The fire has been stopped. The lava flow has been dammed up. The meltdown is over. It took a week, but maybe there was enough sand and boron to end the fission reaction that was eating The Washington Post alive. Longtime political reporter Dave Weigel is now in a political correctness concentration camp over a retweet. Okay, he’s not in an actual camp but he was suspended for something he didn’t even write. It was a joke from a YouTube creator. The whole thing was a total fiasco. Weigel’s retweet was screenshotted by his colleague Felicia Sonmez who took offense to it. Like reactor four in Chernobyl, it blew. We’ve said this ad nauseum. Other staffers weighed in, then the backstabbing occurred, then the executive editor tried to step in to stop the madness. People were digging up Twitter dirt on each other, and everyone on social media had a front-row seat to this ‘Gangs of New York’ melee among the WaPo staff.
It was ugly. When other reporters who had been at the paper longer than Sonmez tried to tell her to move on—she kept whining on Twitter—she only doubled down. After a week, the paper fired Sonmez. Yet, it’s not like Sonmez and Weigel didn’t know one another. That’s what some pointed out. They’ve done stories together. They knew each other. And Weigel defended Sonmez when he was suspended for an unseemly tweet about Kobe Bryant’s death (via Fox News):
Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez led the outrage towards colleague Dave Weigel over a retweet that mocked women, resulting in a suspension. But Weigel came to Sonmez's defense when she herself landed in hot water with the paper.
Last week, Weigel shared a joke by YouTube host Cam Harless, who said, "Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.
Weigel also removed the retweet from his Twitter page and issued an apology, saying he "did not mean to cause any harm."
CNN broke the news on Monday that Weigel was placed on a one-month unpaid suspension.
But back in 2020, Sonmez found herself in a similar situation as being the target of viral outrage.
As the breaking news of NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant's tragic death was still unfolding, Sonmez shared a 2016 story about 2003 rape allegations from The Daily Beast headlined, "Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession," as details of the helicopter crash were still trickling out.
Sonmez doubled down with numerous follow-up tweets when her initial message was hit with an onslaught of backlash, writing that the response was "eye-opening," and claiming she received abuse and death threats.
"Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality… even if that public figured is beloved and that totality unsettling," Sonmez wrote. "That folks are responding with rage & threats toward me… speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases."
Sonmez eventually deleted the tweets, but her employer wasn’t pleased and placed her on administrative leave pending a review.
Among the dozens of signatories who defended Sonmez in that open letter was Dave Weigel.
The Post reversed Sonmez's suspension, concluding her tweets did not violate the company's social media policies, prompting Weigel to make a celebratory tweet.
Fox News reached out to Sonmez with inquiries regarding whether she supported Weigel's suspension or if she can draw any parallels between the backlash from his retweet to her tweets about Kobe Bryant. Sonmez declined to comment.
Before Weigel's suspension, however, Sonmez did refer to her colleague as a "good friend," writing "It’s painful and confusing when friends say and do things that are wrong, and makes it all the more uncomfortable to call them out — even though it’s necessary to do so."
By the way, Felicia Sonmez and Dave Weigel shared a byline in WaPo in late April. This isn't some stranger at her job that she decided to shout out on Twitter instead of contacting privately. What a radioactive waste barrel of a human. pic.twitter.com/xb2O6sNEpn
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) June 6, 2022Yeah, well, obviously that friendship was a one-way street. We don’t know if Weigel’s suspension will be commuted or not. The paper isn’t giving any comment about the situation, only that they’ve terminated Sonmez’s employment. And you know she isn’t saying anything either.
I feel like the ending from “Burn After Reading.”
What did we learn here?
"What did he we learn, Palmer? I don't f**king know either."
This woman lost her job over a retweeted joke, and then made everyone at the paper start hating each other.