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New York Times mocks Trump on Twitter

Commentary: The Times tweets images of the New England Patriots visiting the president in 2015 and today. The pictures are quite different.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

A smaller group this time.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

It's hard being fake news.

Every day, you get up, hoping to make things real. And every day, or so it seems, the president is telling everyone that you're fake.

That is surely the experience of The New York Times, so often decried by President Donald Trump -- when he's not calling it "a great American jewel," that is.

On Tuesday, the Times bit back. It took to Twitter to present two images of the New England Patriots visiting the president after the team had won the Super Bowl.

One picture seemed to include rather more visitors than the other. In 2015, the Patriots were positioned half way up the White House steps. On Wednesday, the steps weren't needed.

The tweet, sent by the Times' sports section, offered only these very factual words: "Patriots' turnout for President Obama in 2015 vs. Patriots' turnout for President Trump today."

The mockery, however, was evident. A not-too-twisted mind might think it a follow-up to images the Times published of President Trump's inauguration, compared with those of President Barack Obama.

This led to the president and his press secretary disputing the story these images professed to tell.

In the case of the latest Patriots images, it's likely that one factor reducing the size of the crowd is that 34 Patriots players -- half the team -- didn't make the trip.

Even legendary quarterback -- and rumored Trump supporter -- Tom Brady backed out at the last minute, citing family matters.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. For their part, the Patriots objected to the tweet's overtones. They tweeted in rebuttal: "These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn."

They then posted their own comparison pictures that they said offered a truer picture.

By then, however, the Times' tweet engendered almost 15,000 retweets and almost 17,000 likes.

Of course, the Times could have just offered Wednesday's picture without presenting a comparison. Somehow, the opportunity to do otherwise seems to have been too delicious.

Everyone's a Twitter troll now. From the top of the mountain to the grubby depths of the media, fake or otherwise.

Update, 10:22 p.m. PT: Adds rebuttal from Patriots

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