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23 Dec, 2018 14:47

‘Anti-American bias exploded’: US ambassador attacks Der Spiegel in fallout of reporting scandal

‘Anti-American bias exploded’: US ambassador attacks Der Spiegel in fallout of reporting scandal

The US ambassador to Germany has accused Der Spiegel of years of unfair reporting on American affairs as the renowned magazine tries to recover from a "low point" in its history. The editorial staff has rejected his claims.

“While Spiegel’s anti-American narratives have expanded over the last years, the anti-American bias at the magazine has exploded since the election of President [Donald] Trump,” Ambassador Richard Grenell wrote in a letter to incoming editor-in-chief, Steffen Klusmann, published by the magazine on Saturday.

The envoy attacked the paper just days after Der Spiegel revealed that its young star journalist Claas Relotius had spent years fabricating details of his reports. His work for the magazine included vivid stories from places like war-torn Syria and Ukraine after the 2014 Euromaidan unrest. The story that ultimately got the fraudster exposed was his report from his recent trip to Arizona where he covered the tense situation across the US-Mexico border.

Also on rt.com Fraud ‘on grand scale’: Top journalist at reputable German magazine faked his stories for YEARS

The magazine apologized for the Relotius scandal, calling it “a low point in the 70-year history of Der Spiegel.” Ambassador Grenell, however, noted that the editors and the publication leadership share responsibility for the fake stories since they “clearly allowed this atmosphere and bias to flourish.”

Even before the shocking Relotius case, the paper espoused “blatant anti-Americanism” in its “seven years of unchecked writing,” the US diplomat argued.

As it stands, we do not have faith in Spiegel’s current fact-checking and editing process.

The American envoy also scolded the magazine for a “routine practice” of not contacting the embassy before running US-themed stories.

Also on rt.com Tanks on Maidan, president’s gold bath & more outrageous Ukraine fakes by disgraced Spiegel reporter

The paper rebuffed the allegation of treating the US unfairly. Speaking on behalf of the editorial team, deputy editor-in-chief, Dirk Kurbjuweit wrote that the magazine’s criticism of President Trump and his policies “does not amount to anti-American bias.”

Der Spiegel harbors no institutional bias against the United States.

“Anti-Americanism is deeply alien to me,” Kurbjuweit added.

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