New York Times put out a picture comparison of Obama’s inauguration vs Trump’s. It looks like Obama’s crowd is massive compared to Trump’s sparse numbers. Brit Hume calls BS, there’s a reason the pictures look so different.
At a time when there should be national unity, a media war has erupted between the size of Obama’s and Trump’s, err, Inauguration Day crowds.
The size of the crowds is being hotly disputed as a flashpoint between the Democratic Party and its supportive media, who want to delegitimize the new president, and the Trump administration, which wants the symbolism of a massive crowd on the Washington mall to defy the opposition’s narrative.
“I have a running war with the media,” Trump said, adding how he really feels, “They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”
As with all narrative battles, imagery is often deployed by political operatives in an attempt to bolster support or to undermine one’s opponents.
A viral image put out by the New York Times, and subsequently adopted by much of the media, has been utilized by his opposition as a way of demonstrating that Trump’s crowd was substantially smaller than former President Obama’s in 2009.
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) January 21, 2017
- A number of things should be noted about these images, just for a matter of context:
- There are white tarps on the grounds of the Washington mall in the 2017 Trump Inauguration photo (right), while there none in the Obama photo (left).
- The weather for the Obama Inaugural Address was in the 20s, while Trump’s address had weather in the 40s and scattered rain showers.
- The Trump Inaugural Address was given while the areas of the mall were blocked off by officials for stated security concerns, such as protesters.
- Due to the cloudy skies seen in the photo, there will likely be no conclusive satellite data for the Trump Inaugural Address.
According to 2009 address analysis, drawing from satellite data evaluated by crowd size analysts, former President Obama drew a record 1.8 million to the Washington mall. It was a historic event in the sense that no African American had been elected president before; this alone would draw numerous loyal crowds.