Home Politics Washington Post fires writer Felicia Sonmez after very public and embarrassing social...

Washington Post fires writer Felicia Sonmez after very public and embarrassing social media debacle over sexist joke

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The Washington Post fired high-profile writer Felicia Sonmez on Thursday after nearly a week of a very embarrassing and public social media debacle involving a sexist joke retweeted by another writer.

The development was first reported by the Daily Beast and confirmed by a source to Politico.

The controversy began when female writers objected to a retweet of a joke by writer Dave Weigel on Friday.

“Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual,” read the tweet.

“Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!” responded Sonmez.


Weigel apologized and deleted the tweet, but the damage was done.

“I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm,” wrote Weigel.

Rather than let the issue go at that time, Sonmez kept tweeting.

In response, WaPo national editor Matea Gold tried to reassure employees on a private company Slack channel.

“I just want to assure all of you that The Post is committed to maintaining a respectful workplace for everyone. We do not tolerate demeaning language or actions,” Gold wrote.

Rather than let the issue go at that time, Sonmez kept tweeting.

In response, executive editor Sally Buzbee sent a memo to employees calling on them to treat each other with kindness and respect.

“We do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues either face to face or online,” Buzbee wrote in part. “Respect for others is critical to any civil society, including our newsroom. The newsroom social media policy points specifically to the need for collegiality.”

Rather than let the issue go at that time, Sonmez kept tweeting.

Others at the Washington Post called out Sonmez for continuing to play the victim while attacking her colleagues.

“Felicia, we all mess up from time to time. Engaging in repeated and targeted public harassment of a colleague is neither a good look nor is it particularly effective. It turns the language of inclusivity into clout chasing and bullying. I don’t think this is appropriate,” replied WaPo writer Jose Del Real.

“When women stand up for themselves, some people respond with even more vitriol,” she responded.

Rather than let the issue go at that time, Sonmez kept tweeting.

“I don’t know who the colleagues anonymously disparaging me in media reports are. But I do know that the reporters who issued synchronized tweets this week downplaying the Post’s workplace issues have a few things in common with each other,” Sonmez wrote in a long thread on Thursday.

Then she was fired.

The New York Times reported that her termination letter cited misconduct involving “insubordination” related to her tweets maligning her colleagues.

Conservatives and other critics of the Washington Post pounced on the news to mock the news outlet.

Sonmez has not tweeted since it was reported that she was fired.

Here’s more about the WaPo Twitter debacle:


WaPo Reporter Gets SUSPENDED for Retweeting “Sexist” Joke | @Jason Whitlock

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