Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel is expected to join Ben Smith’s Semafor after being suspended from The Post for retweeting a sexist joke, according to the Daily Beast.
Weigel is set to join the digital startup after the 2022 midterm elections, the Beast reported Tuesday in its Confider newsletter.
Weigel, who has worked at The Post since 2015, was suspended without pay in June for sharing a sexist tweet.
In early June, Weigel retweeted a post by YouTuber Cam Harless that read “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.” Shortly after, Felicia Sonmez, another political reporter at The Post, posted a screenshot of her colleague’s retweet along with the caption, “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!”
In company Slack messages obtained by CNN, Sonmez tagged Weigel and asked “I’m sorry but what is this?,” adding that the retweet sent “a confusing message about what the Post’s values are.” Additionally, she shared several examples of insults and threatening messages she received on Twitter – which seemingly pressured leadership to take further action.
On June 4, Weigel removed the retweet and apologized for sharing the post. “I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke,” he tweeted. “I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.” The damage was already done, as Weigel was suspended on June 6.
Weigel, who has over 600,000 followers on Twitter, will join the newsletter following the mid-term elections.
Semafor, which calls itself “the first publication conceived to help modern readers know better,” was founded in 2022 by Justin B. Smith, who also serves as CEO, and Ben Smith, who is the Editor-in-Chief.