Posted On 05 Sep 2019
President Donald Trump’s display of an apparently doctored map showing Alabama in the path of Hurricane Dorian has inspired a spate of satire on social media under the hashtag #Sharpiegate.
Trump showed the map on Wednesday in the Oval Office after repeatedly pressing his assertion earlier this week that Alabama was in the storm’s projected path. The National Weather Service tweeted soon after his initial claim that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
The map Trump displayed was the same as a model produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week — well before its path along the East Coast had become clear — with a key difference: A smaller, black circle that appeared to be hand-drawn with a Sharpie included Alabama in the mode.
Or, Twitter users suggested, the president might use a Sharpie to display his proposed wall on the Mexican border or to add stick figures to bolster his previously disputed claims about attendance at his inaugural.
“It was just so obviously ridiculous,” impromptu political cartoonist Carrie Smith told NBC News on Thursday about her image of the crowd at the president’s January 2017 inauguration with stick figures drawn in. Trump insisted at the time that the ceremony drew “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
Smith, a 40-year-old marketing consultant from Raleigh, North Carolina, put herself into Trump’s mind: “It just popped into my head, ‘Well the media’s report on the inaugural was obviously a lie, so let’s dress that up.'”
Even the Washington D.C. City Council got in on the act, tweeting a Sharpie-defaced downtown map. Trump might not live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. anymore, the council said.
“According to this ‘change of address’ postcard we received, the White House has announced its new mailing address will be 1600 Alabama Avenue, SE,” the council joked, with a #Sharpie.
Trump recently flirted with the notion of buying Greenland from Denmark, even though Copenhagen cannot unilaterally sell the North Atlantic island without approval of the largely autonomous Greenlandic government.
At least one netizen believed Trump could just try drawing Greenland into United States control.
“Got Greenland” the commentator wrote.
Trump, back on the Fourth of July, misspoke and said the Continental Army “took over the airports” in their fight against the British during the American Revolution.
So one online commentary helped the president by drawing airplanes into the famed painting, “Surrender of Lord Cornwallis,” which illustrated Gen. George Washington’s decisive win at Yorktown.
“They took the airports,” the Twitter user wrote.