White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley co-wrote a scathing op-ed that slammed The Washington Post as “an offensive, egregious affront to true news journalism.” But the paper wants readers to judge for themselves.
The piece, headlined “The Washington Post’s lost Summer,” was published Thursday by the Washington Examiner and is a not-so-subtle retort at a recent story about “Trump’s lost summer” that was published by the Post.
“From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Post had some pretty embarrassing moments,” Grisham and Gidley wrote. “Whether it was incorrectly stating that presidents do not deliver remarks on the Fourth of July, ignoring speeches by Presidents Reagan, Kennedy, and Obama, or being called out for shoddy, politically motivated fact-checking, the Post’s lost summer culminated with a fateful day in August when it was forced to issue 15 corrections to a single article.”
The White House staffers then mocked the paper, saying “reporting is not what the Post does” and it recently published “an opinion article they claimed was news.” Grisham and Gidley were referring to a Sept. 1 piece by Phillip Rucker and Ashley Parker that described “what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.”
Grisham and Gidley clearly took exception to the piece and didn’t hold back in the fiery response.
“The truth is, Trump racked up many well-documented victories that directly benefited the American people at home and abroad," they wrote. "When the Post asked, the White House proudly provided it with a detailed list of the administration’s 26 most important successes of the summer. Of those 26 accomplishments, the Post chose to publish just four, which it buried under 11 paragraphs of editorialized critique."
The Post, however, doesn’t agree with Grisham and Gidley’s op-ed.
“Our story prominently noted the White House’s list of accomplishments and quoted a White House spokesman at length," a Washington Post spokesperson told Fox News. "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. Readers can judge for themselves whether our account fairly represented a variety of perspectives on the president’s summer."
The op-ed received some backlash from critics who pointed out that several of the accomplishments listed by Grisham and Gidley were covered by the paper, but it appears the White House staffers were complaining only about Rucker and Parker’s piece, specifically.
“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,” Grisham and Gidley wrote. “In this instance, the Post's 'reporters' are guilty of both. It is obvious they had their own predetermined, prewritten narrative, and they simply discarded information that could have challenged that.”
The White House communications gurus then said the decision was “not only a disservice to readers” but also “an offensive, egregious affront to true news journalism.”
Grisham and Gidley then listed a variety of Trump’s recent accomplishments, including entering the DMZ into North Korea and a trade deal with Japan.
“To be clear, in a ‘news’ article about Trump’s summer accomplishments, the Post not only chose to ignore, but refused to cite 84% of the president’s actual summer accomplishments,” Grisham and Gidley wrote. “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.”
Grisham and Gidley added that the Post “wasn’t alone this summer” and mocked The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet for recently telling staffers to pivot from Russian collusion to a “more head-on story about the president’s character.”
“No wonder the national media’s popularity sits somewhere between smallpox and the plague,” Grisham and Gidley wrote. “Americans deserve to know that Trump has been hard at work this summer.”