The press wastes no time spotlighting stories that darken President Donald Trump’s character or smarts.
The latest in #FakeNews histrionics is that Trump stared directly into the sun while he and First Lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans in experiencing the solar eclipse. Some examples of the headlines:
- Not too bright’: Trump trolled for staring at the eclipse with no eye protection
- Trump Stares at the Sun During the Eclipse: Will It Harm His Eyes?
- Donald Trump stares into solar eclipse without safety glasses, while aides shout ‘don’t look!’
CNN’s coverage was, perhaps, the most mocking and derisive. Its published report started with 3 photos in quick succession, with a snark-filled comment under each, and continued with more condescension.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 21, 2017
That’s Donald John Trump on the White House South Portico, seemingly looking directly into the sun. At the peak of the solar eclipse. Without any sort of protective eyewear on.
This, from the White House pool report of the moment filed by the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs is, um, amazing: “At approximately 2:39, the President initially gesticulated to the crowd below and pointed at the sky. As he did so, one of the White House aides standing beneath the Blue Room Balcony shouted ‘don’t look.'”
Trump did, eventually, put on protective eyewear — as did first lady Melania Trump.
On the other hand, the Boston Globe offers a more sober and accurate account of the President’s actions.
Shortly after Monday’s eclipse, photos of the president appearing to stare up at the sun from a White House balcony circulated online, with many mocking Trump for not donning protective eyewear first.
But videos showed that Trump wasn’t as cavalier as the still images made it seem: He looked up for a brief moment with his naked eyes beforehand in what appeared to be a joking manner before putting on his glasses.
Later, Trump — first flanked by his wife Melania and then joined by his son Barron — donned the protective glasses to stare at the eclipse for a few minutes before sporadically taking them off, and then merely glancing upwards for a second here and there before looking back down and putting the eyewear back on.
Several eclipse-viewers were quick to catch onto the #FakeNews: This included people who aren’t fans of President Trump:
Literally pains me to say this but it’s fake, trump was wearing glasses thru the eclipse, took me off at the end & took one glance back
— Tammy (@Shoeprincss7) August 22, 2017
Trump vile egregious putz, but his quick squinting glance at eclipse no more stupid than quick glance at regular sun, as all routinely do. https://t.co/5VxunDF898
— Mike Nitabach (@mnitabach) August 21, 2017
Others put the presidential actions into proper perspective:
It’s not more dangerous to glance at the sun during eclipse. It’s just easier to stare then, so don’t. Trump = facts not fake news, again
— Bill DeWitt (@Baerdric) August 21, 2017
Yet, other #TrumpHaters, who need very little to set them off, unleashed a TweetStorm about the initial report that was as classy and circumspect as you might expect.
I really hope cheeto ass trump is blind from looking at the solar eclipse. Would make my 2017.
— Thalia (@thaliasirena) August 22, 2017
Trump’s dumb ass didn’t wear the eclipse glasses let’s all hope he goes blind or drops dead
— LilEsBella (@LilEsBella) August 21, 2017
Though some intepid #NeverTrumpers did find something positive to say about the action.
I like that trump’s consistent. At least when he says he doesn’t believe in climate change, he also stares at the sun during the eclipse
— Kobi Jaro (@kobijaro) August 22, 2017
On a more scientific note, this was the most watched solar eclipse in history. Thousands of volunteers joined professional scientists to collect valuable data on the sun:
More than 50 NASA-funded research balloons were launched to observe the eclipse from above the clouds. NASA is watching from the ground, air and space with 11 different spacecraft, astronauts on the International Space Station and chase planes.
Along the path, 68 telescope sites were set up under Citizen CATE (Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse), a collaboration of scientists, students and volunteers all using identical equipment to measure the inner corona.
The scientists will be analyzing the data for some time to come. It is also quite likely that the American press will continue generating #FakeNews about President Trump into the foreseeable future as well.
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