Trump Doubles Down Again on Alabama Claim

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.

After incorrectly claiming that citizens of Alabama would face significant danger from Hurricane Dorian on Sunday and continuing to attempt to justify that claim earlier this week, President Trump has again insisted that he was correct in saying that Alabama would be in the path of Dorian. He has claimed that the “fake news” is unfairly attacking him. On Thursday, the president tweeted several hurricane charts from August 29 and 30 that show Alabama on the edge of the hurricane’s “cone of uncertainty.” Trump said “Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit. The Fake News denies it!” On Thursday, the fifth day of Trump’s insistence that he was correct in his warning to Alabama, several news outlets published articles remarking on this apparent fixation. Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian is making its way up the Carolina coast. It has killed 30 people so far.

A left-leaning analysis from the Washington Post suggests that the president’s insistence “tips into the Orwellian.” The article begins with a quote from George Orwell’s 1984 explaining that in the novel’s dystopian future, citizens had to believe every lie put forward by their government. The article suggests two reasons why Trump has continued to double down on his narrative: “It pits the media as oppositional by looping criticism of his initial inaccuracy and his flawed defenses as attacks on him and, by extension, on his supporters. It is also an example of Trump’s unwavering unwillingness to admit mistakes, a central component of his personal survival strategy.”

A right-leaning Daily Caller article, in contrast, focuses on the fact that CNN coverage has criticized Trump for his focus on his Alabama statements while CNN itself mislabeled Alabama on a hurricane map. During their coverage of the storm, the network displayed a map that incorrectly labeled Alabama as Mississippi. The article tracks the barbs exchanged between White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who posted a screenshot of the incorrect map, saying ““Hi @CNN, I know you guys are busy analyzing lines on a map, but perhaps you use your time to study up on U.S. geography?” and CNN, which responded by saying that they acknowledged the mistake and fixed it within 30 seconds.

A centrist article from AP notes that the to-do about the hurricane maps shows that Trump is willing to deploy government staff and resources to justify an inaccurate claim. The article says “White House allies defended the president and accused the media of preferring to overreact to the blunder rather than focus on the lives still in the storm’s way.”