It is With a Heavy Heart I Inform You the WaPo Reporter Who Started the Journo Civil War Has Been Fired


Yesterday it was duty - and my great pleasure - to post about the bloody, internecine battle taking place within the offices of the Washington Post. Even though the war was only in its sixth day, it was a complex affair, marked by offenses, counter-offensives, innocent victims, collateral damage, retreats, partial surrenders, and massive causalities on all sides. You can read about it here:

But here's the condensed version. Post reporter Dave Weigel retweeted a joke he thought was funny. He was called out about it by colleague Felicia Sonmez, who didn't find it funny, but did find Weigel guilty of misogyny. The fact he deleted, apologized for it, and had once gone to bat for her when she was getting dragged for going after Kobe Bryant while his corpse was still burning in a crashed helicopter not withstanding:

… she nevertheless kept firing her Twitter cannons at his Fort Sumter, and the Civil War was underway. And it has raged all week. Until right around the time my post went up late yesterday. That's when management at the Post forced Felicia to the table at their Appomattox Courthouse and made her sign an unconditional surrender.

CNN - The Washington Post on Thursday fired Felicia Sonmez, the reporter who has been extraordinarily critical of her colleagues and the newspaper's leadership over the last several days, two people familiar with the matter told CNN on Thursday.

The Post's termination notice, a copy of which was seen by CNN, said Sonmez was fired for "misconduct that includes insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating The Post's standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity."

"We cannot allow you to continue to work as a journalist representing The Washington Post," the letter concluded.

Reached by phone, Sonmez declined to comment.

I don't know what I'm sadder about. That the war is over so suddenly, or that Felicia, who had been launching Twitter salvos nonstop since hostilities began decided not to comment. I mean, who can her guns go so silent so suddenly? When there are still so many co-workers still to be put on blast. So many management memos still to be leaked to the public. This tireless warrior woman, this Valkyrie, was a Twitter factory for a while there, working three shift around the clock for almost a week. It seemed as if nothing and no one would get in her way until she blew out that entire office down to the lally columns and support beams. 

But now? Nothing but the echoes of the guns ringing in our ears. This is her most recent post. A retweet of support linked to an article about the "clusterfuck" she started:

So the lesson here is … what, exactly? That you can't take a job somewhere and publicly joke shame your co-workers without first having the common decency to look them in eye and tell them what you think like an adult? That if someone came to your defense during a tough moment in your career, you should have their back when they screw up? That when the people who direct deposit money into your checking account every two weeks ask you to stop shitting where you eat, you might want to take that as a serious warning instead of criticizing them for their privilege and skin color:


… since they can't help their complexion any more than you can?

Who can say? The takeaway from all this is the stuff of greater minds than mine. I like to think it will be the subject of countless studies by Journalism schools from now until the end of time. My only take is that the world of the Washington Post was never meant for a soul as beautiful as Felicia Sonmez. And I can't wait to hear more from her. So I look forward to her finding some other Journo outlet willing to hire her. And soon. God help anyone who does.