The WaPo trumpets its dysfunction to the world

In the old days (say, before 2008), anybody with a brain could tell that media outlets were biased, but they at least tried to look professional.  Stories were written in a straight style, without too many obvious opinions; the outlets quickly, if discreetly, made corrections to blatant errors; and the reporters were not supposed to be the story, unless they were heroic in the Watergate mode or heroic in reporting from war zones.  Those values are gone.  Today's media outlets have abandoned professionalism for advocacy, barely bother with corrections, and often make themselves the story.  That's what happened in the case of a bad joke at the Washington Post, which turned the WaPo itself into a bad joke.

Dave Weigel has been a political gadfly but always hewed libertarian-left.  He registered as a Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the 2008 primaries but then voted for Obama in November.  By 2012, he was voting for Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson.  Despite that kind of conservative-ish record, he worked for both Slate and Bloomberg Politics before moving to the Washington Post in 2015.

In other words, Weigel is the kind of person whom leftists despise and conservatives distrust.  Still, he did a good job of leaping from one turtle's back to another as he stayed upright in the turbulent political waters of D.C.  But then Weigel took a fatal misstep and plunged into those waters.  The jury is still out about whether he drowned or will be found somewhere along the banks, battered but able to get back into the fray.

Image David Weigel.  YouTube screen grab.

The occasion for Weigel's misstep was his having retweeted this joke:

Felicia Sonmez, a political reporter (last seen with another journalist's scalp in a 2018 #MeToo case), instantly confirmed the accuracy of the joke (leftist women are crazy) by attacking Weigel via the Slack channel: "Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!"  Weigel immediately issued the ritual public apology:

Poor deluded man.  You'd think he'd been around leftists long enough to know that leftism is a religion that demands remorse and repentance but allows no redemption.  Instead, the unstable women in the newsroom (one "bi" or another) couldn’t let the matter go:

If the Washington Post is committed to an inclusive and respectful environment free of harassment, discrimination or bias of any sort, then can someone please help me understand Micah Gelman and David Weigel’s tweets/rts?

These tweets/rts not only hurt women in our newsroom but make it extremely difficult to do our best work. Ultimately, it creates a toxic work environment.

Thank you Felicia Sonmez for speaking out against harassment, discrimination and sexism.

Breanna Muir, the video technician who wrote the message, wasn't just complaining about Weigel's joke.  She was still angry that, in March, one of her colleagues confused her name with Breonna Taylor (the gal who died in the Louisville, Kentucky shootout).  Somehow, it's always the White leftists who confuse Black people's identities.

With the spat entertaining the conservative blogosphere, Sally Buzbee, the executive editor, finally sent a memo around the office telling reporters to "treat each other with respect and kindness."  Respect and kindness, though, weren't the things the enraged women wanted.  Instead, on Monday, they got their scalp: the WaPo suspended Weigel without pay.

Jeffrey Toobin managed to get back to work after masturbating during a Zoom call, but I wonder about Weigel.  Offending feminists is pretty much a death sentence.

Meanwhile, as this drama played out, Taylor Lorenz, who doxxed Libs of TikTok, wrote a piece attacking internet creators who got more hits commenting on the Johnny Depp–Amber Heard trial than the WaPo did.  It was not a complimentary article but was, instead, intended to get them off YouTube.  However, Taylor Lorenz included such serious misstatements in the article that the WaPo was required to issue three revisions.  Glenn Greenwald points to the neurotic high school drama and how it damages American political discourse:

Considering that the WaPo's founder, a Democrat, was a race-obsessed Confederate, there's a delicious irony to the fact that radical, race-obsessed Democrats are now doing their best to destroy his paper.

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