You knew something like this would happen. The media not only can’t help themselves, they don’t want to help themselves. Their entire raison d’etre is to make Trump look bad, so they can’t just let a Super Bowl winner’s White House visit go by without at least trying to spin it negatively for Trump.
What the New York Times didn’t count on in this instance was the team itself calling Bolshevik on it. But even after the Patriots did so, the Times still responded with a dishonest attempt to explain away its own fail:
The problem with the Times’ claim is much worse than they’re trying to pretend it is.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 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
UPDATE: Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same. pic.twitter.com/Ij77Def8z5
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 20, 2017
That’s not exactly what the Patriots said. They said the photo was misleading because, in 2015, both players and other staff were pictured on the stage and stairs, whereas in 2017 only the players were on the stage - while the staff were on the South Lawn rather than being put on the stairs. So if the staff had been positioned exactly as they were in 2015, the photo would have looked pretty much the same. The difference was not one of turnout but of where certain people were seated.
In other words, contrary to what the Times wants you to think, there was no mass (or even limited) boycott by Patriots players or staff resulting from Trump being president as opposed to Obama. The photo gives that impression absent context, and since the Times has no intention of giving you that context it’s left to the Patriots to do it themselves.
This is one of the things I love about social media. Before social media, the legacy media could lie about stuff like this all they wanted and it was almost impossible to challenge them. You could call the editor and demand a correction, and maybe they’d do it and maybe they wouldn’t. Even if they did, they would probably run it on Page 48D, and no one would ever see it. Now, if the Times runs fake news about the Patriots on its Twitter feed, the Patriots can instantly smack the Times down on their own Twitter feed.
This is absolutely progress. Whatever else may be wrong with Twitter (and I could go on all day about that), this is a very good thing and I wouldn’t want to be without it.
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