Fake news: When the New England Patriots fact-checked the New York Times; Update: "I'm an idiot," says Times editor

Do you know how painful it is for a Jets fan to have to applaud the Patriots on a job well done? This could only have been worse if it was the Yankees. Or Derek Jeter tweeting from his personal account.

But fair is fair. Fake news…

…followed by the truth:

The Pats posted their own photo of players and staff together with Trump and it looked like this:

Comparable to the Obama pic touted by the Times up top. There is a discrepancy between now and 2015, though: While the total New England contingent was of similar size in both cases, the number of actual players who attended this year was smaller than two years ago. Fifty showed up for the Obama ceremony versus 34 who showed up for Trump. How come? According to the Pats, it’s a matter of victory fatigue. When you win the big one twice in three years, it stands to reason that some players will skip the second visit to the White House having already done it once before. (Dont’a Hightower, who’d already “been there, done that” as an Alabama player after they won a national championship, decided to pass on another White House visit months ago.) The relevant comparison, they claim, isn’t to the number of players who attended Obama’s event but the number who attended the last time they made a second trip to Washington in three years:

Fair point, but was it victory fatigue that led to more players skipping Bush’s event or was it political objections to another Republican president? The Times posted a story last night about yesterday’s White House event noting that several Pats either flatly said or strongly implied that they wouldn’t attend Trump’s ceremony due to political differences. LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Martellus Bennett, and Devin McCourty — all have said in interviews that they either don’t feel welcome in a Trump-run White House or they object to things Trump has said or done. How many players boycotted yesterday for ideological reasons and how many skipped because they’d been there and done that? Inquiring left-leaning Boston-area sportswriters probably want to know and may find out.

Via the Free Beacon, here’s MSNBC and CNN running last night with the misleading Times photo comparison. We’ll see if they correct this evening. (Hayes already tried to correct on Twitter.) Exit question: Never mind how many Patriots showed up to Obama’s and Trump’s events. How many Kid Rocks and Ted Nugents did Obama get to come to the White House, huh? Bet the Times never thought of that.

Update: Here’s a better exit question via Stephen Miller: Why did the media find it significant when Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, a conservative, skipped Obama’s victory ceremony for the Bruins if they don’t find it significant that Blount et al. skipped yesterday’s for similar political reasons?

Update: The first step is admitting you have a problem.


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