Washington Post Executive Editor Sally Buzbee on Tuesday sent a stern memo warning employees to stop "attacking colleagues either face to face or online" as reporter Felicia Sonmez continues to rail against the paper, accusing management of ignoring a 2020 internal report on social media use.
Sonmez last week called out reporter Dave Weigel for sharing a joke by YouTube host Cam Harless, who said, "Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it's polar or sexual."
"Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!" Sonmez reacted.
One Post reporter, Jose Del Real, criticized her calling out Weigel, who was sidelined Monday for a month without pay.
"These tweets falsely accusing me of 'clout chasing,' 'bullying,' 'cruelty,' and directing an 'eager mob' to carry out 'a barrage of online abuse' are still up … even after I repeatedly raised them to management and noted that I've been receiving threats and abuse," Sonmez tweeted of Del Real.
"Collegial!" she added.
The Washington Post condemned Weigel's retweet, telling Fox News, "Editors have made clear to the staff that the tweet was reprehensible and demanding language or actions like that will not be tolerated."
Buzbee in the memo said the Post would not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues "either face to face or online."
"Respect for others is critical to any civil society, including our newsroom. The newsroom social media policy points specifically to the need for collegiality," she added.
"We also do not tolerate violations of our Policy Prohibiting Workplace Harassment and our Policy on Prohibition of Discrimination, which further set forth our expectations for employees and are designed to create an inclusive environment where all Post employees can perform their best work."
Buzbee alluded to how "egregious violations of our social media policy" have been addressed in the past year and vowed to "update the social media policy," adding "Until then, the current policy remains in effect," which she noted states, "When it comes to your colleagues, be constructive and collegial: If you have a question or concern about something that has been published, speak to your colleague directly."
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