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Tipsheet

The One Retweet That Caused a Total Meltdown at The Washington Post

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Grab some popcorn for this episode of internal blood sports in the workplace. This story emanates from the walls of The Washington Post, where one retweet caused a staff meltdown that got quite ugly on Twitter. 

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It wasn't the worst joke. Long-time political reporter for the publication, Dave Weigel, retweeted a joke that some over there found deplorable. YouTube host Cam Harless tweeted, "Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it's polar or sexual." Yeah, not the worst thing to say or tweet, but it caused so much of a problem it led to Weigel apologizing (via Fox News): 

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. 

Harless, the original author of the tweet, reacted to Weigel's apology, writing, "it’s weird to see someone else apologize for something you tweeted," also calling it "grim af."

It got so bad that the paper's executive editor had to weigh in (via Mediaite): 

After several days of various Washington Post staffers dragging internal feuds into the public square of Twitter, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee sent a memo to Post staff admonishing them to “treat each other with respect and kindness.” And of course, because we live in the year 2022 and that sadly seems to be how things work, Buzbee’s missive spawned newly tweeted vitriolic spats.

[…]

Weigel’s colleague Felicia Sonmez took a screenshot of Weigel’s retweet and posted it on Friday with the comment, “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!”

[…]

CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported Kelly’s statement Friday and added that there had been an internal conversation about Weigel’s retweet on the Post’s internal Slack channel, with national editor Matea Gold weighing in.

[…]

Another Post reporter, Jose Del Real, replied to Sonmez’s tweet with two tweets of his own, acknowledging that Weigel’s retweet was “terrible and unacceptable,” but urging her to accept his apology instead of “rallying the internet to attack him for a mistake he made,” which “doesn’t actually solve anything.”

“Felicia, we all mess up from time to time,” Del Real wrote. “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…There is such a thing as challenging with compassion.”

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Yeah, it sure sounds like a joy to work there, huh? 

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