White House officials attack Washington Post over 'media bias'

The White House is ramping up its attacks on The Washington Post for what it calls unfair coverage of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamOn The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday Trump, White House rip Democrats over impeachment articles Pelosi announces support for new Trump NAFTA deal MORE and Hogan Gidley, the White House press secretary and deputy press secretary, respectively, on Thursday penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner criticizing the Post for a Sept. 1 article that described “what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.”  

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Grisham and Gidley wrote that the Post refused to cite the majority of Trump’s accomplishments from a list of 26 that was provided by the White House, and that writers Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker “pushed their own personal political narrative that President Trump had a ‘lost summer’ of squandered opportunities and few accomplishments.”

The White House officials argued that the opposite is true.

The Post article notes that White House officials offered up a list of over two-dozen accomplishments from summer 2019, but goes on to report that many of Trump’s advisers and allies privately described it as a “period of missed opportunity and self-sabotage.”

Grisham and Gidley pointed to the president’s historic trip to the DMZ between North Korea and South Korea, his agreement in principle with Japan on trade, and the administration’s move to terminate the Flores agreement that set the rules for the detention of migrant children as examples of accomplishments that were not explicitly referenced by the Post. 

The Post story does mention Trump's June meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnBolton rips Trump administration's move to block UN meeting on North Korea South Korea: North tested rocket engine The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE as an accomplishment cited by the White House.  

“The truth is, Trump racked up many well-documented victories that directly benefited the American people at home and abroad,” Grisham and Gidley asserted. 

“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. In this instance, the Post's ‘reporters’ are guilty of both,” they wrote.

In a statement to The Hill, The Washington Post defended its reporting.

"Our story prominently noted the White House’s list of accomplishments and quoted a White House spokesman at length. 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," said Shani George, the Post's director of communications.

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

Trump often attacks the Post for what he views as unfair coverage, frequently calling it the “Amazon Washington Post” in reference to the paper’s owner, Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' to influence Pentagon contract decision MORE, who is the founder and CEO of Amazon.

The White House opinion piece also attacked the Post over its own “embarrassing moments,” pointing for instance to a freelance article that had to be corrected for 15 errors.

The White House op-ed — titled “The Washington Post’s lost summer,” to mimic the publication’s original article describing Trump’s summer — was published Thursday and promoted by the White House Friday morning.

Grisham and Gidley also called out The New York Times and cable news networks in the op-ed for what the administration officials described as biased news coverage. Trump regularly refers to reports by the Times, CNN and other outlets as "fake news."

The White House earlier this week mocked the Post’s “lost summer” article on Twitter, sharing a video that branded the piece “fake news.”

--Updated at 12:27 p.m.