The New York Times has been forced to walk back a tweet comparing the number of New England Patriots who visited President Obama after winning the Super Bowl in 2015 to the number who visited President Trump on Wednesday.
Here was the original tweet, sent Wednesday afternoon, which features comparable photos of the 2015 and 2017 Patriots delegations.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
The Patriots responded Wednesday night that the Times’ 2017 photo was misleading because it didn’t include football staff, who were in the 2015 photo.
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
A Patriots spokesman told the Times that 34 players visited the White House on Wednesday, compared to around 50 in 2015.
To surprise of absolutely positively no one, Trump responded to the Times’ on Twitter, accusing the paper of lying.
None of this was a particularly good look for the Times, especially in light of the perception that the paper has an anti-Trump slant.
Perhaps for this reason, the Times’ sports editor issued a statement to Yahoo’s Colin Campbell in which he profusely apologized for the tweet comparing the delegation sizes.
You pretty much don’t get apologies more straight-forward and self-deprecating than this one:
NYT Sports editor gave me a pretty effusive statement on that Trump/Patriots-crowd-size-comparison tweet: pic.twitter.com/yrvyuCPybp
— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) April 20, 2017