Our View: Let's Talk About The Weather

Just for the record, Cape Cod was within the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. While it ended up passing far off our coast, it did bring more than two inches of rain and winds of 45 miles per hour to the region.

And, for the record, except in early “spaghetti” projections when its possible impact ranged from Louisiana to Tennessee, Hurricane Dorian was never expected to affect Alabama.

The aftermath of President Trump's insistence that Dorian was forecast to impact Alabama, including his altering of the official National Weather Service map (“Sharpie-gate”) and reports that those who contradicted his false assertions could face firing, has become a bigger story than the storm itself. Which is tragic, considering the loss of life and devastation in the Bahamas, where scenes of the damage resemble a war zone. It's another example of Trump becoming the story, for which the news media must shoulder some of the blame, although the president's mind-numbing narcissism and cluelessness for failing to fess up to a simple mistake are the root cause, as they are in so much of what passes for news coming out of the White House these days.

A real leader, someone with intelligence, empathy and insight, would have thrown the focus on efforts to help the people whose lives were upended by the hurricane. He or she would have ordered an immediate response from our military and relief agencies. That ideal leader would have welcomed refugees who have lost their homes and have no access to fresh water and other necessities. A true leader would stretch out a hand in friendship rather than putting up a palm and insulting those who are now among the most desperate people on earth.

An important lesson here is that despite efforts by this president to control reality, he is not omnipotent. Regarding the weather, it is dangerous to put out false information. People make life-and-death decisions based on forecasts and warnings from what up until now has been one of the most trusted government functions. The weather forecast may not always be right, but deliberately putting out the wrong forecast or attempting to “ret-con” the weather is abhorrent.

President Trump may be, in his own mind and the mind of others, “The Chosen One,” but whatever powers that entails don't extend to the meteorological realm.