The New York Times cannot stop imagining President Donald Trump's big, beautiful redemption story. On Sunday, the morning that Trump peddled a friend's new book on Twitter, The Times ran a story originally titled — and since edited — "Hurricane Brings a Display of a President Anything but Disengaged."
On Tuesday, the day after Trump said he used the hurricane's "ratings" to announce his pardon of Joe Arpaio, The Times published another favorable story about the president's response to the disaster — this time titled "Harvey Gives Trump a Chance to Reclaim Power to Unify."
Written by White House correspondent Glenn Thrush, the article posited that Trump could salvage his abysmal record as president by not repeating former President George Bush's monumental screw-up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Thrush called hurricanes post-Katrina "political events, benchmarks by which a president's abilities are measured." The White House correspondent argued that Trump so far "is behaving like a man whose future depends on getting this right."
For those who follow Trump on Twitter and watched his press conference with the Finnish president, they have only seen a president determined to cut down his political opponents. He shared a tweet from Dinesh D'Souza, for example, which solely blamed the left for the violence breaking out at political rallies. At the joint press conference, he read out a list of controversial pardons and clemencies by past presidents in order to justify his Arpaio decision.
For Thrush, Trump has mostly behaved stoically during this time of crisis. He wrote: "Mr. Trump has toned down his presence on Twitter — mildly — relying more on the kind of official statements and news media availability used to by his predecessors."
"The president, who prefers to skim rather than delve, has seldom been more engaged in the details of any issue as he is with Harvey, according to several people involved in disaster response," Thrush added.
Thrush later wrote that the president "appeared genuinely moved" by the dire images coming out of Houston. He ignored the fact that the Trump White House featured images of the president wearing hats he was selling online.
Thrush's thesis — "A storm that is ravaging low-lying areas gives Mr. Trump a chance to reclaim the presidential high ground" — was easy to mock. And mock the internet did.
If negative comments aren't enough, just take a peep at the reply to like ratio.