The news Tuesday that President Obama’s teleprompter was stolen in Virginia, along with his podium, presidential seals and $200,000 of audio equipment, has inspired much mirth for those who say “TOTUS” shouldn’t be the president’s best friend.

President Obama checks the floor after Totus crashes. (Image via YouTube)

Although the truck containing the equipment was recovered Monday afternoon in the parking lot of another hotel, many were keen not to let this one pass.

New York Magazine pondered who might be jealous of the president’s articulate speeches. “What gaffe-machine might be constantly living in Obama's perfectly parsed shadow, growing ever more jealous? What kind of seemingly button-up man might get a secret kick out of grand theft auto?... Can you account for your recent whereabouts, Joseph Robinette Biden?!” gleefully reported Wednesday, “Breaking: TOTUS One has been kidnapped. I repeat: TOTUS One has been kidnapped.”

“Amber alert issued for TOTUS,” the Daily Mail’s headline read.

The teleprompter has long been derided by GOP presidential candidates as a mark of the president’s inauthenticity, or prop he can’t do without.

TV host Conan O’Brien aired the following video last night to show what happens when the president is forced to speak alone:

Further reading from the Washington Post:

Politics: Republicans mock Obama’s teleprompter use

Video: Teleprompter-free campaigns

44 blog: Obama’s speech, his teleprompter, the reaction