Last week, Ana Marie Cox of The Guardian blasted Breitbart News for commenting on a California program that would give free cell phones and service to the homeless. The article suggested that the phones could be called “Obamaphones,” in recognition of a pattern across the country of broadened attempts to give free cell phones to various impoverished constituencies. The term was coined by an Obamaphone recipient who screamed on Youtube, “Everybody in Cleveland got an Obamaphone … Keep Obama president, he gave us a phone!”
Rush Limbaugh has invoked the “Obamaphone” two or three times a week since election day, most recently springing off a story from conservative narrative clearing-house Breitbart.com: “Paradise Lost: CA to Provide Free Cell Phones for Homeless.”
She termed discussion of “Obamaphones” racist, of course. Only one problem: under Obama’s administration, enrollment in free cell phone programs has more than doubled. Several websites using the term Obama Cell Phone now direct to government websites offering them.