NYT’s Sports Editor: ‘I’m An Idiot,’ Takes Blame for Deceptive Tweet Comparing Patriots White House Visits


Admissions of error and wrongdoing by the New York Times are fairly hard to come by. Yet, just such an admission came from the Times’ sports department on Thursday.

Jason Stallman, sports editor at the Times took the hit for an extremely deceptive tweet comparing Patriots attendance from a White House visit under former President Obama, and Wednesday’s visit with President Trump:

The 2015 picture, when the Patriots visited with President Obama, appeared to show a very large group of players and coaches around the then Commander-in-Chief. The 2017 photo with President Trump appeared to show a much, much smaller crowd.

The only problem with this is that the photos completely lacked context, a point made by the Patriots Twitter account, shortly after the New York Times tweet surfaced:

Not to be outdone, President Trump himself took a shot at the Times:

Stallman took the hit for the bad tweet 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.

Later on Wednesday night, the Patriots posted two pics of their own, which compared crowd sizes the last time the Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years:

Full credit should go to Stallman for taking responsibility for the tweet. However, the real credit should got to the Patriots. No one else in the mainstream press called the Times out for their out-of-context, partisan photo comparison. Had the Patriots not said anything, it’s likely no one would have.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn