Donald Trump Slams the New York Times for Tweeting Misleading Comparison Photos of New England Patriots Attendance
By Erica Abbott
President Donald Trump is blasting the “failing” New York Times again over an entirely new photo comparison fiasco—this time, regarding how many New England Patriots players were at the White House in 2015 vs. 2017.
On Wednesday, the New York Times Sports page tweeted images of two visits the New England Patriots have made to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl wins: one during former President Barack Obama’s tenure and the other during Trump’s. The photos seemingly indicated that the turnout for Obama was far greater based on how many people were in each photo. As the correction to the linked article clarified later, however, was that the Patriots’ photo with Obama included players, coaches and support staff, while Trump’s photo only featured the players and coaches.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
The New England Patriots were quick to point out that the photos lacked context. “Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn,” they tweeted. They also tweeted more “comparable” photos of their visits with Trump and President George W. Bush, who welcomed 34 and 36 players respectively. Trump tweeted about the incident Thursday morning, writing, “Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.”
Failing @nytimes, which has been calling me wrong for two years, just got caught in a big lie concerning New England Patriots visit to W.H.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2017
Snopes reports that while the images are misleading, it is still true more players attended Obama’s ceremony in 2015. Patriots reporter Dan Roche tweeted that there were about 50 players in attendance in 2015, but only 34 this year. The New York Times followed up with the figures on Twitter, explaining that the number of players was smaller this year, “but total delegation was roughly the same.”
The decline in attendance, however, was also due to many players skipping repeat visits, in addition to players who specifically stated they would not attend due to family issues or not wanting to visit Trump’s White House. Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty told Time magazine in February that he would not attend, saying, “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.” In total, seven players, including Tom Brady, skipped the most recent White House visit.
Given the latest crowd-size comparison photo fiasco, Trump has called the New York Times “failing” more than 50 times on Twitter since 2015.
Social Media Reacts to Trump’s “Failing” New York Times Tweet