The media has nothing to gain by lying about such a silly thing as light attendance at an extremely unpopular president's inauguration. If one media outlet started fabricating news, as they have been charged with, then other media outlets would jump at the chance to expose them as fakes. That would be news.
The media is telling the truth that fewer people attended the Trump inauguration then the Obama inauguration. However, this is a non-story. Who cares how many people attend an inauguration. The more important story is what does the president do for the American people. The media should focus more on Trump's proposed policy initiatives.
Certain unscrupulous news outlets published photos of Trump's inauguration, clearly showing an empty Mall, and claimed he had really low attendance for it. What they forgot to tell the viewer was that the photo was taken earlier in the day before the inauguration, and that protesters were blocking entrances, barring access to the grounds. These news outlets had to have known this, since they snatched the story right up.
This is frankly uncalled for. Trump's inauguration was a massively attended, despite bad conditions. These news companies knew this, however, they are just trying to get blows on Trump whenever they get the chance. In the end however, Trump is still the President.
Given how the media has treated Donald Trump since the day he announced his candidature for presidency until today he is sitting on the oval office, I take everything the say about the him with a pinch of salt. May be the pictures they are showing were taken before the event started or after it had ended.
There were first hand reports of people from the inauguration that said that the crowd was packed. There are photos looking out from Congress that show that the house was full to watch his swearing in. The media is just trying to paint a narrative that Trump isn't popular, when that isn't the case.