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One of the hardest things in the world to do when you've been shown to be wrong is to apologize, but after wrongfully attributing a quote to President Donald Trump, Bette Midler did exactly that. Not only did she apologize, she posted the source information which proved her information that she originally posted was wrong.
There's a lot of power in an apology. Apologies have the potential to mend fences, or at the very least, smooth over awkward relations.
They don't usually end with someone attempting to make a situation worse.
To recap; Bette Midler had tweeted a few days ago a quote that has been mistakenly attributed to Donald Trump multiple times. Reportedly, the quote says, “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”
While the tenor of the quote could be easily mistaken for something Trump would say, the Reno Gazette Journal did a little fact checking and confirmed that this, in fact, did not come from the Donald. In fact, in her apology tweet, Midler said part of the problem was that this oft-circulated meme sounds so much like something Trump would say that she was thrown off.
It's not as though this quote is anything that hasn't been seen before in the media; in fact, the news article that explains that the quote is a falsehood ran in 2015, so it's not like it is a huge revelation that this quote did not come from Trump, and it's not like this is the first time Trump would have seen this quote.
However, while on a state trip to the United Kingdom, Trump seems to have felt the time was ripe to strike back, rather than to gracefully acknowledge Midler's admission of having mistakenly attributed a quote to Trump.
"Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make “your great president” look really bad," he tweeted late in the day June 4th. "She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!"
Here's the problem. Not only did Trump seemingly not acknowledge the grace that it takes to actually admit a mistake, he chose to go on the attack instead of acknowledging the 75th anniversary of D-Day. One would have thought that such a solemn anniversary would have been worthy of some reflection from the American president, but apparently, Trump thought otherwise.
I'm not saying Bette Midler is perfect. In fact, none of us are beyond reproach. However, she realized her error, publicly acknowledged it and has moved on with her day. This is not the first time that the quote she referenced in her tweet was erroneously attributed to Trump, and I suspect it will not be the last. The fact that she's being blistered on social media, with the United States president seemingly leading the charge, is astounding.
I'm not shocked that there are those who are choosing to lambaste Midler on social media for her comments. Social media is rife with those who choose to troll others, regardless of whether the reason is appropriate or not. It would be stunning if, say, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to randomly insult celebrities and leaders, or if Tony Blair chose to do the same. However, what's sadder still is we're in a world where a would-be leader such as Trump is choosing to lead by insult, and that we are no longer surprised. Also, Bette Midler has not been the only one in his Twitter crosshairs.
Meghan Markle, Chuck Schumer, Sadiq Khan, those are only a few of the individuals who have piqued Trump this week, and it's only Wednesday, June 5th. Bette Midler may have gone on with her life after her Twitter error, and perhaps Trump should learn to let it go as well.