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Thread: Trump Lost #Sharpiegate the Moment He Took It Seriously

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    Trump Lost #Sharpiegate the Moment He Took It Seriously

    Trump Lost #Sharpiegate the Moment He Took It Seriously

    When Brad Parscale, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, started peddling a Trump-branded Sharpie pen on Friday morning, things for a moment seemed to be returning to what passes for normal now: The frenzied commander in chief was finally steering away from a desperately earnest fight against admitting he inaccurately warned of Hurricane Dorian’s threat to Alabama and back toward a favorite pastime: trolling. Unfortunately, the message—that this branded pen “has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!”—came much too late. The key to trolling is jeering indifference: You win because you don’t care. To a troll, caring is hilarious and (should you make the mistake of doing it) fatal.

    By that metric alone, Trump cannot be said to have won the week. During this astonishing #Sharpiegate news cycle—a throbbing tumor attached to the real news of a Bahamas devastated by the storm—Trump, who typically lies with fluency and ease, cared so deeply about being fact-checked on this particular matter that his handlers warned the press he’d keep it going as long as they did. Trouble was, Trump cared much more than the press did. Maybe pathologically. He spent the better part of a week doubling down like a hangry gambler on this single claim, sharing old maps of obsolete weather forecasts to find something that would make him right—while Alabama went unaffected and the Bahamas mourned and the Carolinas battened down. He persisted until almost everyone ended up mystified and astounded, shaking their heads the way one does when someone has well and truly lost it.

    Here, in case you missed it, is the original claim Trump made on Sunday and continues to defend: “In addition to Florida—South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” The Alabama part of this was untrue, and the Birmingham National Weather Service immediately corrected the record on Sunday, operating under the understandable assumption that Alabamians receiving accurate information about a looming natural disaster mattered more than the president’s pride. Trump, unaccustomed to correction, disagreed. Since then, it didn’t hit but it could have has become his mantra, as he tweeted about it for days before the Wednesday Sharpie incident that will live in infamy, when he presented an official NOAA map doctored with black ink to make the hurricane appear to be headed toward Alabama.

    More interesting than Trump’s ongoing lie is what his absolute fixation on maintaining it says about the state of his White House and its relationship to the information environment. So clumsy and obvious was the Sharpie-drawn extension that it seemed like a test—how much can I get away with? Authoritarians frequently gauge their subordinates’ loyalties by ordering them to agree to things that are plainly untrue. This is the very first thing Trump did to then–press secretary Sean Spicer, who was forced to publicly defend the president’s claim about crowd sizes at his inauguration despite photographic evidence to the contrary. Spicer obliged, teaching Trump that he could use weak people to help him bend reality as president.

    Here’s a theory about why Trump couldn’t let it go this week: One of his staunchest allies didn’t seem to have his back. It may have rattled him. Fox News, which he has recently started attacking for being insufficiently slavish—has let him down. Pundits like Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera offered a barked and incoherent defense, but the network’s reporters were going harder against the official Trump story than usual. Trump’s ire at the network has been building—“The New @FoxNews is letting millions of GREAT people down! We have to start looking for a new News Outlet,” he tweeted on Aug. 28—and he seems to be testing the network’s response to that attempted bullying. If that was his experiment, it’s yielding uneven results. On Thursday, Trump invited Fox White House correspondent John Roberts into the Oval Office “to hit back at Shepard Smith,” according to a White House aide, but it didn’t tilt Roberts’ coverage in the way Trump may have hoped: “By the time the president tweeted about Alabama at 10:51 am on Sunday, the forecast track had moved well east,” John Roberts emphasized later on a Thursday broadcast. “There are some … suggesting that by altering an official forecast map, the president broke a federal law.”

    It’s not hard to understand why people—even Fox News reporters—are refusing to let #Sharpiegate go. Natural disasters are serious business. And there is nothing partisan about a hurricane map, or about the potential for false alarms and unnecessary panic and misdirected resources. On Sunday, when this debacle began, Alabama meteorologist James Spann quickly replied to Trump’s tweet with “Alabama will not be impacted by Dorian in any way.” Asked whether he’d intended to “bash President Trump,” he replied, “I have zero interest in politics. Dorian will not affect Alabama in any way. That is not a political statement.”
    Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm a fucking actor!

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    "Lost."

    LMAO! The desperation is genuinely hilarious.
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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    Must be a REALLY slow news day when all the lefty pundits can find is a sharpie pen to jut-jut about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    "Lost."

    LMAO! The desperation is genuinely hilarious.
    You and the rest of the left lost when they decided to preach to the converted. Nobody else gives a shit and it's easy to spot the clueless talking point repeaters on Facebook when they quote some federal law about altering an NWS report.

    Comical!
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

    link

    Time will tell.

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