HANOVER, Germany — Der Spiegel has announced that it will press charges against a former star reporter accused of systemically faking interviews and articles, in what might be the biggest journalism scandal in Germany since another newsmagazine published fake Hitler diaries 35 years ago.
The announcement came as the United States ambassador waded into the scandal by accusing the newsmagazine of anti-American bias and calling for an independent audit.
Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, wrote a letter to Der Spiegel on Friday that appeared to try to tie the fraud committed by the reporter, Claas Relotius, 33, to the newsmagazine’s editorial methods.
Some of the most notable articles that Mr. Relotius admitted faking are set in the United States, such as a profiles of a religious activist who travels the country to witness executions, anti-immigrant militiamen in Arizona and a town of Trump supporters in Minnesota.
“These fake news stories largely focus on U.S. policies and certain segments of the American people,” Mr. Grenell wrote in the letter, which was published by the newsmagazine.
“We have previously voiced our concerns directly to Spiegel editors and journalists regarding bias in reporting on U.S. policy and the U.S. Administration,” the ambassador wrote.
Since taking his post in Berlin in May, Mr. Grenell has been an outspoken advocate for the Trump administration. Since the letter become public, Mr. Grenell has been active on Twitter, repeating the charge of anti-American bias to his 114,000 followers on the site.
The American diplomat’s tone was less about the transgressions of one reporter and more about the perceived bias by a newsroom