The Washington Post Fires Reporter Who Criticized Paper's Leadership

Political reporter Felicia Sonmez has been publicly sparring with her colleagues over company policies.

The Washington Post has reportedly fired staff reporter Felicia Sonmez, who made several public comments in recent days criticizing the newspaper’s leadership and her colleagues over several workplace issues.

The Daily Beast was the first to report her exit, with CNN and the Post’s own media reporter confirming the news shortly after.

At the center of the action against Sonmez are David Weigel, a national political correspondent for the Post, and Jose A. Del Real, another reporter at the paper. Tensions flared last week when Sonmez tweeted a screenshot of a sexist joke that Weigel had retweeted and said: “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed.” She also reportedly discussed the matter in an internal Slack channel.

Weigel, who apologized and deleted the retweet, was subsequently suspended without pay for the next month. Over the past weekend, Sonmez retweeted posts critical of Weigel and accused the Post of having different social media policies for different employees.

Del Real then stepped into the fray, accusing Sonmez of rallying the internet to harass Weigel. In the days that followed, Post employees and other media personalities emerged with defenses on both sides.

Sonmez has had a fraught relationship with the Post, which she sued last year, along with some of the media organization’s leaders, for temporarily restricting her from covering sexual misconduct stories after she revealed publicly that she had been a victim of sexual assault.

In 2020, the Post briefly suspended Sonmez for tweeting about the 2003 rape allegation against retired basketball star Kobe Bryant shortly after his death in a helicopter crash. The paper’s leaders later said they determined she was not in clear violation of any of the company’s social media policies.

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