HORIST: How the media invented the Alabama hurricane controversy
In terms of media credibility, one of the more humiliating events is screwing up a “gotcha.” A gotcha is the card the media plays when they think they got a person in what they believe to be an embarrassing situation in which the subject has no credible escape. It is the equivalent of a checkmate in a game of chess. This time, however, the gotcha is at the expense of the propaganda press.
This issue had its antecedents in an offhand comment President Trump made about Hurricane Dorian. As the monster hurricane steered toward the Florida coast, Trump expressed his concern for the people of the POTENTIALLY affected states – and he included Alabama in that list.
If you look at the earlier official map laying out the likely path of Dorian, the hurricane was predicted to cross over central Florida and travel on to the southern coastal regions of the United States – with a POSSIBLE hit on the Florida panhandle — and the Gulf coast of southern Georgia, Mississippi AND Alabama. According to the experts, that was the direction Dorian was heading.
That is what the map showed and so did all those so-called spaghetti lines – at that time. Of course, hurricanes do not follow predicted path, but if I were in Alabama looking at THAT map, I would be taking in my yard furniture – and you can bet that the governors of those states would be issuing dire warnings. The fact that Dorian made a right turn is hindsight reporting – claiming that Trump needlessly scared the folks in Alabama.
By the time Trump made his comment, the meteorologists were suggesting a northward turn – but not when and where. The bullseye kept changing from as far south as Cuba to a hit on northern Florida. No one predicted Dorian’s eventual strength and it is sitting on the Bahamas for more than 40 hours. The fact that Dorian moved offshore as far as it did, when it did, was a surprise to the professional weather folks. As is always the case, as Dorian traveled the predicted path was more accurate.
Someone – probably a staff member – used a Sharpie to show Trump how Dorian could have moved into Alabama if the current trajectory was maintained. This was viewed by the Trump-haters in the media as an example of creating a fraudulent map. Some even conjectured that he had committed a crime by showing an altered map. You just cannot overstate the level of dishonest reporting.
The press hid the fact that the marking was more of an instructional aid – to make a point. Something every one of those media reporters were doing when they would run their fingers to draw lines on their electronic touch-screen maps – advancing the path of Dorian on a what-if basis. You will note that the photo at the top of the commentary shows a White House staff member explaining the meaning of the map to Trump. And note carefully – this is VERY important — that the infamous added arch is NOT on the map. It was obviously added later during the briefing.
If Trump was guilty of anything, it was being a bit behind on the last meteorological projections. No big thing – unless you are a media that were hell-bent on inventing a negative narrative against the President – more than reporting the more significant stories of the day. They saw it as a gotcha moment – or at least something they could hype into a gotcha story.
What was surprising – even knowing the motivations of the left-wing propaganda press – is the extent to which they distorted and hyped this non-story. The entire east coast media made the map controversy the major lead-off story of the day — correction, of many days.
Even as Dorian was making landfall in North Carolina – and the scope of the disaster and humanitarian aid efforts were coming to light of the Bahamas – CNN and MSNBC and their New York Times, Washington Post and mouths-for-hire panelists were myopically focusing on THE GREAT MAP CONTROVERSY, which they had invented.
The first segment of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” was devoted to spinning the map controversy. The phoniness of the story was inversely proportionate to the intensity of their condemning rhetoric.
CNN’s Don Lemon is never to be outdone in advancing anti-Trump spin – whether justified or not, real or made up. He seemed totally exasperated and lost for words (we should only be so lucky) in dramatizing and exaggerating the scope and meaning of Trump’s off-hand comment. It reminded me of the Lemon of election night 2016 when the CNN personality virtually collapses in traumatized despair at the thought of a President-elect Trump. He apparently has not recovered since.
FOX News resident Trump-hater, Shepard Smith, gave up news reporting to go off on a personal vindictive editorial rant over Trump’s concern for the people of Alabama.
This well-intended – but ultimately incorrect – concern about the future path of Dorian is being bantered about in the press as yet another lie told by Trump. It was not an honest – and understandable – mistake. No! No! No! It was a lie – and since Trump stuck to his story, some counted it as several lies. More for the Washington Post’s dubious list of Trump lies.
If I were to apply the same retrospective standard, I would conclude that the meteorologist, the politicians and the press all lied to me when they suggested I take precaution because Dorian COULD reach landfall over my house. I was so warned. But outside of a bit of a breeze and a little rain – and an hour or so battening down the hatches — nothing. How dare they needlessly scare me.
Make no mistake. Trump may have told some whoppers – as my grandfather would call them. But this was not one of them. Conversely, the twisting and spinning of the issue by the elitist media has been designed to deceive and malign with malice of forethought. As much as I tend to avoid the term “fake news,” these reports are well within the meaning of that term.
So, there ‘tis.