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Email: Obama Phones...This Is Not A Joke

October 27, 2009 11:50 am ET

The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs.  Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below.  Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.

"Obama Phones...This Is Not A Joke"

[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]

Response

Hey - thanks for sending this to me.  I know that, like me, you must be frustrated with the massive amount of flat out lies that are sent around on the internet.

This email is a good example of something good that has been twisted to look like something bad.

I found a news article (not a blog or an email) that says this phone program - called Lifeline - was started in 1984 (when Reagan was president) and is used to provide phones to very, very low income families.

More recently, the phones were given to people who survived Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks.

You can read that article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS180932+04-Aug-2009+BW20090804

Think about all the things you use your phone for.  Yes, there's probably a significant amount of unnecessary usage - but what about the things that make life easier and safer?  Like talking to your child's school or daycare - or calling the police or an ambulance!  What would you do if you lost your job and couldn't afford a phone and someone in your family got sick or hurt and you couldn't call 911?

That's what these phones are for. 

And this isn't a program that provides this service indefinitely.  Another news article said - "The SafeLink Wireless service will provide eligible low-income households a free cell phone, mobile access to emergency services and free 60 minutes of airtime, monthly, for one year."  That whole article is here: http://www.examiner.com/p-410065~TracFone_Wireless_Launches_SafeLink_Wireless_R__to_Aid_1_094_331_Low_Income_Households_in_Illinois.html

It's understandable that the thought of another government program associated with welfare beneficiaries would be worrisome.  But this is clearly a program that has helped millions of people over the past 20 years and is in no way the "Obama phone."

Hopefully this clears things up a little bit.



 


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