politicians Tag

The police advise you not to make eye contact with criminals. Yet we all look at politicians on the television as they give speeches. This seems somewhat of a contradiction. If you, on the other hand, are the one giving the speech, you want to be able to fix the audience with a steely and virtuous look as you make your spiel. If you have a great memory and are a good orator, you can do this. Otherwise you need to read out your speech and that means glancing away from the viewers. Not only do you break eye-contact and give them a chance to look around, but you also give the game away. Enter the teleprompter. You've seen them for decades in presidential debates and Hollywood awards ceremonies attached to complex podiums. The user is behind a glass screen but is looking out at the audience. You think they are looking at you but they are reading what their scriptwriters are sending up in a rolling script. The teleprompter is a two-way beamsplitter that lets a camera lens look through to...