The Washington Post has suspended journalist David Weigel for a month for retweeting a sexist joke without pay, two friends who know the subject told CNN on Monday.
Weigel did not respond to a request for comment, but an outside response from his Post email office said he would return to work on July 5th. cause harm. ‘
A spokesman for The Post declined to comment, citing the need for privacy on staffing issues.
Weigel’s remarks were publicly highlighted by her colleague Felicia Sonmez, who recently dismissed the discrimination case against the paper, saying her lawyer intends to appeal.
Sonmez sarcastically wrote on Twitter on Friday that “it’s awesome to work in a news outlet where such virtuos are allowed.” He added a screenshot of Weigel’s version of a tweet from YouTuber Cam Harless joking, “All girls are two. You have to guess whether it’s polar or sexual.”
Sonmez, according to CNN messages, also confronted Weigel on an internal Slack channel. He tagged it and wrote, “Sorry, but what is this?”
Sonmez added on the Slack channel that the version “sent a confused message about the values of the mail.”
Others joined the Slack channel on Friday for discussion, asking nationwide editor Matea Gold to write: “I want to assure you all that The Post is committed to maintaining a workplace that respects everyone. We do not condone language or action.”
Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for The Post, also sent a statement to the press: “The editors have made it clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and that they will not accept any derogatory speech or such actions.”
But public and private warnings from Weigel’s version have failed to calm tensions within The Post.
Jose A. Del Real, a journalist for The Post, responded on Twitter to Sonmez’s opening tweet on Saturday. Del Real said Weigel’s tweet was “horrible and unacceptable.”
“But,” he added, “getting together to attack for a mistake on the Internet doesn’t solve anything. We’re all confused one way or another. There’s a challenge to compassion.”
Sonmez responded by saying that “calling sexism is not ‘cruelty'” is “absolutely necessary”.
On Saturday, Sonmez and Del Real went on a Twitter trip, eventually Del Real temporarily shutting down his account.
Sally Buzbee, the editor-in-chief of The Post, tried to hold on to the editorial office on Sunday morning, sending a note to staff “that they should be treated with respect and courtesy”.
“The Washington Post is committed to an inclusive and respectful environment free from harassment, discrimination or bias of any kind,” Buzbe added. “When problems arise, please raise them with leadership or human resources and we will address them immediately and firmly.”
However, the leader’s attempt to suppress the controversy failed again.
Sonmez said on Sunday evening that Buzbee’s Twitter account provided “fodder for further harassment” against him.
Del Real reactivated his account and issued a statement on Sunday evening saying he had faced “a constant series of attacks aimed at tarnishing my professional and personal reputation” after tweeting Sonmez.
Sonmez began calling Del Real for blocking him, and said in his statement that he had made “false accusations and misconduct” instead of apologizing. Sonmez said, for example, that he did not see any “comments” on the intention of harming Del Real’s reputation.
Sonmez tagged Buzbee and Gold on Twitter on Sunday evening and said he had contacted them to discuss the issue, but had not heard a response.
“Retaliation against a colleague for speaking out against sexism is never good,” Sonmez wrote. “I hope the Washington Post leaders treat this as a serious issue.”
By Monday morning, the tension in The Post was still high.
Video technician Breanna Muir responded to an email from all of Buzbee’s staff, applauding Sonmez for “speaking out against harassment, discrimination and sexism.”
Muir added a tweet that Micah Gelman, the head of the video team at The Post, once identified as “Breanna Taylor.”
“If the Washington Post is committed to an inclusive and respectful environment free from harassment, discrimination or bias of any kind, then has anyone helped me understand Micah Gelman and David Weigel’s tweets / rts?” asked Muir.
“These twit / rts not only harm the women in our editorial office, they make it very difficult for us to do our best work,” Muir added. “Ultimately, it creates a toxic work environment.”
Gelman had earlier apologized to Muir for misidentifying him. When the incident happened in February, he wrote on Twitter: “Thanks to my staff last night, I misidentified Breanna Muir. I reached out to her to apologize and do it here now. it had to happen. ‘
Coratti also issued a statement at the time that Gelman “apologized publicly and privately for his mistake.”
“However, we do not take lightly the impact of this mistake and regret the emotional impact it has had on Breanna,” Coratti added. “We have also contacted him and are committed to promoting an inclusive environment throughout the editorial process.”