The joke — which Weigel retweeted from YouTuber Cam Harless — was noticed by fellow Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez. “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!” she said on her own Twitter account.
Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed! pic.twitter.com/zs4dX4qprH
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) June 3, 2022
According to Slack messages obtained by CNN, Sonmez continued her crusade by tagging Weigel in an internal Slack channel and writing, “I’m sorry but what is this?” She added that the retweet sent “a confusing message about what the Post’s values are.”
Later on Friday, Weigel wrote: “I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.”
I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) June 3, 2022
The Washington Post suspended Weigel for one month without pay in the wake of the incident, according to CNN. The Washington Post’s Chief Communications Officer Kris Coratti told Fox News, “Editors have made clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and demeaning language or actions like that will not be tolerated.”
The move comes as The Washington Post faces criticism for various editorial missteps.
For one, the outlet was recently forced to issue corrections to an article by Taylor Lorenz that originally claimed she had reached out to two YouTubers, Mazeika and ThatUmbrellaGuy, mentioned in her piece. Both individuals said that Lorenz never contacted them ahead of the story’s publication, and the claim was then removed without a correction. When Fox News asked if Lorenz herself quietly made the edit, a Washington Post spokesperson said, “That’s not something we’d discuss on the record.”
In the same article, Lorenz wrongly attributed a statement to Johnny Depp lawyer Adam Waldman. A note on the article said that the story was indeed “updated to clarify comments made during Waldman’s testimony.”
Two months ago, Lorenz came under fire for revealing the identity of the woman behind Libs of TikTok, which reposts leftist content on its various social media pages. Lorenz ran a hit piece on the woman — which included her name and originally linked to personal work information, though the link was subsequently removed from the article. Several people made death threats to the woman — a Jewish stay-at-home mother — in the wake of the doxxing.
Libs of TikTok posted photos of the Washington Post reporter visiting her family members’ homes. Lorenz accuses Libs of TikTok of purportedly having “deep and far-reaching” impact, as well as “shaping right-wing media, impacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and influencing millions by posting viral videos aimed at inciting outrage among the right.”
Daily Wire Co-CEO Jeremy Boreing joined podcaster and commentator Tim Pool in purchasing a billboard in Times Square criticizing Lorenz and her employer for exposing Libs of TikTok. “Hey WaPo, Democracy Dies In Darkness,” the billboard said. “That’s Why We’re Shining A Light On You. Taylor Lorenz Doxxed @LibsOfTikTok.”
After Lorenz complained about the billboard, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said: “So she exposes the Libs of TikTok owner to violence. But when you say her name, you’re a terrorist.”