In a blog post today, Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft shamelessly claims that the White House conspired to get more applause for President Obama's memorial speech by “ask[ing] for it” on the Jumbotron. As evidence, Hoft ran a picture from a Flickr account which showed Obama speaking on the Jumbotron accompanied by the words, “school.” and "[APPLAUSE]." Hoft's post:
Hoft's purported instruction for applause is actually the live captioning for the event. It's the same closed captioning that's made available for television programs.
A University of Arizona information sheet about last Wednesday's service noted that “sign language interpreters and captioning will be available at” McKale Memorial Center. Captioning is available for some large events - at McKale and elsewhere. Indeed, a release for a separate event at McKale notes that “captions will appear on the overhead Jumbotron.”
Here is what viewers watching Fox News' live broadcast of the service -- with closed captions turned on -- would have seen while Obama was discussing the life of Judge John Roll and how he was a “graduate of this university and a graduate of this law school” (a remark that was followed by applause):
(via SnapStream Enterprise, which captures and displays real-time closed-captioning in an application)
Similarly, TVEyes.com, which also captures live closed captioning information, shows closed captions reading “a graduate of this university and a graduate of this law school. [applause]” :
Jim Hoft has consistently shown a disregard for basic facts and decency, yet his work still finds influence within the conservative media (especially Fox News). Maybe it's time for his colleagues to (finally) stop listening to him.
UPDATE: Little Green Football's Charles Johnson also notes that “Hoft doesn't understand that he's looking at the closed captioning for deaf audience members” and adds that discredited conservative blogger Pam Geller has picked up the attack.