Is it just perception, or does President Trump kinda' not like The New York Times?
On Tuesday, Trump traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to deliver a speech on gangs in the U.S. New York Times writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis said the crowd size was "1,000 people."
But she was off — by at least 4,500. The crowd was actually 5,500, a fact she would have known had she simply asked the city's fire marshal’s office, who pays attention to that kind of stuff. Trump staffers put the number even higher, at 8,000. The arena holds 9,500 people, but some sections were cordoned off.
Trump, needless to say, was not happy.
After Trump harangued the paper — the operative word there is "after" — the Times attached a correction to the story.
Correction: May 30, 2018
An earlier version of this article cited an incorrect figure for the number of people attending President Trump’s rally. While no exact figure is available, the fire marshal’s office estimated that approximately 5,500 people attended the rally, not about 1,000 people.
Davis also sought to explain: “President @realDonaldTrump is correct about his crowd last night. My estimate was way off, and we have corrected our story to reflect the fire marshal’s estimate of 5,500 people. When we get it wrong, we say so.”
Now, I've been doing this for some 30 years, and estimating a crowd is part of the job. First, you check with the fire marshal. Second, you find out the capacity of the venue. And if all else fails, you actually count the people (by sections, which will give you a pretty good estimate).
A Times spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades Ha, told The Washington Post: "We take accuracy seriously. Whenever a potential error is brought to our attention, we look into it. In this case, the President’s tweet prompted our reporter to fact check the crowd size estimate with the Nashville Fire Department. The estimate in our story was incorrect, so we corrected it.”
Yes, the Times, America's paper of record, simply went with one number — the very poor guess of its reporter — without checking. Pathetic.
Trump's people said there were even more people there.
“President Trump hosted over 8,000 patriotic Americans at our rally in Nashville last night, but the New York Times wants to mislead and deceive its declining readership by claiming that we had an ‘audience of about 1,000,’” said campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner, according to The Washington Times.
“This is yet another blatant attempt by the fake news media to deny the truth about President Trump’s success and diminish the reality of the Trump movement," he said.
Davis, the Times reporter, recently made her own news with a post on Twitter from that very night, saying:
Maybe Davis should've spent more time gathering facts rather than opining on Twitter about the state of journalism.
And maybe, just maybe, Trump has a point about The New York Times.