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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As with many stories about President Donald Trump, this one may toss you into a familiar cycle: first you laugh, then you cry, and then you fantasize about November 2020.

The president’s latest round of nonsense began on Sunday when he announced on Twitter that, among other southern states, Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Hurricane Dorian, which was making its way toward the East Coast.

Just shortly after that tweet, the National Weather Service branch in Birmingham, Alabama, refuted the president:

When Trump was speaking with reporters Sunday after the tweet, he reiterated that Alabama was in the storm’s path, even though, as CNN reported, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed this was false.

But Trump doubled down, again and again, saying that Alabama was likely to get hit and lashing out at the media for reporting on his discrepancies. Then on Wednesday, the White House posted a video on Twitter showing the president referring to an outdated weather forecast, which, nevertheless didn’t show Dorian hitting Alabama. But there appeared to be an additional line, possibly drawn in sharpie, that falsely extended the projection of the storm’s path into Alabama.

Later on Wednesday, when pressed about this bizarre map, Trump flailed in response. He said he didn’t know where the falsified map came from.

“Actually, we have a better map than that which is going to be presented, where we had many lines going directly — many models, each line being a model — and they were going directly through, in all cases, Alabama was hit,” he said.

Asked specifically about the sharpie line, he just said: “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…”

As CNN reported:

CNN Weather meteorologists say one forecast on Friday afternoon showed one-tenth of one county in extreme southwest Alabama was included in one model. But that map bears little resemblance to the one Trump showed on Wednesday. And the official track from the National Hurricane Center never showed Dorian’s track entering the Gulf of Mexico, as Trump also claimed.

One available map, shared on Monday by the National Hurricane Center, showed a projection of Dorian’s path that did somewhat overlap with the state of Alabama. But the section covering the state only represented a 5 percent chance of receiving 39 mph winds in a narrow region; it did not suggest at all that Alabama would likely be “hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

If Trump wants to defend his false claims, he would have been wiser to use this map, rather than one with a clumsily drawn line.

But he shouldn’t just be worried about defending himself. He should be worried about trying to get things right, because his decisions and credibility actually matter. But as always, Trump finds it impossible to admit he was ever wrong.

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.