Alabama grabbed national headlines again last week, but thankfully this time it wasn’t because our governor was having an affair with an advisor or one of the guys running for Senate was accused of molesting teen girls.
No, this scandal was far worse apparently.
On Sept. 1, as Dorian was devastating the Bahamas, President Donald Trump tweeted a warning, that Alabama would be hit by the hurricane “much harder than anticipated.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, we sent out emails to our staff at Lagniappe to keep an eye on the hurricane because the models had it coming straight for us, and we would still have to get the next issue out, come hell or high water. As we all know now, by the end of the week the forecast had completely changed, and we all forged ahead making plans for the long Labor Day weekend.
So when Trump tweeted that out on Sunday, I immediately dismissed it and thought he must be looking at an old model. And clearly he was.
And if he had just said that and apologized for the misunderstanding and miscommunication, life would have probably gone on as we know it, save a few snarky tweets about his error.
But, of course, he couldn’t do that and doubled down and tried to rewrite meteorological history, and now we have had to talk more about a Sharpie and a doctored hurricane chart for a week rather than the total devastation in the Bahamas. Or how Americans can’t afford their medications. Or how people are dying from vaping. Or how we are facing a mental healthcare crisis in this country. Or what we are going to do in Afghanistan. Or how our farmers are dealing with tariffs. Or what we are going to do about the I-10 bridge. Or any number of stories that are way more important than this.
No one in Alabama was ever panicked because of his tweet, especially in Coastal Alabama where we learned how to track hurricanes shortly after we learn our ABCs. We knew he was wrong. We moved on about our business.
The fact he just wouldn’t admit this is bizarre at best, and a sign of mental illness and/or lack of character at worst.
I mean, what is one of the first things we teach our children? If you screw up, admit it, say you’re sorry and move on. He clearly missed that one.
I get in this day and age it is a bit harder to do that, as the Twitter mob will smell blood in the water and devour you for fun and sport (my clever comment about his/her bone-headedness got retweeted 5,000 times — yay, me! I win Twitter! I must be awesome!) until some other injured soul is thrown into the dark, scary waters full of characters and hashtags, and their keyboards are directed elsewhere.
But even still, in this case I don’t understand why the president would try to stick with this story when it’s so easy to disprove it. It makes zero sense. And the whole thing is just stupid. “Sharpie-gate” is on him, and is yet another self-inflicted wound. (But the subsequent memes that have followed have been pretty hilarious.)
And still, people who love him will not care. And people who hate him will just add it to the growing list of idiotic things he does that terrify and outrage them. And the cycle will repeat itself with “John Legend and Chrissy Teigen-gate” and then whatever the next “gate” du jour that is sure to come.
Oh how I long for the days when the biggest scandal out of the White House was if the president’s dog was pooping in the Lincoln Bedroom!
Trump’s behavior is exhausting and disturbing, but so too is the national media’s coverage of it. I have never been so fatigued in my life by just trying to be a well-informed citizen. I swear, living off the grid in a cave surviving on those crazy pre-packaged apocalypse meals seems more and more appealing by the day.
I know the national media has a job to do, and Trump gives them plenty of low-hanging fruit. But sometimes they take that fruit and beat it into jelly.
As evidenced by the Washington Post last weekend, which actually paid for a reporter to come down here and “cover the hurricane” that wasn’t coming. How nice is must be to have the budget to send a reporter to a different state for the sole purpose of being a smart ass.
Although, sadly, they probably did think, “I bet those morons in Alabama who love Trump so much are all out buying generators and supplies just because they’ll believe anything he says. God bless ‘em. Now get on a plane and go cover those rednecks!”
Of course, they did not find that, even though they claimed people called the National Weather Service “en masse.” I find that very hard to believe. Perhaps they did, just to point out the error, but certainly not out of panic or concern. We all live here. Did anyone hear of anyone at all freaking out because of this tweet?
The Post was able to interview a few folks who were polite, because that’s who we are, and they expressed no concern whatsoever. But of course they went with quotes featuring grammatical errors and profanity to really hammer home how we don’t know if we should wind our butts or scratch our watches down here. Yee-haw!
I’m sure the editor was telling the reporter, “Oh these quotes are pure gold! Especially the one with the P-word and him being ‘the chief of command’ who must be obeyed! Well done!”
This story is Example A, B and C of why the national media didn’t understand how Trump got elected in the first place and how they are well on their way to helping him become a two-term president.
I’m so tired of all of it.
Does anyone know where I can find a good cave?
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