Trump Responds to Hurricane Dorian

Evan Vucci/AP

Evan Vucci/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 357 news articles covering this topic. 75% (267) are left leaning, 19% (67) center, 6% (23) right leaning.

As Hurricane Dorian continues to make its way up the Carolina coast, President Trump is embroiled in a hangup over his inaccurate description of the hurricane’s path. On Sunday, the president tweeted that Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by the hurricane. However, the hurricane will not hit Alabama and was not predicted to. On Wednesday, the White House released a video apparently attempting to justify Trump’s warning to Alabama. The video shows a map from the National Hurricane center displaying the forecast path of Hurricane Dorian. The map had been altered with a Sharpie to indicate a chance that the hurricane might move from Florida to Alabama, although Alabama is not included in such a “cone of uncertainty” map. The hurricane has killed 20 people in the Bahamas so far and is expected to cause significant damage on the Carolina coast.

A left-leaning Washington Post article emphasizes Trump’s use of the altered map in the White House video. The article notes that “Altering official government weather forecasts isn’t just a cause for concern — it’s illegal.” The article further clarifies that Alabama has not been and will not be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The Post also printed an analysis calling Trump’s political maneuverings around the hurricane “transparent and petty.” Left-leaning coverage tends to emphasize the damage caused by the hurricane so far as well as Trump’s attempts to justify his warnings to Alabama. 

A right-leaning article from the New York Post, in contrast, considers whether the hurricane might help Trump’s chances of reelection in 2020. The article asks “Will people who have sustained damage from this hurricane and others that might develop in the months ahead be spending on repairs at precisely the right time to help Trump?” The article notes that there will need to be significant spending during the recovery effort for the hurricane, and adds that the possibility of a recession in the Trump administration is remote. A Fox News analysis primarily focused on the destruction wreaked by Dorian and the Bahamas and the efforts of US states in the hurricane’s path to prepare for the storm. 

A centrist article from NPR also highlights Trump’s use of an altered hurricane map and notes that falsifying such maps is illegal. The article also clarifies that Alabama was predicted to be at risk for tropical-force winds at the end of last week, but was declared fully out of danger before Trump’s statements on Sunday.