WaPo Ombuds Dismisses Complaints by Mitt Romney Campaign

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Washington Post public editor Patrick Pexton wrote about Mitt Romney's campaign's criticism of the Post's reporting. (Credit: WaPo, screenshot)

Mitt Romney’s presidential election campaign outlined a series of complaints about the Washington Post’s reporting, the newspaper’s ombudsman reported June 22.

In question is the June 8 article “Romney energy plan shows candidate’s changing views, draws questions on job claims.”

The Romney campaign’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, claimed that “This article was riddled with errors and sloppy reporting and, even more concerning, your reporters showed no interest in revisiting or correcting their mistakes.”

Pexton responded to the complaints in two posts for the newspaper — a point-by-point response with the full text of Saul’s letter and a summary column.

Saul claimed there were “outright errors,” “unacceptable bias and incomplete information” and more.

Pexton largely came out in favor of the newspaper’s reporting and noted that he reviewed reporter-source e-mails, original documents and other research in order to handle the complaint.

While he wrote that there could have been “more context” for fairness, he noted that ” I didn’t find any outright falsehoods, and as for innuendo, I thought the reporters were direct in their assertions.”

He dismissed complaints that the Post included a “mischaracterization of” Romney’s 2005 comments on “clean energy,” that the Post was inaccurate in reporting on the “keystone job estimate,” and that the Post wrongly described Romney’s sentiments in his book.

Overall, Pexton wrote: ” the main points of the story are sound: Romney has become more conservative since he was Massachusetts governor and did as governor support policies that he now denounces and that Obama has supported as president. And two, the claims in Romney campaign documents tend toward exaggeration and the worst-case scenarios in describing Obama policies and the best case for their own proposals.”

We have written to the Romney campaign seeking comment about Pexton’s reports and will update with any response.


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WaPo Ombuds Dismisses Complaints by Mitt Romney Campaign

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