If you’ve watched any cable TV coverage during Hurricane Dorian, you probably knew that President Donald Trump or one of his close associates almost certainly drew on a weather map with a Sharpie, probably as a rebuke to those attacking him for saying that the storm, at one point, might potentially hit Alabama.
What you might have forgotten was that there was actually a major storm involved in this whole thing.
I was watching CNN on Saturday morning and roughly as much time was dedicated to whether Trump used a marker on a map as was given to coverage of Dorian and the devastation it had wrought on the Bahamas and (to a lesser extent) parts of the U.S. East Coast.
Sunday morning, meanwhile, was given to talk of whether or not the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association had told its employees not to contradict Trump.
In short, the media couldn’t actually focus on the storm. They were like … well, Trump shared a meme that described #SharpieGate pretty accurately:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2019
This was pretty much the entirety of the media, although CNN got singled out for special treatment in this cat-and-laser-pointer meme for good reason.
Take Jim Acosta, who inarguably had the worst moment of the Sharpie coverage. (As if that’s surprising.)
“White House officials are digging in their heels over President Trump’s use of an altered map to justify his false statements that Hurricane Dorian was posing a threat to the state of Alabama,” Acosta said in a Thursday report, according to The Daily Caller.
“It was a reality-bending move that appears to jump the Sharpie.”
You can almost hear the saddest sad trombone playing in the background as that “jump the Sharpie” line escaped from Acosta’s mind to his lips. “Jumping the shark” as a bit of cool argot began roughly at the same time that the word “jiggy” was still considered cool in an unironic sense. Not only is Acosta’s hairdo a throwback to the 1990s, so is his quiver of pop culture references.
And then there was the time that CNN mislabeled a map involving the state we’ve all been talking about: Alabama, which they thought was Mississippi.
When White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham pointed it out, CNN got a little testy:
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.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) September 5, 2019
CNN, by the way, once predicted the storm could hit Alabama (although well before it was close to landfall):
Well this is awkward… https://t.co/JGTWCiLxIJ
— Matt Wolking (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@MattWolking) September 6, 2019
By the by, this isn’t the only way that the Trump people are trolling the media in the aftermath of this (and managing to make some money for 2020 in the process):
Buy the official Trump marker, which is different than every other marker on the market, because this one has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy! #KeepMarkersGreathttps://t.co/eakgICM0LR
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 6, 2019
Hey, why not?
By the way, the death toll in the Bahamas is at 44 right now, although that number is going to go up exponentially in the coming days, one assumes. But remember, the destruction was just as important as the Sharpie.
I wonder if there’s any sort of app you can use to superimpose the laser pointer over the CNN feed. Fifty bucks says that somehow, Chris Cuomo ends up chasing after it.
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