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Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez continued to complain about her colleagues on Sunday morning after a retweet engulfed the newsroom in controversy on Friday.
Sonmez shared screenshots of what she described as public attacks on her by fellow Washington Post reporter Jose A. Del Real.
“When women fight back, some people respond with even more vitriol. Last night a colleague at the Post publicly attacked me for calling out another colleague’s sexist tweet. He first hid all the replies s opposing his attacks, and now appears to have deleted his account,” Sonmez tweeted.
Sonmez was referring to Del Real’s tweet, where he criticized her for airing her grievances with co-workers in public.
“Felicia, we all get it wrong from time to time. Engaging in repeated and targeted public harassment of a co-worker is neither pretty nor particularly effective. It turns the language of inclusivity into an influence hunt and in bullying. I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Del Real tweeted.
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The fuss at the Washington Post began when journalist David Weigel retweeted a joke that poked fun at women
“Fantastic to work in a medium where retweets like this are allowed!” Sonmez reacted.
Weigel took down his retweet and issued an apology on his account.
Washington Post editor Sally Buzbee sent an emailed note calling on staff and colleagues to treat each other with respect and kindness.
“We expect staff to treat each other with respect and kindness, both in the newsroom and online. We are a collegial, creative newsroom that does an amazing amount of important and groundbreaking journalism. One of Our newsroom’s greatest strength is our collaborative spirit,” Buzbee wrote.
Although the memo did not refer to any reporter by name, Buzbee also added, “The Washington Post is committed to creating an inclusive and respectful environment free from harassment, discrimination, or bias of any kind. either. When issues arise, please report them to management or Human Resources and we will respond quickly and firmly.”
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Del Real first deleted the tweets along with his account before returning to Twitter on Sunday afternoon with a thread explaining the situation.
“Last night I suffered a series of relentless attacks intended to tarnish my professional and personal reputation. The cause? Certain tweets I sent calling for compassion in our workplace. These attacks continued this morning,” Del Real began.
“Hoping to defuse, I temporarily deactivated my account, amid a barrage of online abuse led by one person but carried out by a cheering crowd. The one-sided attacks continued even after I stopped engaging. I know the old adage: Hurting people hurts people. But what happens then?” he wrote.
Del Real called on everyone to just get out of the controversy and insisted the Washington Post is dedicated to “dismantling the systems of sexism, racism and homophobia”.
“I’ll end where I started: let’s be kinder to each other. I truly believe that empathy is a necessary tool in this effort to improve our workplaces and our culture. We can all be better. I I will certainly keep trying to be.” concluded Del Real.
Sonmez continued to vent his frustration on Twitter by tagging Buzbee and national editor Matea Gold.
“Opposing sexism isn’t ‘influence hunting’. It’s not ‘harassment’. And it certainly isn’t ‘cruelty.’ okay? @SallyBuzbee @mateagold Here’s a personal thread I wrote last night about why talking is important to me and other women,” she tweeted.
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Sonmez has frequently criticized her colleagues as well as her employer on Twitter.
Most notably, Sonmez sued The Washington Post in July 2021 for discrimination for allegedly limiting its coverage of the #MeToo movement and the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he publicly disclosed his sexual trauma in 2018. A Washington court DC dismissed the case. in March.