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Drama over tweets at The Washinton Post reaches a new high. Felicia Sonmez has received notice she has been fired.

The notice sent to Sonmez says in part, “We cannot allow you to continue to work as a journalist representing The Washington Post.” The letter points to, “misconduct that includes insubordination, maligning your co-workers online, and violating The Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity,” as the reason behind her firing.

Sonmez last week screenshotted a tweet from her colleague Dave Weigel who retweeted a joke that offended her with the caption, “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!” Weigel was suspended for a month without pay.

After the tweet from last week, The Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee sent out memos to staff, saying in one, “We do 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.”

Another colleague, Jose A. Del Real, called out Sonmez, calling what she was doing inappropriate. Eventually after some back and forth, Del Real blocked Sonmez.

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.”

Another colleague, Lisa Rein, replied to the above thread with, “Please Stop”.

This only seemed to enrage Sonmez, even more, she replied, “Please stop … requesting that tweets from a colleague falsely accusing me of “bullying” and “clout chasing” be taken down?”

She then shared a number of tweets from people on Twitter that don’t agree with her perspective on Weigel’s retweet, complaining, “Do you have any idea of the torrent of abuse I’m facing right now?”

This continued and on Thursday Sonmez posted a thread that maybe have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, she was notified of her termination later on Thursday after posting the below thread.

She started off her thread by sharing part of a story from Vanity Fair which shows an email that asked staff to assess how they are feeling and seek help if they need it. She replied all to the email letting everyone know she was punished for taking a walk after reading a difficult story previously.

She then continues to address trauma and how she believes it isn’t taken seriously at The Washinton Post.

Around the midpoint of her thread, she goes after some of her colleagues, “I don’t know who the colleagues anonymously disparaging me in media reports are. But I do know that the reporters who issued synchronized tweets this week downplaying the Post’s workplace issues have a few things in common with each other.”

“- They are all white – They are among the highest-paid employees in the newsroom, making double and even triple what some other National desk reporters are making, particularly journalists of color – They are among the “stars” who “get away with murder” on social media.”

“Of course the Washington Post is a great workplace. It is a great workplace *for them.* The system is working *for them.* What about for everyone else? The General Assignment team? The Morning Mix team? The newsletter researchers?” She goes on for a few more tweets after that.

Later Thursday it was announced that she had been let go. This isn’t the first controversy Sonmez has had with The Washington Post. Last summer Sonmez filed a discrimination suit against The Washinton Post, which was later dismissed.

NPR reported and the suit:

In a suit filed Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, Sonmez said she was not allowed to report on sexual misconduct after she issued a statement in September 2018 on the resignation of a Los Angeles Times journalist who she said had assaulted her in China. He has said what happened was consensual.

It appears that even organizations such as The Washington Post have their limits. It doesn’t appear that Sonmez has made any comments on her firing as of yet or what steps she will pursue next.

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