Washington Post Reporter Dave Weigel Suspended for Retweet of Politically Incorrect Joke

The Washington Post suspended political reporter Dave Weigel on Monday without pay for a month over a politically incorrect joke he retweeted last week that triggered a fellow Post employee, Felicia Sonmex. CNN was first to report on Weigel’s suspension. Weigel responded to Sonmez by deleting and apologizing yet she made a public spectacle and argued with another Post reporter, Jose Del Real who was trying to broker a peace but ended up getting attacked by Sonmez and deleted his Twitter account. Del Real reactivated his account after a cooling off period.

The Weigel controversy comes at the same time as another Post reporter, Taylor Lorenz, is embroiled in a scandal about false reporting and chaotic editing of her false reporting. Weigel has been suspended by the Post over a joke while Lorenz’s false reporting and embarrassment for the Post has not drawn any apparent disciplinary action.

Dave Weigel, Washington Post promo photo.

The joke Weigel retweeted was, “”Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”

Excerpt from CNN report by Oliver Darcy:

The Washington Post has suspended reporter David Weigel for one month without pay for retweeting a sexist joke, two people familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday.

Weigel did not respond to a request for comment, but an out-of-office reply from his Post email address said that he would return to work on July 5. Weigel apologized publicly last week for the retweet, saying he “did not mean to cause any harm.”

A spokesperson for The Post declined to comment, citing a need for privacy regarding personnel matters.

Darcy later added the suspension is for a month.

Earlier Monday Darcy tweeted about more dissension at the Post, “Tension at WaPo remains high today. Video technician Breanna Muir, who was misidentified in a tweet from a colleague as “Breanna Taylor,” sent the following note to the entire newsroom this morning, replying all to Sally Buzbee’s Sunday memo.” (Buzbee is the Executive Editor of the Post.)

Buzbee’s weekend memo:

We expect the staff to treat each other with respect and kindness both in the newsroom and online,” she wrote in the all-newsroom email obtained by The Daily Beast. “We are a collegial and creative newsroom doing an astonishing amount of important and groundbreaking journalism..

“One of the great strengths of our newsroom is our collaborative spirit. 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.

My best, Sally

Del Real reactivated his Twitter account Sunday and posted a lengthy comment in which he played his social justice credential, saying he is the “only Mexican-American on the national desk” at the Post.

Last night I came under an unrelenting series of attacks intended to tarnish my professional and personal reputation. The cause? Some tweets I sent calling for compassion within our workplace. Those attacks continued this morning. 1/6 In hopes of de-escalating, I temporarily deactivated my account, amid a barrage of online abuse directed by one person but carried out by an eager mob. The one-sided attacks continued even after I stopped engaging. I know the old adage: Hurt people hurt people. But what then? 2/6 In such a situation, it is difficult to find the line between sympathizing and challenging with compassion. My instinct is to defend myself. But I talk a big game about kindness, and I’m going to try to practice some of that now by simply moving on and not engaging. 3/6

I *will* just say that I am proud to be part of a workplace where, contrary to the impression created on this forum, many people are actively engaged in the work of dismantling systems of sexism, racism, and homophobia. Sometimes that work is loud, and sometimes it is quiet. 4/6 As the only Mexican American reporter on the national desk, I know the sting of discriminatory systems firsthand. Anyone who wants you to believe they alone are trying to fix it is doing a disservice to the amazing team effort unfolding, of which I am proud to a part. 5/6 I’ll end where I began: Let’s be kinder to each other. I really believe empathy is a necessary tool in this effort to improve our workplaces and our culture. We can all be better. I certainly will continue trying to be. 6/6

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Kristinn Taylor has contributed to The Gateway Pundit for over ten years. Mr. Taylor previously wrote for Breitbart, worked for Judicial Watch and was co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com. He studied journalism in high school, visited the Newseum and once met David Brinkley.

You can email Kristinn Taylor here, and read more of Kristinn Taylor's articles here.


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