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I'm an idiot': New York Times sports editor on misleading photos of Patriots' visits to White House

New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman said Thursday he was responsible for a tweet showing a misleading photo comparison of the New England Patriots' visits to the White House. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman took full responsibility Thursday for a misleading photo comparison of the New England Patriots' visits to the White House after Super Bowl victories.

One showed the team visiting in 2015 when Barack Obama was president while the other showed a comparatively dismal turnout when Republican President Donald Trump hosted the team Wednesday.

Except the photo comparison was far from an accurate representation.

The Patriots themselves took corrective action, calling out the Times for running photos that “lack context.”

“Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs,” the Patriots tweeted. “In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn.”

Stallman came clean Thursday in an email to the Washington Post:

“Bad tweet by me. Terrible tweet. I wish I could say it’s complicated, but no, this one is pretty straightforward: I’m an idiot. It was my idea, it was my execution, it was my blunder. I made a decision in about four minutes that clearly warranted much more time. Once we learned more, we tried to fix everything as much as possible as swiftly as possible and as transparently as possible. Of course, at that point the damage was done. I just needed to own it.”

Trump, who is no fan of the Times, got in some digs at the paper Thursday:

The Patriots had posted a photo on Twitter of a more representative gathering at the Trump White House before correcting the Times:

The organization also posted its own photo comparison:

After the Patriots called out the Times, the paper posted a Twitter update acknowledging the total turnout from the organization was "roughly the same" in 2015 and 2017 — but also added that 34 players visited the Trump White House while 50 players showed up to see Obama.

Although one could argue the Times' photo comparison seems to indicate a far greater difference in number than merely 16 fewer players.

One last thing…
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