The White House staff has a lot on its plate these days – repealing and replacing Obamacare, tax reform, immigration, North Korea and Russia, infrastructure, just to name a few.
So they may not have time to actually read everything that comes across their desks before the next tweet or blog post.
Case in point: One of the staff’s daily duties includes updating a White House blog , called "Your 1600 daily," that rounds up Oval Office memos and news highlights, with links to media reports that often include positive news coverage of the Trump administration.
On Friday, the White House posted a link to what – upon first glance – appeared to be a favorable review of the Trump’s "skinny" budget proposal that would add more than $50 billion in new defense spending by slashing other federal programs.
The proposed spending plan included everything from deep cuts in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget to the elimination of federal support for the arts to reduced grants to help states provide housing and social services for the working poor.
Amid the resulting political backlash to the assault on popular programs, the overworked staffer who linked to the Washington Post story with a flattering headline could be forgiven for assuming it provided positive spin on the controversial spending plan.
It was, after all, titled "Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why."
But a closer read would have revealed that that article was, in fact, a parody piece lambasting the new budget blueprint.
"Clean rivers and breathable air are making us SOFT and letting the Chinese and the Russians get the jump on us," Post reporter Alexandra Petri wrote about a proposed 30 percent cut to the EPA budget.
"We must go back to the America that was great, when the air was full of coal and danger and the way you could tell if the air was breathable was by carrying a canary around with you at all times, perched on your leathery, coal-dust-covered finger," she wrote.
As of Friday afternoon, the link was deleted from the White House website.
For her part, the article’s author was very understanding about the mix-up.
"I agree that my articles are much worse if you click on them," Petri wrote. "This reminds me of those movie trailers that manage to cite only a single word from a review ("Extreme" –LA Times) in such a way that you wonder how the word was used in context."
Alexandra Petri tweet