Foundations for Writing

SCSU Site for English 191

September 8, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Leonard Pitts’ “The fable of the emperor’s new clothes, with nuclear weapons”

Leonard Pitts’ opinion column today—in part responding to the doctoring of the weather map Trump used to suggest he was accurate in saying Alabama was in the path of Dorian—investigates the nature of Trump’s lies and what they suggest. Here’s the lead:

If you’re going to lie, make it a good one.

Meaning, put some effort into it. Make it convincing. Make sure the truth is not easily discoverable. Don’t just draw on a weather map with a Sharpie.

That’s apparently what Donald Trump or someone in his employ did last week to prove he was right all along in claiming that the state of Alabama lay in the path of Hurricane Dorian. He made this claim via Twitter Sunday morning, and it was so alarmingly wrong that the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service quickly tweeted an emphatic correction: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian.” (

The article, scathing in its criticism, is nonetheless Pitts at his best—logical, on point, compelling.

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