From CNN Business: The Washington Post suspends reporter David Weigel over sexist retweet

Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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165 Responses

  1. CJColucci
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    says:

    What was the joke?Report

  2. Jaybird
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    says:

    The original tweet:

    The call-out:

    The apology:

    Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      If you were wondering “Do they sell a shirt with the original joke on it and, if so, can I purchase that shirt on Amazon (the website created by the owner of the Warshington Post)?”, then I have good news:

      They do and you can.Report

      • KenB in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        OK, so the shirts have it right. Maybe the saddest part of this whole thing was that he retweeted someone who not only posted a stale joke but mangled it in the process — since we assume “bi” means “bisexual”, that option should come first and “polar” is the punchline at the end.Report

  3. InMD
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    says:

    Weigel is a fool. At this point if you are a journalist I have no idea why you would tweet anything you would not put in an office e-mail. Fair or unfair It’s an extension of your job.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to InMD
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      says:

      Two or three quick slugs of Wild Turkey 101 on an empty stomach, and then sitting down in front of a screen with Twitter enabled?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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        I don’t know when Weigel retweeted it but the 1st was a Wednesday and the 3rd was a Friday and Felicia tweeted her tweet on Friday morning.

        My initial response is to say “people with jobs know better than to get drunk on a school night!” but, hey, maybe they don’t.

        I’d say that it’s more likely that Weigel had been reading all about Depp/Heard and Heard/Depp and, smack-dab in the middle of all of the aftermath of the trial of the decade, ran across that joke.

        A gigglesnort later, he retweets it.

        In the harsh light of day he realizes “holy crap, that was foolish!” and unretweets and apologizes.

        He wasn’t drunk on alcohol. He was drunk on media.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          And in *THAT* vein:

          Report

          • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            See, this actually also shows how our ongoing crisis of 1st world problems is perpetuated by corporate America. As if anyone is going to remember or care by March 2023, when Aquaman 2 is set for release.

            Yes, people on twitter sound off and a certain college educated socio-economic cohort in a few departments make a bunch of shrill, incomprehensible noises but they represent almost no one. Disney made the same mistake with Depp, which is really the reason his lawsuit had any legs to begin with (i.e. a plausible theory of massive damages). At the end of the day people want to see him play the funny pirate just like I’d imagine plenty of people would still be happy to see Amber Heard prance around in CGI enhanced tights. No one cares about their sad dysfunctional celebrity marriage except for the people that happen to populate elite level media institutions, and whose politics and economic standing is tied up in the spinning of perpetual hysteria.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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          And thinking about it some more, it’s not just Weigel who was drunk on Depp/Heard and Heard/Depp.

          Sonmez was too.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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      says:

      This is the second time that the WaPo has taken Weigel out to the woodshed.

      You may recall back around 2010, he was the WaPo’s Right-Wing-Splainer. He covered stuff like the Tea Party and whatnot. He had “Street Cred” because he had been one of the adjective editors at Reason prior to this and was seen to have insight that people inside of the bubble wouldn’t have.

      Well, the Journolist leak happened and he was the *ONE* freakin’ guy who came out and offered strategies for how to cover Republicans in a way that would make them easier to beat at the ballot box out of all of the leaks.

      So he got fired from the WaPo at least once before this.Report

      • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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        Yea I recall that one too. All and all it seems like an awful place to work and its output has become the JV version of NYT’s schizophrenia. But whatever, they pay the checks they make the rules and in an online media environment I’m not sure you can ask for a line here.Report

  4. Greg In Ak
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    says:

    Ahh yes WaPo internal HR matters. Truly the most pertinent issue facing us all.

    Other topics discussed on sec/page C19 are various R pols saying they want make it illegal to take kids to drag shows, Don’t say gay laws, The Ohio election is going to take place with maps repeatedly found unconstitutional. And that whole abortion gonna be illegal in 20+ states.

    But a reporter got dinged for a stupid tweet so all hands on deck for that.Report

  5. Chris
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    says:

    Really seems like this would have died down, with no action by the WP, except that dudes absolutely cannot let it go when a woman calls out sexism, so they blew it up into a really big thing.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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      says:

      Weigel himself deleted the tweet and apologized in short order.Report

      • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Exactly. She pointed out (I think rightly, given that they’re all operating in public eye in the first place) that it was sexist, he reacted appropriately, and it would likely have been done.

        Then the dudes came to his rescue.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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          says:

          Then we’re in a wacky situation where there was *NOTHING* that Weigel could have done after having hit “retweet” on that joke.Report

          • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Yeah, once he hit retweet, the fates took over, unfortunately. Or really, the dudes took over.

            The only issue here worth discussing is whether the initial criticism of the tweet should have been public or through backchannels. I think, because of how public WaPo is, that a public criticism was perfectly appropriate. The problem wasn’t the criticism of the tweet; it’s that the criticism of the tweet took place in a world full of dudes who hate women, and will jump on any woman who dares criticize a man.Report

  6. Kolohe
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    says:

    If I had a nickel for every time Dave Weigel became the focal point of The Discourse, I have, well, two nickels – but it’s weird it’s happened twice.

    In the stream of the very online greater libertarian-ish sphere, there’s a quiet internet eddy, containing a forum post, dormant for 12 years, from the last time Weigel had his fifteen minutes. It’s now active again (ok, I posted in it) noting that it’s now been upped to 30 minutes.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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      says:

      Based reading about this more than anyone really should, the Washington Post’s big mistake was not doing this *right away* – they already had a precedent, with Sonmez herself, of taking disciplinary action for ‘edgy’ tweets. (and Sonmez only ‘edge’ was pointing out true facts in the public record about Kobe Bryant in the immediate aftermath of his death). Between the WaPo & NYT, there’s more than a little ‘case law’ around this sort of thing – the Third Amendment people wish they had this many precedents.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Yeah, the arguments happened *ALL* *WEEKEND* and involved more people than just Weigel and Sonmez. (There was also a major screwup by Taylor Laurenz and her editors that resulted in a couple of corrections followed by an Editor’s Note on one of her hit pieces.)

        WaPo had a *BAD* weekend.Report

  7. Pinky
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    It seems bizarre to me that a person would get in professional trouble for his tweets. But I guess people use their Twitter presence as a marketing tool. They’re building their brand. Better to tweet among friends or use a nom de plume. But people who are in non-influencer positions should never be punished for their tweets. Maybe that’s the dividing line we’re looking for.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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      says:

      This is the world we’ve lived in for a while now. People getting fired for saying stuff on Facebook. People getting fired for saying stuff on Twitter. This is nowhere *NEAR* new.

      Heck, there are situations where people got fired for saying stuff way back in the Obama administration when they were still in high school.

      I’m sure you remember this.

      This ain’t Weigel getting punished for something he retweeted back in high school. This is something he retweeted the other day.Report

    • InMD in reply to Pinky
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      I think for the blue check crowd it’s really a live by the sword die by the sword environment. I’m not sure there is any line for them between cultivated social media persona and employment. The game they are playing is their livelihood and there should no longer be any illusions about that.

      For the anonymous office drone with 20 followers I feel quite a bit differently.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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        says:

        It’s striking how these discussions always start out full of sound and fury (This guy got FIRED for making a TRUE comment about women!!!) but then slowly peter out without ever reaching any sort of conclusion or proposed corrective action.

        Like, what would be the corrective action here?Report

        • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Other than these people getting a fishing clue and recognizing that Twitter is not a fun game for them- it’s a facet of their professional life and behaving accordingly there isn’t a corrective. Though I suppose there’s a cautionary in it in that even an anonymous office drone with 20 followers could, if the stars malevolently aligned, find a tweet they made abruptly thrust into the professional twitter level, followed by their anonymousness and their office job both shortly ceasing to exist.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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            says:

            What level of outrage would occur if an office drone got fired for passing off the boss at an office party?

            Which is the point, that when the conversation starts involving anyone other than affluent influential people, the outrage drops off, as if we have different classes of people.Report

            • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I’d agree if twitter mobs hadn’t wrecked ordinary nobodies lives in the past. Why people who don’t depend on it for their jobs roll the dice on twitter is beyond me but then I viscerally dislike twitter so I’m badly biased.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                says:

                If Karen speaks to the manager and gets a waiter fired is that different than a Twitter mob?Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                These days if a manager fired a waiter over some “Karen” they’d probably be fired in turn for squandering desperately needed labor.

                That said, obviously, if twitter isn’t involved it isn’t a twitter mob. I fear I’m missing your point, though.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                says:

                Should Dave Weigel enjoy a different level of job protection than a waiter, is the point.Report

              • North in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Looking at the alternatives-to wit the harder you make it to fire someone the harder it’ll be for everyone to find jobs, I’d say no.

                Though I’d add that a server running afoul of the fragile sensibilities of a Karen is far less culpable for their error than Dave Weigel is for saying something even slightly controversial on Twitter. The former is inevitable, the latter is idiotic.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                To me, there’s a difference between a media voice getting in trouble for Twitter (which is a medium) and a waiter getting in trouble for Twitter. I don’t know if anyone agrees with me, but I don’t see a workable alternative to making that distinction.Report

              • North in reply to Pinky
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                Yes. Twitter is as interwoven with media now (alas) as the Bar association is with lawyers. A media person getting strung up on twitter probably means the media person was being dumb. A waiter getting strung up by Twitter just means Twitter is a dumpster fire that can’t burn out fast enough.Report

              • dhex in reply to North
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                why not both, though? i.e. dumb media person and a dumpster fire?

                unfortunately nothing has reduced my trust more in individual journalists i’ve otherwise trusted than their actions on twitter. like, just craaaazy things. not “i disagree with this analysis/take” or “i don’t care about your love of dating shows” — more like “is this a medical emergency in slow motion, or are they secretly dumb and have somehow misled me for years?” it don’t feel good for sure.

                it sort of helps if you remember that twitter is heavily performative…but then it feels like you’re watching people degrade themselves for claps from peers and avoiding the dreaded eye of the dogpile and/or bts fans. “please love me! please love me!”

                it’s been a weird week for the wapo, to be sure. weigel shoots his foot off by being intensely dumb in a no-dumb zone, taylor lorenz continues her downward spiral toward writing a piece that is 100% corrections, and the editor and a reporter who sued the paper were in some sort of subtweet knife fight.Report

              • North in reply to dhex
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                says:

                An excellent point, it is both in reality. Merely the former is only evidence of individual stupidity whereas the latter is evidence of the vileness of the media ecosystem in question. Otherwise I generally agree with you.Report

              • InMD in reply to dhex
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                says:

                The Post has the nervous system of a serious 20th century news reporter and the frontal lobe of an affected trust fund brat.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to North
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                Whenever I sneer at Twitter as the Village Of The Damned Idiots, someone reminds me that there are plenty of serious academics and researchers and professionals for whom Twitter is a valuable communications medium.

                And I also get reminded that for plenty of people outside of the media, Twitter is an integral part of their job.

                And I myself have seen how incresingly, corporate culture encourages people to blend their personal and professional lives- everything from having kitchens and social rooms at work spaces, to insisting that people be always on call via text or social media.

                So while we can snicker over a Dave Weigel, there are millions of people who don’t enjoy the luxury of any sort of job protection from a careless tweet or social media faux pas.

                So if Dave Weigel was a junior coder and Felicia Somnez his supervisor, I don’t think anyone would give a crap about his firing.

                And like I said, its at this point in the conversation, when it becomes apparent that to protect Dave Weigel we would need to offer protection to the worker drones, that most people suddenly find something else to talk about.Report

              • dhex in reply to Chip Daniels
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                the current situation is not easily analogized – somnez and her lawsuit, for example, is an unusual circumstance, but more salient is that this starts because of broadcasting the situation involving a major media outlet to a platform used by the vast majority of journalists. in this case, the actions were designed to derive this outcome.

                i have no tears for weigel, especially because this was both entirely self-inflicted the sort of thing that would have fallen squarely within any social media policy at a great deal of organizations, with various outcomes being possible depending on the org.

                i’m no employment lawyer, but i’ve had to consult with them when writing social media use policies, and the lines aren’t perfectly drawn and easy to point to, as within certain institutions tweeting “f trump”* is well over a line, and in others is a demonstration of cultural competency.

                in some institutions and fields (academics are a very strong example), the need to stand out requires a kind of, shall we say, edgelordian approach to social media – it benefits an individual to run up against that line, but not over it, and the “over it” portion shifts depending on a broad variety of factors. being able to really push the line helps people stand out in a crowded academic job market in certain fields of the humanities, for example. and certainly with advocacy orgs it is a major selling point to be able to do so within the cultural contexts of the organization and the tolerance for online “heat”** – and such heat has a reduced currency in 2022 as orgs realize you can lash yourself to the mast for one to three days and the maniacs will subside as they’re distracted by the next main character on twitter.***

                * sub in “f biden” and swap the orgs in your mind for the sake of balance, if such is needed.

                ** “heat” is a very varied situation; david shor doesn’t get canned for his tweets from his current org despite people calling for his head constantly because they don’t like his analysis, nor would he necessarily get canned for them from his former org if he tweeted in 2022, versus 2020.

                *** certain maniacs excepted aka don’t tweet about k-pop in anything but the most salutary terms, despite it being a psyops weapon created by the cia masquerading as one direction cover bands.Report

        • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          In the case of Weigel? I don’t really see the need for any. It’s between him and WaPo.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Some argue that removing the tweet and apologizing ought to be sufficient.

          Others argue that suspension with a month’s pay ought to be sufficient.

          Still others argue that, of course, this isn’t about a single tweet but about the Washington Post fostering a hostile workplace environment and so a backlash that might seem disproportionate against a single actor isn’t even close to what would be necessary to change course for the entire environment. Assuming that Weigel getting suspended about only this tweet is, itself, a hostile act.

          What would be the corrective action here? Dismantle and remake society.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Still others would point to privity of contract and say it’s none of our business.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I imagine that the people arguing “it’s none of our business” would not have opened with “Like, what would be the corrective action here?”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Which is to say, that those who have an opinion as to Weige (such as making a blog post) are implicitly arguing against privity of contract in favor of some vague social norm of employee rights.

                But it always seems to remain vague and situational.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Is making a tweet an implicit waiving of this norm?

                Like, if two people are having a fight in the public square, do you think that they should be allowed to argue “THIS IS A PRIVATE CONVERSATION THAT OTHER PEOPLE SHOULDN’T HAVE OPINIONS ON!!!!”?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                You made this post,, so you tell me.

                You obviously has a strong interest in the dispute between Weigel and his employer.

                So I’m asking you what your interest is, is it a case of injustice, or are you suggesting a new policy or correction of norms, or what?

                Or is this just something that applies only to prominent people at national publications?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Oh, I think that by making the fight something public that the argument that “this is a private incident between co-workers” can be waved away.

                So I’m asking you what your interest is, is it a case of injustice, or are you suggesting a new policy or correction of norms, or what?

                I believe that the culture in any given newsroom is part and parcel with the reporting done by said newsroom. When there is a particularly large battle between co-workers, I think that that will have ripple effects beyond the immediate incident.

                Or is this just something that applies only to prominent people at national publications?

                I have written about this guy or that guy getting dogpiled for social media before.

                This is a particularly interesting incident because it seems to involve pop culture, lawsuits, and it’s happening very, very publicly.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Is dogpiling and Twitter mobbing a good thing, bad thing, or just an interesting train wreck on which you have no opinion?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Good? Bad?

                I think that I used to think that it was bad.

                Now I think that I see it as a force of nature. We pretty much need to develop defenses against it because this genie ain’t going back in the bottle.

                The best we can hope for is that the journalism entities that are responsible for whipping up frenzies also occasionally end up hoist by their own petard.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Which is exactly how these conversations always end.

                Initial outburst of outrage ending with a resigned shrug of whatchagonnadoo.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                If only I had said “I don’t care” at the beginning, I wouldn’t have to say “there is nothing in my power to change this” at the end.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                That’s how *every* conversation ends!Report

    • North in reply to Pinky
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      In journalism and the Academy twitter isn’t just social media, it’s virtually the job. Why anyone in those fields posts anything but professionalism is beyond me. Well it’s not actually beyond me, twitter is also where they hustle, network and build their twitter stature which leads directly to job opportunities and prestige. Twitter is the job.

      Which makes this dudes twitter post even more knee slappingly idiotic.Report

      • John Puccio in reply to North
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        says:

        Half of the people I follow on Twitter are either journalists or comedians. It’s been my observation that both groups are playing almost exclusively to the peers and are often confused as to which of the 2 groups they actually belong. It’s during those moments that they usually get into trouble.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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      says:

      But people who are in non-influencer positions should never be punished for their tweets.

      That’s funny. Like roll on the floor funny. My bi-annual media training for work emphasizes that my private discourse, on my private social media page, can still get me sanctioned if it ever touches on anything done by the government, especially so if its about things my agency does. Now, granted its not really enforced (or my writing and commenting career here would have followed a different path). But one can indeed get in professional trouble for ones social media.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        I don’t think you’d get in trouble if you were writing as Phil, but only if you were writing as Phil who works for the Government. It wouldn’t be that your job extends into social media, but that you moved your social media into the domain of your job.

        If a waiter is retweeting dirty jokes, I don’t care. If @BobfromPanneras is retweeting dirty jokes, I still don’t care but I can understand that getting him in trouble.Report

        • InMD in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          Interestingly there is a first amendment component to a government employee that there is not with @BobfromPanera. Not that just being a government employee gives you immunity or anything but there is case law on this question.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          “I don’t think you’d get in trouble if you were writing as Phil, but only if you were writing as Phil who works for the Government. ”

          Well. Thanks to tireless effort by people like, well, Phil, anything you say online is treated as if you were writing as Phil-who-works-for-the-Government.Report

  8. John Puccio
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    says:

    If only the joke said “pan” instead of “bi” this whole national nightmare could have been avoided..Report

  9. Slade the Leveller
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    says:

    The interesting part of this story is a Post editor got on Twitter and chided her for airing dirty laundry in public (which I think he was right to do). I’m not 100% certain, but I think he either deleted or made private his account.Report

  10. Jaybird
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    says:

    Ain’t over yet:

    Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Another interesting take:

      Report

      • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I’ve caved and am reading through the twitter feed. As much as I have a bit of schadenfreude I can’t help but think this is bad for liberal society. It’s exactly the kind of thing I meant about self-indulgence in my post a few weeks ago. Weigel is apparently a clueless dumbass but the type of politics Sonmez and Lorenz are a part of is a way bigger deal. It’s capable of killing institutions that we still need.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I just want to say that I also am proud to work for the Washington Post.

      Both my wife and I are.

      Because it is very collaborative.Report

  11. Jaybird
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    says:

    Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Likes are not endorsements, Holden.

      [snicker, of course they are]

      Go get’em tiger.

      Given the replacement value of journalists? I’m genuinely amazed at the paralysis of management. Of course, given the replacement value of Journalist Management, maybe I shouldn’t be.Report

  12. Mike Schilling
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    There’s a thing called the Rule of Funny, where sufficient humor excuses all sorts of other sins. We all know jokes that are so funny that we don’t care if they’re offensive. This weak sauce was nothing like that.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling
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      My assumption was that he was reading the joke in the middle of reading take after take after take after take on the Heard/Depp trial. Within the context of drowning in Depp/Heard (and being somewhat sympathetic to Depp), the joke is funnier.

      Without that context? It’s barely an offensive t-shirt.

      (For the record, I believe that Ms. Sonmez read it in the middle of drowning in Heard/Depp and she was sympathetic to Heard and saw this joke and immediately shifted into High Dudgeon. Out of which she has not yet shifted despite Weigel getting suspended and her editors begging for calmer seas.)Report

  13. Jaybird
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    I admit: this is pretty funny.

    Report

  14. Jaybird
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    says:

    Day 6:

    Report

  15. Jaybird
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    says:

    It ain’t over. It ain’t *CLOSE* to over.

    Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Somebody leaked the termination email.

      I imagine that the list of people with access to this email is very, very short.

      Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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        No joy in someone losing their job/livelihood (unless that was the goal all along)… but this had to be the inevitable outcome to the episode. Fake collegiality is one thing, but actively subverting the institution in public? That’s going to end as it ended. Not sure if this is a life lesson or mission accomplished sort of ending, though.Report

        • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          She is either certifiable or was intentionally trying to get herself fired all along. Or I guess maybe both. Not like these things are mutually exclusive.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          She has since stopped tweeting. My assumption is that getting fired was the goal all along.

          I imagine she knows where a handful of bodies are buried and there’s going to be an out-of-court settlement and everybody is going to say “It would be inappropriate to speak of how this achieved resolution”.

          And then Taylor Laurenz will write another article that requires two corrections and an Editor’s Note and we’ll go back to that particular merry-go-round.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Before an out-of-court settlement, there has to be an in-court lawsuit, or the credible threat of one. For that, there has to be a semi-plausible legal theory. Do you have a candidate?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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              says:

              “Gimme money or I will talk about where the bodies are buried.”

              That’s my best guess. “Settled out of court” is how I think it’ll end up.

              Does that reach the level of “semi plausible” in your expert view?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I said a “semi-plausible legal theory,” that is, something you can put in a complaint and hope it will survive long enough to get into discovery.
                Somnez doesn’t need a legal theory to threaten to tell what she thinks she knows unless she gets paid off. Lots of people threaten to tell the world about other peoples’ business unless they get paid off. Depending on how it’s done, there are laws against that.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                Oh, the legal theory.

                Um. “Fostering an Unsafe Workplace Environment” or whatever the legal term is for having a workplace that is content to allow sexual harassment of co-workers.

                Following the whole Kobe thing, she got taken off of stories that might include an element of sexual harassment/assault. She recently sued over this (and lost).

                I imagine that she’ll probably try to frame her firing as retaliation for taking them to court or something. That’ll get her foot in the door.

                Is that semi-plausible, in your expert opinion?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                Sonmez also doesn’t need a legal theory to negotiate an Exit Package and an NDA.

                Publicly positioning possible hostile workplace/retaliation doesn’t mean she has to file the suit to negotiate a package she wants. It’s all part of the positioning.

                IF, that’s what she was doing.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                She will come in and claim it was retaliation for reporting Weigel’s (and probably others) sexual harassment. And very likely some other things based on DC’s extensive human rights law.Report

            • InMD in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              My experience is that terminations far less acrimonious than this usually end with settlement agreements. She has sued the paper previously so there’s every reason to believe she would again, even if the case is a loser. At least that’s what I’d be anticipating if I worked in WaPo’s GC office. It’s almost always cheaper to pay people off than litigate.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Feel bad for Holden (see above) who probably earnestly thought this was really about Sexism in the workplace. He might not have as good an exist strategy mapped out.

            Holden waxes reflective today:

            Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Purely out of curiosity, is it normal to get fired over email?

        Or is this just providing written record to something that was initially done in person?Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          With remote work? Yes. Well, usually Phone/Zoom/email. But only the email could plausibly be leaked.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            I hadn’t considered the remote thing. In schools, people rarely get “fired.” They might not get invited back for the following year but it typically takes a pretty egregious situation to emerge for someone to get fired. I can think of one person I know who was outright fired mid-year (as opposed to given an opportunity to leave for “personal reason”) and it was because she was observed drinking during her lunch break.

            So I really just don’t know what it looks like to get fired, though getting fired in 2022 may look very different than getting fired in 2019.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Yeah, ‘exit’ procedures for white-collar knowledge work is pretty low-key… obviously if everyone is in an office together, there’s a meeting invite to a conference room with your boss and various support staff (and even then support – i.e. HR – could easily be via con call) where termination is conveyed plus ‘next steps’.

              Reminds me of Billy Beane in Moneyball: https://youtu.be/fTjhHrcyiQI

              Remote? Same thing except everyone is on con call… maybe with video on. Maybe. Depends on situation.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          I am not the person to ask about “normal”.

          But see there at the bottom?

          “In the event that you have left any personal items on the premises”

          Seems to imply that she already cleaned out her desk. Maybe it doesn’t imply that. Sure. Maybe she still has a couple of pictures and a coffee cup that says “you don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it helps!” filled with pens next to a plant.

          “we will make arrangements to return them and for you to return any other Post equipment you have in your possession.”

          Here’s how I’m reading that: “Don’t come back to the building.”Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Seems to me that if the employer is potentially concerned about a wrongful termination lawsuit, then the employer should definitely terminate in writing.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            I understand having something in writing… and she had to have known the heat was high on her (especially if, as Jay suspects, her goal was to get fired)… but it still stands out (to me at least) that an email would be the FIRST notice of a firing. Like, you go to check your email and BOOM! you’re fired.

            But like I said, my experience in this area is limited and I’m generally old school in terms of face-to-face vs digital communication.

            Just trying to understand how these things work in 2022 in non-education sectors.Report

  16. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m trying to get up to speed on this but since I’m not on Twitter, I’m having trouble following along. Is this the rough timeline of events?
    1. Weigel retweeted the sexist joke.
    2. Sonmez called him out on Twitter because of it.
    3. Sonmez was called out for calling him out.
    4. Sonmez pushed back.
    5. Multiple Post reporters, including Sonmez, commented on the culture at the Post, with most defending the organization and Sonmez pushing back on them.
    6. Sonmez was fired.

    Do I have that roughly right? Or was there more going on?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Put something in either 2.5 or 3.5, depending: Weigel got suspended without pay for a month.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Right, the curious thing about the episode wasn’t the call-out; it was that she won, but then doubled down on Systemic Sexism *and* added *racisim* to the entire leadership team – and, well, everyone on or near or withing shouting distance of the masthead. And doubled down again after leadership called for everyone to stand-down on ‘collegiality’ grounds.Report

    • InMD in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Mostly but I would say the big missing fact is that, at least based on some leaked emails, Somnez has continued to argue the issue on twitter with her colleagues after specific requests from management to stop doing that.Report

  17. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Man, I guess cancel culture really is out of control.

    Actually, no. No, it is not.

    Being docked a month’s pay for a sexist tweet is OK.
    Being fired for publicly fighting with other employees is also OK.

    Unless they have a union. Then their union rep could bring a grievance. But apparently they don’t feel they need any protections against arbitrary firing, so whatchagonnadoo.Report

  18. Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Also interesting is that the Sonmez thing briefly occluded the Lorenz thing.

    But now the Lorenz thing is back, and what’s really interesting in this is that ‘staffers’ are ‘furious’ at management for pulling the promotion of the editor whom Lorenz says was at fault… while *management* is saying that that’s *not* why they pulled the promotion … which, why? (if the reporting is accurate – and – well – do any of us trust reporting anymore?)

    Report

    • dhex in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      i mean, whether he did insert the errors or merely let lorenz insert that stuff…it’s ultimately on his head.

      (how she still has a job is mystifying, to be sure, but a separate question)Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to dhex
        Ignored
        says:

        I know… that’s the thing right?

        Hey, the reason we’re not firing Lorenz is because Malitz screwed up… and as a result we had to pull back a promotion as we’ve lost confidence in his editing judgement and that position is going to go elsewhere. The good news is that we’re not *firing* Malitz and hope he can learn from this episode and look forward to other opportunities at the WaPo in the future.

        And we’d appreciate it if everyone would stop calling Oliver Darcy with all of our internal management meeting notes.

        And about twitter… we’ll have an updated policy shortly.Report

  19. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    People think that before Twitter, nobody found jokes like the above offensive. This isn’t true. Plenty of people found the bi polar or sexual joke offensive. They just didn’t have anything they could do about it but take it the boss or point out why they didn’t find it offensive live and most likely told not to mind because reasons. What Twitter does is allow people to not only vocalize previously held complaints but broadcast them and sometimes this results in something getting done even if nothing would get done in the past even if it is only not having salary for a month.

    I think what scares a lot of people is that the ability to say “dude, not funny” is more widespread than it was in the past and that there might be some light consequences of saying something that wasn’t funny. I personally think that comedy always has something of a mean spirit to it no matter who is the blunt of the joke.Report

    • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      I think one can fairly distinguish disciplining Weigel from what Sonmez did after the matter was dealt with. It is not a novel thing that he got in trouble for passing that joke around in a medium that at least for a professional journalist is probably no longer distinguishable from the office. That’s been the rule, especially in white collar America, for a pretty long time, even if enforcement can vary in robustness.

      But once a sanction is laid down I don’t think an employer has to allow the complainant to go around continually picking public fights and stirring the pot with other colleagues, especially after being asked not to. That is also not a new thing, regardless of the merits of the original complaint.Report

      • InMD in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Just to add, some of her tweets I’ve seen circulating could have given rise to their own complaints from other employees arising from her conduct towards them.Report

  20. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Welp, the story made it to Maher.

    Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      No matter how many times I see/hear it, I never get tired of the old “Everyone responded reasonably and proportionally, and that was the end of that” joke.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Has anyone else noticed that Maher’s “can’t anyone take a joke?” routines have become a bigger part of his act as his inability to tell a joke has become more obvious?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        The worst part is the audience laughing at him.

        “He’s not funny!”, I want to yell at them. “STOP LAUGHING! HE’S OFFENSIVE! HE’S NOT FUNNY! THAT’S NOT FUNNY! STOP LAUGHING! HE’S NOT MAKING A GOOD POINT! STOP LAUGHING! YOU’RE ALL HYPOCRITES!”Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          As Abraham Lincoln said when asked to provide a blurb for a book: “People who like this sort of thing will find it the kind of thing they like.” The right audience will laugh at anything. Comedians who are losing their comedic chops can coast for a while on the memories of what they had once been. I know you’ve said you’re not a fan of stand-up comedy. Those of us who are have seen it happen before.Report

  21. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    A good essay that breaks down much of the problem.

    Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Weren’t you the guy who was going on and on about teachers saying things in class that some parents might find offensive?

      And how understandable it was for parents to be outraged and demand greater control over what teachers say and do?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes.

        I think I’d be willing to defend having two different opinions for adults in a workplace versus children in a classroom.

        It certainly strikes me as less of an uphill climb than vice-versa.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          You really don’t see the absurdity of this?

          That hysterical witchhunts are understandable when it has the excuse of being “for the children”, but in a workplace we should just chuckle and shrug.

          That the very same people screaming spittle-flecked tirades at school boards about teachers grooming children for sex, will then go to work and calmly and with mature restraint, shrug off a sexist joke?

          It just strikes me as a flimsy argument of convenience.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            That hysterical witchhunts are understandable when it has the excuse of being “for the children”, but in a workplace we should just chuckle and shrug.

            I think that it could easily be argued that both are important.

            I think that it could, with effort, be argued that neither are important.

            But if I had to pick one to say “safe spaces are important” and the other to say “this is overboard”, I think that I could easily argue for protecting children and not using that level of protection for adults.

            I can’t imagine doing the vice-versa, though. What mental contortions would a person have to put themselves through to see the vice-versa as okay?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              But it was demonstrated, right here at OT, that the hysteria over teachers grooming children for sex had absolutely nothing to do with “protecting children” that it was a flimsy pretext for bigotry against LGBTQ people.
              You get that, right?

              I don’t make any argument for or against Weigel’s behavior, or Somnez’s.

              My point is to illustrate the bad faith and dishonesty of waving the banner of “for the children” witchhunts one moment, then pivoting to “Its just a joke!” the next. The real argument being made is the Wilhoit principle.

              And even the argument trotted out here- that a workplace is not a place to expect safe space- is contradicted by your endless obsession over how Weigel was treated.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                See, you say “it was demonstrated!” and I think that you must not know what that means.

                “The other side had a bad actor in it!”, I think it what you are running with. “Therefore the entire side is bad! It has been demonstrated!”

                I’m not sure that that is the level of demonstration that you want to be running with. I’m pretty sure that it’s not, actually.

                (And this isn’t about how Weigel was treated. I come from a perspective about how this is bigger than Weigel. With a leavening of “ha ha ha ha ha (wheeze) hee hee hee”.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No one put forward any evidence, any at all, that gay or trans teachers are grooming children for sex, and everyone who tries just parrot’s Chris Rufo’s talking points verbatim where he gleefully tells us “I’m a liar in service to bigots!”

                And we see how the very same people amplifying this in the Republican Party are now expanding to attack all LGBTQ rights (to protect the children of course!)

                So yeah, “teachers grooming children for sex” was demonstrated to be a lie told by liars.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d avoid Brandon’s link, if I were you.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it about Catholic priests molesting boys?
                Because I’ve seen hundreds of those.

                Or conservative who tout family values discovered with rent boys?
                I’ve seen plenty of those too.

                The central Rufo/ Republican charge that teachers are grooming children for sex is a lie in service to bigotry.

                We need to get that clear, especially since no one here will forthrightly defend it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Here, let Kat Rosenfield discuss the “Groomers” hysteria, and say it more eloquently than I can:

                We’ve been here before, of course. In moments of diminished trust, we turn on each other, becoming obsessed with ferreting out the subversives in our midst. Anyone could be a witch, or a communist, or a homosexual; everyone must be closely watched; and no misstep is too small to be worthy of indictment. Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, the Catholic Church is now the topic.

                What will it be in a day? Two days?

                Then you can go back to saying that you have successfully avoided interacting with any evidence, any evidence at all.

                And then, when someone points out something, you can change the subject again.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Trusted authority figures grooming children for sex” is the topic, the one that you yourself introduced and endlessly promoted.

                I commented on Kat’s tweet because of the fact that you were the one posting it.

                In all of our discussions at OT, no one has been more relentless in pushing the atmosphere of diminished trust that she speaks of, than you.

                You have always been the voice warning darkly that this institution lies, that one can’t be trusted, that these people must be guilty of something dark and nefarious even if we can’t prove it.

                Kat is writing about you, Jaybird.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll let you get back to saying that you’ve seen no evidence of anything.

                Goodness knows, when someone points out evidence, it’s now time to start talking about something, ANYTHING!, else.

                And you can go back to saying that you’ve successfully avoided ever seeing any evidence.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “I found a misbehaving member of the Outgroup, so my bigotry is justified.”

                That’s Argument #3. Or as it should more properly be termed, shanda fur die goyim.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I refused to look at the misbehaving member of the outgroup.

                Therefore, I still haven’t seen any evidence of the outgroup misbehaving.

                Q.E.D.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                That conservatives openly say they are using evidence of the outgroup misbehaving to justify bigotry, is my point.

                On a related note, The Republican Party of Texas has just come right out and said it, that they view LGBTQ people as abnormal and inferior.
                Which explains the carefully planned series of violent attacks on Pride events.

                Which brings me back to where I started, Kat’s essay about fear and paranoia, that the Republicans have devolved into a faction centered in fear and loathing and hystrical conspiracism.

                Whether it is the Big Lie of election denying, or panics over pedophilia, or anti-vax lunacy, they are steeped in that atmosphere that she describes, where even erstwhile allies like Dan Crenshaw are suddenly attacked for insufficient purity.

                And so too here, we are given dark warnings, spectral “evidence” confirming the demonic nature of the hated Outgroup.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Man. I had to double-check to see if we were still in the Weigel post.

                Yep. We are.

                I mean, it *MIGHT* make sense if we were in the Chesa post or something… but, nope.

                Anyway, Kat’s essay was about the WaPo.

                I appreciate that you’d rather talk about Trump or whatever.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re on the “Lets link to an essay about the atmosphere of fear and paranoia about hated Outgroups” post.

                (Did you actually think she was talking about WaPo?)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, but, that’s because I read where she said (and I’m copying/pasting this) “I wrote for @unherd about the mistrust and dystopian implications of last week’s WaPo meltdown”.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Tangential but this reminded me: This is a truly unfortunate final sequence of tweets to have left up before being arrested for having sex with a 13-year-old former student.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I always appreciate Kat’s writing but I think she whiffed on this one. To the extent we’re talking Bob from accounting or Jane from operations she makes some good points. However I don’t see how you talk about this without navigating the fact that journalists, at least at a certain stature, are trading on their public personas. Like, let’s just say for the sake of argument that the Bezos era WaPo was still a serious newspaper (crazy, I know, but really try). Would broadcasting off color jokes to tens of thousands of people help or hurt their credibility, and does the paper have a legitimate interest in that not happening? I can see how reasonable people might disagree but she doesn’t even try to answer that question.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Oddly enough, a few years ago I was starting to think that the Post was getting it together enough to replace the NYT as the country’s premiere national newspaper. Now the Post is on its way down again, and it seems like maybe the NYT has started to reverse its decline.

        I could be wrong though. I don’t read either regularly enough to be confident in my assessment.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I agree here. For a journalist or other public figure, there’s no real distinction between a personal Twitter account and a work account. Honestly, given the prevalence of cluster B tendencies among his colleagues, I thought that retweeting the joke was such a bad judgment call on Weigel’s part that at first I assumed it must have been an accident.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Would broadcasting off color jokes to tens of thousands of people help or hurt their credibility, and does the paper have a legitimate interest in that not happening?

        Absolutely. I could see someone calling Weigel up and screaming “WHAT THE HELL” into the phone as soon as he picked up and telling him that if he doesn’t unretweet and issue a goddamned apology in the next goddamn hour, he’s out on his hind end.Report

      • KenB in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I think it’s less that she whiffed and more that she has a different focus than you — she’s writing about Sonmez’s reaction rather than Weigel’s action. If all Sonmez had said was that it was inappropriate for a WaPo journalist to share a bit of locker-room humor then it all would’ve died down quickly, but she took it as evidence of his hidden misogyny, and then extended the accusation to WaPo management and everyone who told her to chill.

        I’m sure she would agree that it was imprudent for Weigel to have retweeted that, given the world we live in… but it’s like walking through a bad area of town with $100 bills peeking out of your back pocket — if you get mugged, it’s sort of your own fault for being so foolish, but that doesn’t mean that the mugger was justified.Report

        • InMD in reply to KenB
          Ignored
          says:

          To quote her specifically, this is where I think she veers off and really muddies up an otherwise good piece:

          It is not hard to identify the flaws, and the threat, of a workplace policy founded on the notion that one’s employers should be meting out punishments, firings and fines, over matters of taste. The comedy you laugh at, the music you listen to, the art you hang on your walls at home: any of these things might grate against the sensibilities of a coworker, especially one who is in the habit of opportunistic offence-taking.

          Such a rule would allow unparalleled interference by bosses into our private lives — policing not just the things we say outside of work, but the things we enjoy. It is hard to say where it would end. “You retweeted an offensive joke” becomes, “You were overheard telling an offensive joke to your friends at a bar,” becomes, perhaps, “You were captured by one of our corporate surveillance drones exiting a Ricky Gervais show, and our facial expression-analysing algorithm confirms the presence of mirth.” The boundaries between our work lives and our private lives have never been more permeable, and it has become increasingly easy for employers to track our movements — and hold us accountable for them — outside the office. And in a moment where brands are expected to have identities and values the same way people do, it’s all too easy for corporations to lay claim to their employees’ expression and activities as company property. You are never not at work; you are never not representing the brand.

          What Weigel did is the kind of thing that has been expressly banned from the proverbial break room for 20 years, well pre-#MeToo, well pre-Great Awokening. There may be an argument that a 1 month unpaid suspension is overkill, but (not) circulating risqué jokes is on the corporate compliance quiz and has been for a long time.

          Now, I am very sympathetic to the argument that Normie McNormalson’s twitter is not and should not be the break room. Dave Weigel, well known political correspondent for a national newspaper though? It isn’t the same, and it messes up the rest of her argument to act like it is.

          To your (and the crux of her) larger point, I am hoping we soon reach a day when corporate America decides it is no longer tolerating people like Sonmez. They abuse the rules to further their own personal crusades and in the process destroy institutions and wreak internal havoc on average nobodies for no justifiable reason. I think it’s great, for example, that Netflix finally grew a spine and purged its internal woke crusaders, who don’t know how to draw a line between their personal politics and their workplace.

          So none of this is to say there isn’t a ‘where does this all end’ aspect to the matter of corporate surveillance of its employees private lives. It’s just that Weigel isn’t the example of it. Her reference feels like de rigueur filler, and it undermines the much more interesting question, that being how to handle internal staff that cloak their personal derangement and corporate climbing in the language of compliance and faddish politics.Report

          • KenB in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            OK fair enough. It seems like there are two different things getting mushed together here — one is “normal” workplace rules, where there’s no difference in principle between WaPo and any other company, and the biggest question is where the legal lines are at any given time; and the other is big company brand protection, which is mostly governed by whatever the fickle public (or target market segment) is likely to react negatively to. To the extent that the latter is the subject, then articles like Rosenfield’s are maybe at least helpful to try to move the needle towards less sensitivity overall.

            But yes, in general the best & most prudent answer for all of us is to remember that social media activity can be seen by pretty much everyone and will be taken too seriously by a significant subset, so it’s always safest to suppress the urge to express anything beyond the most bland inoffensive pablum. Unless of course it’s part of your brand to be against that trend.Report

  22. Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ll just make the same observation I make when someone “gets disciplined for X” and the Internet explodes with observations about “X”:

    (1) Most employee <-> employer relationship problems are non-public
    (2) Most organizations have an escalation process for misbehavior and that process is susceptible to under-reporting
    (3) The vast majority of people who are fired or disciplined for misbehavior comes after a significant pattern of misbehavior
    (4) The last thing is usually the only thing you know about when the person in question is a public or semi-public figure
    (5) When someone is fired, typically the organization will decline to offer information about why, so the only source of data is… the person fired, who obviously has a dog in the fight.
    (6) Give (1) + (2) + (3) when you see “someone got fired apparently for something I regard as trivial” the null hypothesis should be “guess I don’t have full information here” and not “obviously the organization is stupid”.

    It’s not that people don’t get fired for trivialities (they do, one reason why At Will employment is dumb, but I digress)… but absent full information assuming that’s what happened ignores how large organizations work (usually in service to your own biases about the organization).

    This applies whether it’s WaPo, your local police department, the church or the Boy Scouts.

    I have no opinion on Weigel and honestly neither should anybody else given what’s publicly available about his departure.

    If you do, that’s probably a sign of your implicit bias about WaPo (accurate or not) or about something else about Cancel Culture or whatever… not any sort of objective assessment about what actually happened.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      For the record, I was not trying to use this particular story as a way to generalize about most employee/employer relationship problems. This was a particularly non-representative case, I’d think.

      As for #3, I’m pretty sure that if Weigel was more-or-less a model employee otherwise, the apology would have been sufficient. The month off without pay sure makes you wonder what he’s been doing that gets everyone else to say “dang, this guy gets away with murder!”
      When it comes to Sonmez, I’m sure that if she had responded to Weigel’s apology with a simple press of the “like” button, this wouldn’t have been *HALF* as much of a spectacle.

      As for #5, somebody leaked the termination email! How many people had access to that email? I’m guessing maybe three or four:
      1. Sonmez herself.
      2. The guy who wrote the email and *MAYBE* his/her boss
      3. The IT guy who has access to the email server

      #6 I’m not sure that Sonmez got fired for something trivial. She made a spectacle. I don’t know that the organization is stupid… the general response I’ve seen is something a lot closer to “what in the heck took them so long?”

      Weigel, as far as I know, didn’t get fired. He just got suspended without pay for a month.
      Sonmez got fired.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      If more people thought like that, the internet would be a much saner and quieter place.Report

  23. Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Site’s acting a little weird and lost my edit:

    (a) Organizations that fire people justly do so after a fairly long period of documented misbehavior, but all that documentation is internal

    (b) Organizations that fire someone unjustly usually do so by violating their own policies and thus there’s no documented misbehavior, and there doesn’t need to be because they’re ignoring their own policies.

    It’s incredibly difficult to tell (a) from (b) even when you work in that organization and it’s basically impossible to do so from public reporting without a lot of access to internal documents, which you almost always don’t get (when you do, people tend not to read that far)Report

  24. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Dan Drezner parts ways with the WaPo.

    He points out that he’s not collateral damage from All This Crap:

    Given recent events at The Post, I fear some conspiratorially minded readers might conclude that I am a small piece of collateral damage from all the drama. The truth is more banal: My contract was up, and management wanted to go in a different direction. The Post is figuring out how to best organize its opinion sections, and I do not fit into those plans.

    If that sounds bad for me, the truth is that it was growing ever more difficult for me to tolerate the status quo, as well. This had nothing to do with the folks at PostEverything; they always edited me with a light touch, and their interventions always improved my prose.

    That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions, though!

    We live in an age in which retweeting a tasteless joke and then apologizing and deleting it 10 minutes later still winds up being on your permanent record. Not all infractions are equal, and in some cases such behavior merits serious sanctions. There is something bizarre, however, about the capricious nature of reactions and overreactions to acts that less than a decade ago would barely have merited a shrug.

    It is entirely possible that as a middle-aged straight White guy, my read on this is wrong. Another trend I have noticed over the past eight years is that my inner cranky-old-man voice is starting to get louder. I am keenly aware that this voice is not always wrong, but it ain’t always right, either. That said, a public discourse that is implacably hostile to only a particular slice of norm infractions is not fertile ground for the contingent writing that inspired Spoiler Alerts.

    Personally, I think that the WaPo will be lessened by his absence, but maybe it’s trying to be something else entirely.

    Looks like it’s going to succeed at that, at least.Report

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