Washington Post suspends Dave Weigel after colleague called him out for retweeting joke mocking women

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The Washington Post suspended reporter Dave Weigel days after he was put on blast by one of his colleagues for a retweet of a joke mocking women. 

On Friday, reporter Felicia Sonmez shared a screenshot of a tweet written by YouTube host Cam Harless, who said, “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.” That tweet was later shared by Weigel. 

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

Washington Post’s Chief Communications Officer Kris Coratti told Fox News, “Editors have made clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and demanding language or actions like that will not be tolerated.”


Weigel also removed the retweet from his Twitter page and issued an apology. 

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

Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez called out both her colleague David Weigel and the paper itself over a tweet he shared mocking women.

Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez called out both her colleague David Weigel and the paper itself over a tweet he shared mocking women. (Twitter)

It has since been reported that Sonmez first flagged the offending retweet to Weigel directly via an internal Slack channel, writing “I’m sorry but what is this?” and telling him it sent “a confusing message about what the Post’s values are.”

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee also sent a memo to staff telling them to “treat each other with respect and kindness” after the incident fueled more combative Twitter exchanges among colleagues. 

While the memo did not reference any reporter by name, Buzbee added, “The Washington Post is committed to an inclusive and respectful environment free of harassment, discrimination or bias of any sort. When issues arise, please raise them with leadership or human resources and we will address them promptly and firmly.”


Now, CNN reported that Weigel had been suspended without pay. 

Weigel did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment. An auto-response from Weigel’s work email replied, “I am out of the office and will return on July 5.”

A spokesperson for the Washington Post declined to confirm the suspension, telling Fox News, “I cannot confirm anything related to personnel issues.”

Washington Post reporters Felicia Sonmez and David Weigel.

Washington Post reporters Felicia Sonmez and David Weigel. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images)

Twitter has become a battlefield for Washington Post staffers in recent days beginning with Sonmez’s first firing shot at Weigel. 

Her tweet prompted a response from Post reporter Jose A. Del Real, who pushed back at her public shaming of their colleague. 

“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,” Del Real told Sonmez, adding, “Dave’s retweet is terrible and unacceptable. But rallying the internet to attack him for a mistake he made doesn’t actually solve anything. We all mess up in some way or another. There is such a thing as challenging with compassion.”


“Jose, Dave’s retweet was indeed terrible and unacceptable. It was also public, and it’s important that all those who saw Dave’s tweet also see Washington Post reporters standing up for our newspaper’s values — one of which is that comments denigrating women will not be tolerated,” Sonmez replied. 

After Del Real urged Sonmez to “reconsider the cruelty you regularly unleash against colleagues,” which she denied, he wrote, I reject your attempt to make a specific critique of your regular public bullying into a sweeping opera about principles.”

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @JosephWulfsohn.


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