It could be argued, we suppose, that the strategy is clever and innovative. You know, the kind of thing you would expect from a very stable genius.
And as SharpieGate continues to give the rest of us a contact high from the absurdity of it all, we ponder whether newspapers should employ this creative game plan. Namely: When you are wrong, you don’t admit it, you double down. And then you triple down and quadruple down. And you lash out on Twitter and you display a falsified chart to prove your point and you act like a petulant fourth-grader.
Of course, newspapers could never do that. Being imperfect but beholden to a desire to tell the truth and admit our mistakes, we at least try to act with dignity and integrity. Which is more than can be said for the president of the United States.
In case you have not been following along at home, last week President Donald Trump tweeted out a warning about Hurricane Dorian and wrote that in addition to Florida, “South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated by the storm.” The National Weather Service in Alabama quickly corrected that: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
That could have been the end of it. That should have been the end of it. But Trump brought up the issue on a daily basis. On Wednesday, he produced a map of hurricane projections that seemed to have been altered with a Sharpie just to “prove” he was correct. As late as Friday, he tweeted, “The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian, that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit. They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t).”