Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz raged over Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias’ Sunday joke about COVID-19, shortly after her colleague lost her job over anger toward a retweeted joke about women.
Yglesias said Sunday that he contracted COVID-19 and joked the virus should have more respect for Father’s Day. Lorenz said his joke is insensitive to those who have “had their lives destroyed” by the virus.
“Some personal news: I have contracted the novel coronavirus,” Yglesias wrote on Twitter. “Frankly, I think the virus should respect Father’s Day more than this. FYI, all future typos are due to long COVID.”
Frankly, I think the virus should respect Father’s Day more than this.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 19, 2022
“I’m glad it’s a joke for u Matt and you’re lucky enough to get access to great care, but for those who have had their lives destroyed by the virus and who have had their loved ones die from or suffer w/LC it’s not funny,” Lorenz replied. “Hope you can have a little more empathy, especially today.”
I’m glad it’s a joke for u Matt and that you’re lucky enough to get access to great care, but for those who have had their lives destroyed by the virus and who have had loved ones die from or suffer w/ LC it’s not funny. Hope you can have a little more empathy, especially today
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) June 19, 2022
The newsroom erupted in early June after political reporter David Weigel retweeted a joke by YouTuber Cam Harless, who said “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.” A now-former national political reporter Felicia Sonmez sarcastically reacted to the retweet June 3. The Post suspended Weigel for a month without pay shortly after the reporter deleted the retweet and apologized. (RELATED: WaPo Journalist Sobs During MSNBC Interview, Says Tweets Gave Her ‘Severe PTSD’)
“Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!” she wrote.
Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed! pic.twitter.com/zs4dX4qprH
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) June 3, 2022
Sonmez went on a weeklong Twitter meltdown accusing the newspaper of discrimination and clashed with her colleagues when she began retweeting posts criticizing Weigel. The Post terminated her employment June 9.
Lorenz received backlash for inaccurately reporting that she had reached out to YouTubers Alyte Mazeika and ThatUmbrellaGuy for comment before publication. The Post issued a correction to the piece, “Who won the Depp-Heard trial? Content creators that went all-in,” to say that Mazeika “declined to comment” and ThatUmbrellaGuy “could not be reached.”
After the incident, the newspaper removed her from the features staff team and placed her in the technology team. Senior managing editor Cameron Burr has been requested to review all of Lorenz’s articles before publication.