An editor from the New York Times has apologized to Donald Trump after the president called out the paper for a misleading tweet about the crowd size at the New England Patriots’ recent White House visit.
“Bad tweet by me. Terrible tweet. I wish I could say it’s complicated, but no, this one is pretty straight forward. I’m an idiot,” sports editor Jason Stallman said in a statement issued to Yahoo’s Colin Campbell.
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
“It was my idea, it was my execution, it was my blunder,” the sports editor continued. “I just needed to own it.”
Some Patriots skipped Wednesday’s visit to the White House for political reasons — star quarterback Tom Brady cited “personal family matters.” The Times tweeted out a photo that made it appear more members of the team showed up the last time they won the Super Bowl in 2015.
On Thursday, Trump pointed out the mistake on Twitter, saying the Times “got caught in a big lie.” The Patriots came to Trump’s defense, tweeting that the photos “lack context” and non-players were seated, as opposed to standing.
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
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
The Times later added a correction to its article on the Patriots’ White House Trip, noting the photo comparison had been removed from the story:
“An earlier version of this article included photos comparing the size of the Patriots’ gathering at the White House in 2015 and the gathering on Wednesday,” read the correction. “The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed.”
Early Friday, Trump re-tweeted a “Fox & Friends” segment on the situation:
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 21, 2017