haw haw he's so dum

Obama Briefly Perplexed By Unfamiliar Phone, Tech Stocks Tumble

An iPhone does not slide that way!In what is surely the most scandalous case of presidential technology bafflement since that one time when George HW Bush asked some polite questions about a UPC scanner at a trade show, the leader of the Free World was “befuddled” when trying to dial a number on a phone handed to him by a campaign aide in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Moonie Times’ Dave Boyer has the shocking details:

On the campaign trail, President Obama is constantly talking about the importance of technology, but he met his match in an iPhone Sunday.

The president had stopped at a campaign office in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to thank volunteers. Then, for the cameras, Mr. Obama was supposed to call two campaign workers who were out working on his behalf.

But when White House trip director Marvin Nicholson handed the president his personal iPhone, Mr. Obama couldn’t get it to work. A reporter who witnessed the scene said the president looked “befuddled.”

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“It’s not clear he knows how to dial on an iPhone,” the reporter wrote in a pool report.

Finally, Mr. Obama said, “Oh, I got to dial it in. Hold on, hold on. I can do this. See, I still have a BlackBerry.”

The wingnutosphere dutifully reported the President’s embarassing failure, noting the amusing irony of the supposedly hip, tech-savvy Obama struggling with an iPhone, which everyone knows is ridiculously user-friendly, and mostly using the photo reproduced above. Which is pretty clearly not a picture of an iPhone.

(We cannot verify, because we are really lazy, whether the phone in the photo is the phone that actually gave Obama trouble. But this photo accompanied the Moonie Times story, which definitely said “iPhone” over and over. Also, we’ve always felt kind of bad about George Bush and that supermarket scanner story, which we pedantically correct whenever we hear it. Really, it’s on Snopes, people. )

[Washington Times]

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About the author

Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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154 comments

        1. Tundra Grifter

          Is there any retail establishment more arrogant than an Apple Store? Makes Hollister seem like a weekend at Grandma's.

          1. Lascauxcaveman

            I went to an Apple store once, last spring, and that was not my experience at all. The lady I talked to was super nice and helpful and actually was able to answer my questions (!) about migrating my spreadsheets from Excel to whatever the office suite program is on the iPad.

            She damn near sold me one of those iPad thingies that day.

          2. Tundra Grifter

            They lost me when our son's little i-something music player died and I drove to the store in Walnut Creek, found a parking place, walked in and was then told I needed an appointment.

            I explained I wasn't there for a root canal. I just wanted the damn thing fixed.

            No, I needed an appointment.

            Now, the place wasn't exactly packed. I asked if I could just wait. "No." I asked if I could make a same-day appointment. "No."

            I think Apple is incredibly self-absorbed.

          3. AbandonHope_

            I think it depends on the store, too. I've seen some where everybody was off-putting and aloof, and some where people were super nice and helpful.

          4. Designer_Rants

            I learned how to use them in high school. Then I spent years using MicroSoft. Then I went to an Apple store and they were Greek to me. Do not like. Plus, their marketing annoys me. They used to talk about how they don't get viruses. Just to clarify: The reason for that is that they have 10% market share, so hackers don't bother with the small slice of pie – but now that they're more successful, this has started to change. It wasn't due to some special Operating System Ninja Magick that they were employing.

            One thing that's nice about Apple, I suppose, is that they add competition to the OS market (overpriced cultish competition).

    1. Tundra Grifter

      If I remember correctly, you could slip a long, thin strip of cardboard down the quarter slot, drop a penny (or was it a nickle?) in another slot, pull the cardboard out and you'd get a dialtone. And your coin would return.

      Then you had to tie an onion onto your belt.

      1. GunToting[Redacted]

        I learned a great tactic from the documentary "War Games." All you have to do is unscrew the mouthpiece of the payphone receiver and connect the two terminals with a beer can pull-tab. Of course, this assumes you can find a pull-tab. Or a pay phone.

    1. WhiteyMcFlyover

      Snark-free for a second, all government secure phones are Blackberries. It's actually his only cell phone choice. Both Apple and Google are in the process of certification, but there are 'unhackable' Black Blackberry only encrypted exchanges and data servers.

  1. gullywompr

    Prepare for the upcoming boycott of all things Blahberry by the wingnutosphere. Should last a day or two, until another shiny object appears for them to hate.

    1. OzoneTom

      Same here, and I always need to ask "what do I push now?" when someone hands me one and expects me to use it to call.

    1. Oblios_Cap

      I see those bastards as a necessary evil and really not that necessary, either. They do come in handy when you're away from civilization and need help.

  2. Oblios_Cap

    So O'Bama's being ridiculed by a bunch of idiots who can barely figure out how to steer their hover rounds because he had trouble with his i-phone that isn't an i-Phone?

    It must be a Tuesday.

    1. sullivanst

      With someone else's iPhone.

      The comment "Oh I got to dial it in" might hint that just maybe, he was looking for a contact in the address book that the phone's owner didn't have, and he had to enter the number himself. Which would, of course, make the entire story total bullshit.

    1. prommie

      That attempted exit, stage left, in China, was the best, though the Merkle massage moment of idiocy is a contender too. No president has ever looked so stupid so often as our own precious little angel, W Bush, the Preztard.

  3. actor212

    So if Obama is a fool for not being able to dial an iPhone (admittedly, without a keyboard, it's not instantly intuitive) then how foolish is MoonTimes for publishing a photo of a Nokia????

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Things are grim at the WashTimes … the Moonies can no longer afford the royalties on actual news photos. This is the best they could cut & paste from a Google search.

    1. GlowneyHouse

      Mittens would have handed his golden phone to a lackey to dial and conduct the call and report back to him what had happened. If bad news, he would have no knowledge as he was not in charge of his own phone at the time–if it was good news he would retroactively have made it himself.

  4. BaldarTFlagass

    What with "internets" and "a series of tubes", the Republicans are really in no position to ridicule anyone about technology.

  5. Ruhe

    I know the dominant internutts meme has been that Obama is the Beast but this incident leads me to believe that he might in fact be a replicant. Perhaps a Nexus 6. I mean, all real humans know how to use an iPhone, right?

    1. Tundra Grifter

      Don't forget Mr. Obama ordering arugeuella on his salad!

      Thought, I'll bet both Mr. & Mrs. Obama can correctly spell it. I obviously can't.

  6. SorosBot

    So where's your messiah now, Moonie Times? Oh that's right, he's dead, despite being the second coming of Jesus.

  7. edgydrifter

    I've seen enough movies to know that the president's phone has no buttons at all. It's big, old-fashioned, bright red, and when the president picks it up it just connects him to whoever he need to talk to–the Kremlin, the Pentagon, Batman–it's friggin' awesome.

  8. prommie

    Meanwhile, Ruprecht Romney has to stick a cork on the tines of his fork so he doesn't hurt himself when he tries to eat.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Oh dear Ruprecht kicks Romney's ass. I definitely want a bedroom with a tireswing and pots I can bang on, but no, um, cups.

  9. iTuna

    Eh, getting to the numberpad screen for dialing a new number, one that you don't have in your contacts, is, for some people, not immediately apparent. My mother's had an iPhone for nearly 2 years and still fucks it up, sometimes.

  10. Oblios_Cap

    A resal Xtian would just pray, and Gawd would instantly contact the party they wanted to talk to and relay the message.

    It doesn't work for mormons, I'm told.

  11. randcoolcatdaddy

    You can make phone calls on iPhones?

    I thought they were just for listening to music and playing Angry Birds.

  12. kittensdontlie

    The device in the picture is a Drone Remote Control, and the President is clearly baffled as to whether his strike on the Moonie Times had succeeded.

  13. under_score

    This is awesome, because I, too, felt pretty damn stoopid when I first tried to dial an actual phone number with an iPhone. Complaints about how user-friendly it wasn't fell on deaf ears. Me & Bamz = BFFs!

  14. chicken_thief

    A little OT, but where the hell does Mittens find a cell phone long enough to reach from the ear to the mouth of his over-inflated balloon sized fucking head? Jes curious.

    ~ Frankenstein

  15. FakaktaSouth

    Hello, my name is Fakakta and I am a iPhone-y phone phone-addict and people like me are annoying assholes. I don't think it is anything but a positive that PresO isn't all up on his iphone sexting Michelle all day like I would be. That is all these things are good for, truly. Oh and for texting if my kids need me in an emergency, as they are also all annoying phone buttheads. We never have to talk though! And it's how I deal with other housewives. Y'ALL try to have a conversation with one of these people. It's NOT MY FAULT is what I am saying, and good for PresO.

    1. Chet Kincaid_

      I'm with you! When Steve Jobs put "jump" up on the big screen at the keynotes, my only question was "how high?!" I have been forced to use a Windows machine at work for a year and a half, for the first time in 25 years of using a computer, and I am now smug in the confirmation that I was right all along.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        I am a full-fledged lover of my macbookpro forever and ever, I cannot use or tolerate windows, my kid's dell someone told me to get her (he was being helpful, but damn) anyway, I can't use it. I only don't have that apple sticker on my back windshield, because I am "cool."

    2. ttommyunger

      As a fellow iphone addict who has met you personally, I must say your self-characterization is unduly harsh, incorrect and wildly off the mark. Sincerely, a genuine and totally annoying asshole. On the other hand: the iphone; she is a demanding mistress.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        If you are what an annoying asshole is, then I aspire to be one at all costs! And god yes, my phone, how I do bow down and crawl around for this thing, I love her soooo.

        1. ttommyunger

          The young and beautiful aspiring to the old and beastly? I accept your accolade humbly, however ridiculous.

        2. natoslug

          Since it came free with my job, I have an iPhone as well. Some day I might try to do something more than make calls, fuck with Siri, text and check my FB account on it. My eldest daughter, the Apple expert, constantly rolls her eyes when my phone.

  16. elviouslyqueer

    Quoth el_patriota at Fux Nation: The man can't even figured out an I-Phone (yes, I know he is not holding an I-Phone on that pic, but I imagine he would had the same look in his face as in the pic. above), yet he wants us to trust him with our economy!

    I'll take "what is a bone-headedly stupid false equivalence?" for $400, Alex.

    1. actor212

      The difference between HWB's faux pas and BHO's is, dialing a FUCKING IPHONE has nothing to do with grasping the problems of affording a fuckign gallon of milk.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      We have to read righty-blogs when we've displeased the Editrix.

      Oh, and to find stories for mocking.

      (Actually, I found the FauxNation version first, then backtracked for the original. I try to limit my exposure to this stuff with a dosimeter)

  17. Blueb4sinrise

    Hell, they're slipping. The WSJ has op-ed: Bamz spends too much time learning apps, neglects Economy.

    [not really, but check later in the day]

  18. AlNewMan

    Mr. Romney asked a young assistant if he could use his dictaphone. The assistant replied "use your finger like everyone else"

    1. proudgrampa

      You know, I think that if you just lit a match in front of these people, they would get on their knees in wonder and amazement.

  19. ttommyunger

    What next: "Bammers flummoxed when White House domestic help put toilet paper roll on backwards, ruins skivvies?".

    1. James Michael Curley

      This is a critical problem. If the roll is on wrong when you are finished you can't fold it into that nice little triangle that so supremely graced it when you sat down.

      1. ttommyunger

        This conundrum is what has driven me to swear off the practice entirely and simply stamp my feet vigorously prior to dismounting the throneSent from my iPhone

  20. Chet Kincaid_

    I'm sure everyone who did not spend that fateful afternoon in January of 2007 with seven keynote liveblogs lined up in their browser, breathlessly refreshing each one every 10 seconds in order to marvel at this almost unbearably awesome alien technology leapfrog, served up in the most amazing technology Medicine Show to date, would be momentarily baffled by the notion of tapping the button that looks like a phone and then tapping the button that looks like a keypad with "keypad" written underneath it. How would we have known how Jesus paid for our sins, if Paul had not helpfully demo'd it for us?! And Obama might have been busy running for President back then, or something.

    But seriously, my place of work was doing some work for Blackberry on the day the iPhone was announced. Everybody on my floor was glued to liveblogs of the keynote. About midway through, my boss, who was monitoring a stock ticker yelled out that with every new feature introduced, Blackberry stock was going lower and lower. We hated RIM, so that was funny.

  21. owhatever

    Trust the Moonie Times to bring you the story behind the story, although you don't give a shit about the story in the first place.

    Mitt doesn't own an iPhone, but he has friends who own telecommunications corporations.

  22. mavenmaven

    He's courting the Orthodox Jewish vote; they are obsessed with the "evils" of the internet and smart phones.

  23. Nostrildamus

    And if the opposite happened:

    "The iPhone is famous for appealing to trend-obsessed posers, so it was, of course, no problem for Obama."

  24. valgal2342

    The shirt Pres. Obama is wearing in photo above looks to be same as one he was wearing at a recent speech. Wonder if he got it at Costco. Just like Mitt does.

  25. ColHeightsChic

    That is the first time I have ever read the comments on a Fox Nation story. I don't know what possessed me to do it. I will never forgive Wonkette for putting me through that.

  26. cookieparty

    I have a lot of issues with this guy (kill list, civil liberties violations, whistleblower prosecutions, etc.). But I like that he doesn't have the latest goddamn iPhone.

  27. sbj1964

    Today's cellphones have an app. for everything except Premature ejaculation,but I hear that's cumming soon.

  28. glamourdammerung

    President Obama had some problems figuring out how to use an iPhone.

    President Bush had some problems figuring out how to use a door.

    Totally equivalent.

  29. Robman2

    BlackBerry's are for phone calling, that's why I have one.

    Androids are for waving at i Phone 5 owners, who are paying twice as much to own what Samsung already has built.

  30. TribecaMike

    Meanwhile, the front page of today's Washington Times shows a photo of Mitt Romney operating a cutting-edge linotype machine.

  31. Negropolis

    Well, I have a smart phone, and hell if I know how to use a quarter of its features, and I'm a 20-something. I should have been born at another time. I want my phone to be a phone, my computer to be a computer, my television to be a television, etc…

Comments are closed.