NYT corrects crowd size estimate at Nashville rally after Trump criticism
The New York Times has corrected a crowd size estimate it provided following President Trump’s rally in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday night, after receiving sharp criticism from the president.
The paper on Wednesday stated that attendance was more than five times larger than estimates it had originally reported.
“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,” the correction stated.
The correction comes after the president railed against the Times on Twitter Wednesday morning, accusing the newspaper of intentionally underestimating the crowd size and of being comprised of “very dishonest” people who don’t “get” him.
“The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at ‘1000 people,’ when in fact it was many times that number – and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t ‘get’ me, and never did!” Trump tweeted to his 52.3 million followers.
The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at “1000 people,” when in fact it was many times that number – and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t “get” me, and never did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Trump has called out the media for getting crowd sizes wrong before with varying results.
In December, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel tweeted out a photo on a mostly empty arena at a Trump rally with a caption, “Packed to the rafters,” mocking the president. The photo was later revealed to have been taken hours before the event.
.@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
Weigel apologized an hour after the president’s tweet slamming the photo he posted.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 9, 2017
In January 2017, Trump also took issue with the crowd size reported for his inauguration
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer declared to reporters the following day.
“Even The New York Times printed a photograph showing a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth in crowd, and intensity that existed,” Spicer added. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
Spicer didn’t take any questions and left a number of reporters in the room in a state of disbelief.
Photos showed Trump’s inauguration attendance was lower than that of President Obama’s in 2008.
Spicer later defended his statements by saying that he was speaking in the context of a worldwide audience who could have been watching the ceremony on television and streaming online.