In perhaps the most absurd narrative of this late-summer news cycle, former top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have criticized the agency for defending President Trump's statement from several days ago that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.
Of note, official forecasts did include the possibility of Dorian hitting the state - which CNN broadcast separate of Trump's comment and a hand-drawn hurricane path he presented which has become central to what is now known as "sharpiegate."
Idiocracy at it's finest:
In a September 6 statement, the NOAA wrote "the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama. This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed at the following link."
And now, former NOAA officials are slamming the agency's note according to the Associated Press.
"This rewriting history to satisfy an ego diminishes NOAA," said Elbert "Joe" Friday - former director of the National Weather Service via Facebook, adding on Saturday "We don’t want to get the point where science is determined by politics rather than science and facts. And I’m afraid this is an example where this is beginning to occur."
In the tempestuous aftermath, some meteorologists spoke on social media of protesting when the acting NOAA chief, Neil Jacobs , is scheduled to speak at a National Weather Association meeting Tuesday — in Huntsville, Alabama.
Former officials saw a political hand at work in NOAA’s statement disavowing the Birmingham tweet. The statement was issued by an anonymous “spokesperson,” a departure from the norm for federal agencies that employ people to speak for them by name. -AP
"This falls into such uncharted territory," said former Florida emergency management chief under Gov. Jeb Bush and Obama's FEMA director. "You have science organizations putting out statements against their own offices. For the life of me I don’t think I would have ever faced this under President Obama or Governor Bush."
Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator during the Obama administration said: “It is truly sad to see political appointees undermining the superb, life-saving work of NOAA’s talented and dedicated career servants. Scientific integrity at a science agency matters.” -AP
Meanwhile, CNN's Jim Acosta tweeted on Sunday a letter from the National Weather Service advising staff not to contradict Trump's claim on Dorian impacting Alabama, after the NWS Birmingham Twitter account tweeted in response: "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east."
Trump, of course, has dug in on the issue - and is now tweeting memes knocking CNN for their coverage:
Time for a nice, refreshing glass of Brawndo?