Wall Street Journal Editor Warns Reporters About Biased Trump Coverage

Editor Gerard Baker criticizes staff in series of late-night emails obtained by the New York Times.

August 24, 2017 10:47 am
WSJ Editor Warns Reporters Over Trump Coverage
Gerard Baker, Editor in Chief of The Wall Street Journal, speaks at the opening bell of the NASDAQ stock exchange, on July 8, 2014 in New York City. The Wall Street Journal is celebrating its 125th anniversary today. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

If you were at the rally President Trump held in Phoenix on Aug. 22 or read the transcript of his words, you’ll know that he came out swinging—especially towards the news media, whom he referred to as “dishonest,” haranguing it for quoting anonymous sources and misquoting him in the wake of Charlottesville. This, of course, is nothing new. Trump has been attacking the media throughout his presidency, whether through Twitter or at the podium.

Now, one of the largest newspapers has had enough of biased reporting within its ranks.

According to the New York Times, Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, sent emails to his staff last night, criticizing their coverage of Trump’s Phoenix rally and its opinion-y tone. The Times reviewed the emails, quoting them: “Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Baker wrote, in regards to a draft of a story on the rally that was meant to run in the newspaper. He also asked his staff to “please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”

The Times also reviewed the draft of the story, in which some things were scrubbed in the final printed version. That included referring to Charlottesville as “reshaping” Trump’s presidency, as well as “the draft … [describing] Mr. Trump’s Phoenix speech as ‘an off-script return to campaign form,’ in which the president ‘pivoted away from remarks a day earlier in which he had solemnly called for unity.’ That language does not appear in the article’s final version.”

When the Times reached out to the Journal for comment, a representative sent them this statement: “The Wall Street Journal has a clear separation between news and opinion. As always, the key priority is to focus reporting on facts and avoid opinion seeping into news coverage.”

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