Whether the three most recent “unidentified objects” shot down over continental North America are Chinese spy equipment, rogue weather balloons, or the harbinger little green men from Uranus, the present administration has done a singularly bad job of getting out in front of the story.
From day one, the story should have been that although the nature of the object is unknown, a Joint US and Canadian military recovery team has been dispatched to each crash site and that all materials recovered would be handed off to RCMP and FBI investigators who will be assisted by <insert name of appropriate US and Canadian supporting agencies here>. Additionally, they should have announced that there would be update briefings held twice a day until further notice regardless of whether there was anything new to report.
The White House Press Office should have gotten way the hell out in front of this story. Instead, in the absence of regular engagement and what seems to be the desire to downplay the story, they’ve left the field wide open to speculation, conjecture, and crackpots of every stripe filling in the gaps with their own flavor of batshit crazy conspiracy theories. That was and is precisely the wrong approach to dealing with such a novel situation.
I’m well aware that there’s an ongoing requirement to balance national security concerns against the public’s interest in being fully informed – but given how much of the tracking and shoot down information is circulating in the public sphere already, the government, and the executive branch in particular, is being badly served by this plan to say as little as possible. Sitting quietly and hoping the story of US warplanes shooting down UFOs will die down on its own is both foolish and wrong.
At least that’s the advice I’d give them if I were their PR man.
The Chinese were foolish. All they had to do was paint “Trump” on the side of the balloon. Had they did this the MAGA crowd woulda thought the balloon was sent from God and would have declared it heresy to shoot it down.
At the very least they would be torn between wanting to use the fancy new jet fighter and not wanting to offend the Chosen One.