Believe it or not, word of the famous “Obamaphone lady” has spread all the way to the United Kingdom.
The Guardian, a newspaper with the 12th largest circulation in the UK, recently reported on America’s free government cell phone program and corrected the mistaken impression that it began under President Obama.
Back in September an anonymous woman became the star of a viral video when she looked straight into a camera and screamed, “Everybody in Cleveland got an Obamaphone … Keep Obama president, he gave us a phone!
In the words of Guardian.co.uk, “Free and discounted phone service to low-income families has been mandated by the federal government since 1934, paid for by “above-cost” fees charged directly by phone companies to regular subscribers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 codified the program and set up an independent corporation, the Universal Service Administrative Company, to facilitate the service, properly called “Lifeline”.
Our point of view: Call them free government cell phones, or Obamaphones, or any other name.
Fact is, if American newspapers would only do reporting as honest and well-researched as that offered by the Guardian, Americans would have a much better opinion of this outstanding program, no matter it may be called.