by non-partisan sources. This article is WaPo but the data is not from them.

wow, ok. I get giving the benefit of the doubt, but eventually people go beyond deserving such a benefit when they lie on a daily basis. It isn't just slip of the tongue stuff. If you can't see that, then well, that's that I guess.

It is INCREDIBLY important. We used to THINK Presidents didn't have much power, but Trump has laid that idea to bed by doing things directly against the constitution, obstructing a federal investigation, and things everyone simply thought a president would never do, so there was nothing in place to stop it. He's emboldened white nationalists, expanded ICE, is now targeting LEGAL immigrants, and is leading us into another recession. That's a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of major things he has done (or in some cases, not done). The Democrats' refusal to impeach is shameful and just goes to show that you can do whatever you want without repercussions if you're the president.

And yes, I do not agree about Carter or Obama. Aside from Trump, the worst President of your lifetime was either Reagan or GW Bush. I'm more inclined to go with Reagan because his presidency is where the Republican party pivoted toward what they are today, and he set us on a disaster course with trickle down economics, drug war, etc, etc. But I would take any President from the last 80+ years over Trump, no question about it.

Anyway, that's all I'll say about that topic.

Holy hell, you have things so twisted it's not even funny. Sounds like you're just parroting what you want to believe.

Yet another "orange man bad".

Well, in all fairness...writing "orange man good" articles are much more difficult to pull off.

And if this article were written during Obama's term, about Obama, it would be labeled as racist and the author would be immediately relieved of their job. Sad, but true.

So what? Everyone, and I mean everyone flubs on place names, relatives names, friends wives names, forgets birthdays, loses their keys and forgets to lock doors. What troubles me far more than the President misnaming a city is that this Wasim is a multimedia journalist instructor. Fake news, fake outrage, fake conclusions and fake posting to a photography site. I feel sorry for his students, let's hope he is a much better photographer than he is a journalist.

Except not everyone declares themselves a "stable genius" nor does everyone make the claim to know more about everything than everyone else. He invites the criticism because of his foolish, arrogant and obviously untrue statements that aren't being made coyly as hyperbole but rather as serious statements of fact.

Actually, how would you know that "most people say these things privately"? Thats an oxymoron. The fact that YOU assume so says a lot about why you're looking to make excuses for the immoral reprobate in the white house.

Hmm. Someone doesn't know what the word "transparency" means in terms of government. You think he's transparent because he's rude, obnoxious and a braggart outwardly? SMH.

I totally agree

Yeah? Well, what camera, lens, iso, shutter speed and F/stop did he use in the shot?

PS- Who knows more about who is a "white supremacist," the Democrat contenders or this woman?

This site has jumped the shark

Funny thing is Biden messed up in his reference to the same incidents too. He talked about shootings in Houston (?) and Michigan(?) instead of El Paso and Dayton.

The photo's white balance is off. Trump's spray-tan is way more orange in person.

"President Trump stepped up to the podium .. "

Happy to help here: You step onto a "podium" and you step up to a "lectern".

No need to thank me. You are welcome.

Don't give up your day job, Eric Mazzone.

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