Linguistic precision has never been one of Donald Trump’s hallmarks, to put it mildly.
Yet, a week into Alabama-gate, the president is still trying to prove to America that he wasn’t wrong when he sent a tweet including that southern state in his amateur meteorological forecast for the pending devastation of Hurricane Dorian and is using semantics to argue his case without actually knowing what semantics means.
It was just last Sunday that Trump sent his tweet with the warning based on a days-old projected path for Dorian that had been superseded with new information several times before he hit send on his post. Never one to admit that he’s the least bit fallible, he’s been trying to defend his mistake ever since, much to the amusement of many, but to the dismay of psychological professionals who believe that his rigidness is a sign of rapidly advancing mental decline.
Trump was still at it today, as he launched his umpteenth attack on the news media for reporting about his preoccupation with his mistaken forecast. Projecting his own obsession onto what he calls the “LameStream Media,” he made a point of explaining the subtle difference in the wording of his weather prediction that he hoped would put an end to the press insisting on covering this particular flub on his part.
…FAKE NEWS. I would like very much to stop referring to this ridiculous story, but the LameStream Media just won’t let it alone. They always have to have the last word, even though they know they are defrauding & deceiving the public. The public knows that the Media is corrupt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2019
The problem with the president’s tweeted riposte to The New York Times article that he quotes is that —as he claims of the Times story — “THIS IS NOT TRUE!”
Here is Trump’s original tweet:
In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2019
Hmm, it seems that in Trump’s addled brain “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” is a synonym for “MAY EVEN hit.” Unfortunately, “THIS IS NOT TRUE!”
It’s as if, when being interrogated by a police officer at a random DUI checkpoint, you offer up the excuse that you “may even” have had a second or third beer before getting behind the wheel, when the breathalyzer tests clearly indicate that you “most likely” had four or five beers followed up with whiskey chasers. Nice try, but no one — especially the highway patrol — is buying it, particularly since you’re also accusing the officer of being obsessed with your drinking habits and on the take.
The only public that thinks that “the Media is corrupt!” are those who are foolish enough to believe anything that Trump says. An increasing majority of the public realizes that it is Trump himself who is corrupt — with new evidence emerging every day — and incredibly unintelligent to boot.
Now hopefully that will be the last word on the subject but, given the president’s irrational obsession, it’s not something worth placing any bets on.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.