Washington Post reporter David Weigel, who apologized last week for retweeting a joke, has been slapped with a one-month unpaid suspension, CNN has reported, citing two unidentified individuals familiar with the issue.
“I am out of the office and will return on July 5,” an automatic reply from Weigel’s email account noted, according to Fox News.
Last week, Weigel retweeted a post that said, “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”
Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez shared a screenshot of Weigel’s retweet and sarcastically remarked, “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!”
Weigel undid his retweet and issued an apology: “I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.”
Washington Post chief communications officer Kristine Coratti Kelly reportedly issued a statement last week that said, “Editors have made clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and demeaning language or actions like that will not be tolerated.”
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon has publicly offered Weigel three months of pay if the reporter takes back his apology, reshares the joke, and leaves his job.
“Wapo put @daveweigel on unpaid leave for a month because of a joke? Dave, I’m offering you 3 months’ salary to retract your apology, repost the joke, and quit. Have some respect for yourself,” Dillon tweeted.
Sonmez has also taken issue with tweets posted by Jose A. Del Real of the Washington Post.
In response to Sonmez’s post about Weigel’s joke retweet, Del Real tweeted, “Felicia, we all mess up from time to time. 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.” In another tweet he added, “Dave’s retweet is terrible and unacceptable. But rallying the internet to attack him for a mistake he made doesn’t actually solve anything. We all mess up in some way or another. There is such a thing as challenging with compassion.”
In a tweet on Monday evening, Sonmez wrote, “It’s hard for me to understand why the Washington Post hasn’t done anything about these tweets, in which one of its employees mischaracterizes his own actions and accuses a colleague of ‘clout chasing and bullying’ for publicly objecting to sexism. Is this who we are?”