Stephanie Grisham, Hogan Gidley say Washington Post article was biased

In an op-ed published on Thursday that criticized The Washington Post’s coverage of President Donald Trump, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham and Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley claimed the paper had failed to cover certain administration accomplishments.

The Washington Post article in question, entitled “Trump’s lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance” is a report on Trump’s missed opportunities this summer in the eyes of certain aides and political allies.

Grisham and Gidley turn that title on its head in their piece “The Washington Post’s lost summer.” In the piece, published in the Washington Examiner, the pair rail against the Post for reporting they claim needs correcting, but primarily focused on what they view as a biased article about Trump’s summer. 

“No wonder the national media’s popularity sits somewhere between smallpox and the plague,” Grisham and Gidley wrote.

The White House press officials accused the Post article’s authors, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker, of editorializing.

“Media bias comes in two forms. It plays a role in deciding what news is, and is not, covered, and also in deciding how that news is covered,” they wrote.

The op-ed goes on to list administration actions that the White House claims the Post did not cover. Coverage of those not discussed in this particular piece of reporting can be found elsewhere on The Washington Post’s website. 

For example, the op-ed cites the president’s announcement that he would expedite the process for disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven. This is a story the Post did report on, a fact many were quick to point out on Twitter on Friday.

Grisham and Gidley wrote that the White House provided the Post’s reporters with a list of 26 successes.

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“Respectable, reputable, responsible news reporters would have listed those, gathered opinions from sources with diverse perspectives, and presented all of this information to their readers so they could develop their own opinions,” the op-ed says.

The Post article’s co-authors do include statements from Republicans, some who criticized Trump’s summer as “squandered” and some who characterized it as successful.

Washington Post Communications Director Shani George wrote in a statement to USA TODAY that the paper stands by its reporting.

“Our story prominently noted the White House’s list of accomplishments and quoted a White House spokesman at length,” George said. “It also reported the views of Republicans, both on the record and on background, some of whom are part of the administration and some who watch its performance from a distance.”

George added, “Readers can judge for themselves whether our account fairly represented a variety of perspectives on the President’s summer.”

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