The Washington Post, who should know much, much better, has fired Felicia Sonmez

Democrats

Sarah Jones tells us what the Democrats will not do.[5] We can argue about whether they can or should do it—I would agree with Jones that they should—but I can promise you that they won’t.

Sarah Jones, “Democrats Need a Vision. Fast,” New York, June 9, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/democrats-need-more-than-january-6-hearings-to-save-them.html


Washington Post

I wasn’t paying much attention to the Dave Weigel affair, but Dylan Byers writes,

To be clear, everyone that I spoke with believed that [Dave] Weigel [who had retweeted a vulgar joke stating that all women were either bipolar or bisexual and was subsequently suspended for a month] had been foolish. And while sources didn’t question [Felicia] Sonmez’s passion for standing up to what she saw as misogyny, they were genuinely upset that she seemed hellbent on upending the [Washington] Post to make her point. One thing I’ve learned about the Post over the years is that its reporters really do like the place, despite its imperfections, and many people I spoke to explained how Sonmez’s tweets were a lot less productive than a hard, private conversation with management. Reporters including Dan Balz, Carol Leonnig, Josh Dawsey, Ashley Parker, Rosalind Helderman, Michael Scherer, and Amy Gardner, among others, have all issued tweets to that effect. (Sonmez declined to comment for this piece, though many of her tweets suggest she believes that management is unresponsive to her concerns.)[6]

It should not require a critical theorist to note that it is terribly, terribly problematic when institutional reputation takes precedence over grievances about discrimination or harassment. When this happens, the institution makes itself a discriminator, whatever the merits of the original claims, or a harasser. This is an incomprehensibly stupid thing for an organization to do.

And while Weigel, who arguably should have been fired for numerous offenses, was merely suspended, Felicia Sonmez has apparently now been fired.[7]

Sonmez was in the process of appealing the dismissal of her discrimination claim against the Washington Post.[8] I am not a lawyer, but whatever the merits of her original complaint, she’s surely got a case now.

Dylan Byers, “The Washington Post’s Twitter Fragility,” Puck News, June 8, 2022, https://puck.news/the-washington-posts-twitter-fragility/


  1. [5]Sarah Jones, “Democrats Need a Vision. Fast,” New York, June 9, 2022, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/democrats-need-more-than-january-6-hearings-to-save-them.html
  2. [6]Dylan Byers, “The Washington Post’s Twitter Fragility,” Puck News, June 8, 2022, https://puck.news/the-washington-posts-twitter-fragility/
  3. [7]Dylan Byers, “The Washington Post’s Twitter Fragility,” Puck News, June 8, 2022, https://puck.news/the-washington-posts-twitter-fragility/
  4. [8]Dylan Byers, “The Washington Post’s Twitter Fragility,” Puck News, June 8, 2022, https://puck.news/the-washington-posts-twitter-fragility/

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