The bickering between weather services should worry us when other disasters occur.
It all began on Sunday, Sept.1 when Donald Trump went on Twitter to warn the American audience about Hurricane Dorian. In his tweet, the president wrote:
“In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
Anyone who has ever gone on Instagram or Facebook — even TikTok — knows that Trump has more critics than fans (I mean, which president doesn’t? Lincoln maybe?), so it came as no surprise when the Birmingham National Weather Service came to correct him:
“Alabama will not see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”
First of all, can we all agree that the Birmingham NWS’ repetition of “#Dorian” was because they knew there was going to be an internet war and they were trying to get it trending? Man, they really started the tea there (sip).
Of course, like any decent person, Trump could have simply apologized and accepted his mistake, but who are we kidding? I mean, come on, the guy has NEVER apologized for ANY mistake. I can’t be the only one who still remembers the locker-room stuff right? Back in 2005, Access Hollywood released a vulgar tape of Trump where he bragged about sexually assaulting women, and when questioned about it during the second presidential debate, he called his vulgar comments “locker-room talk”. Many will argue that Trump did apologize (he did) but rather than owning up to his mistakes and closing the subject, he proceeded to call it “locker-room talk” — a shameless excuse.
Talking about not owning up to mistakes, Trump quickly tweeted back the next day that what he had said the day before at FEMA, regarding Alabama being among the four other states to be hit by Dorian, “WAS true”.
Here is where Sharpie-Gate truly starts. On Wednesday, Sept. 4, Trump pulled out a chart that outlined where Dorian was actually supposed to go. Not only was the chart a projection from Aug. 29 (which is probably where he got his facts from), it also had a black sharpie extending the clearly white outline that showed where Dorian was expected to hit. Not only did he base his tweet off of a hurricane projection from three days before, but he even read the map wrong, so he had to actually use a sharpie (a mismatched black one at that) to prove he was right… A for effort I guess.
This is where the memes began to rise. Comedian Stephen Colbert impersonated Trump, quipping, and stated, “Okay, I’m not wrong because at one point, I was right.” People started sharpie-ing various images related to Trump. My favorite was the one where someone used a sharpie to draw a stick figure with x’s for eyes and stated “Trump releases photo showing how windmills cause cancer.” Not all superheroes wear capes — some create memes.
All jokes aside, this matter took more screen time than any other subject for a few days on various news outlets — especially CNN. It officially became a fight between CNN and the White House, and on Sept. 5, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham found an error on a map presented by CNN where they incorrectly labeled Alabama as Mississippi and taunted the news outlet about it. In a reply, CNN cockily responded:
“Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, we made a mistake (which we fixed in less than 30 seconds). And now we are admitting it. You all should try it sometime.”
Holy shish kabobs, can someone please give me the @ of CNN twitter page’s admin because that shade was pitch black.
The fight continued with the White House releasing a statement showing that Alabama had been in the path of Dorian at one point and that Trump had been right. This trend — that Trump is never wrong — is not new. It’s petty. Why is it that it is so difficult for our president to agree that he is human and that humans make mistakes. This whole ordeal should’ve taken five minutes! It lasted days.
We, as the audience (whether you support Trump or not) both should agree that Trump has a problem admitting his mistakes and that it is not a sign of good character. A guy who goes so low as to extend a line on a map to prove his point can go as far to instill a fear of certain groups in the eyes of Americans.
Oh wait, he did that.
As a member of an audience who doesn’t support Trump, I am also quick to mock him for his childishness and pettiness, but shouldn’t we also ask where and when his lies will hurt us as Americans? We have sat back without asking him about his past actions, and he knows we can’t do anything. He’s the President, so he thinks he can lie all he wants without admitting to his mistakes and that we are somehow okay with that. Who knows what else he has done to cover up his lies on the big scale? This is just a simple sharpie — what could he be using to alter the truth on bigger national crises?
We have to ask these questions with the elections coming up. He’s stressed — we can all tell — but we shouldn’t just take this sharpie-gate incident as a joke. This just shows that a sitting president is now capable of lying, being caught, then doing something stupid to prove he is right, all while we watch and are unable to do anything. Are the powers of the president increasing or am I just dragging this too far — I don’t know. But, I do know that you can look less laughable if you just admit you were wrong.