One might say the team over at The Babylon Bee has a bit of experience when it comes to facing backlash over comedy. So, when CEO Seth Dillon learned a reporter at The Washington Post was in hot water for a joke and was prostrating himself to the woke mob for forgiveness, the satirist made quite an offer to the journalist with one politically incorrect caveat.
Washington Post political reporter David Weigel earned a hands-on crash course in cancel culture after retweeting a YouTuber’s joke that escalated into a full-blown suspension without pay Monday. As previously reported, Weigel had shared a tweet from Cam Harless that read, “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”
His coworker Felicia Sonmez, who had faced suspension in the past for her social media activity, did not take kindly to the joke and drew attention to the retweet writing, “Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!”
Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed! pic.twitter.com/zs4dX4qprH
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) June 3, 2022
In less than an hour, the heat grew too much for Weigel who deleted the joke from his account before offering up a blanket apology as he sought admonishment for his transgression, “I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.”
I just removed a retweet of an offensive joke. I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm.
— David Weigel (@daveweigel) June 3, 2022
On Monday, CNN reported that Weigel would not return to work until July 5 after serving a month of unpaid leave from his duties. In response to that news, Dillon offered an opportunity for another accelerated learning program, only this time it would be in growing a spine.
Wapo put @daveweigel on unpaid leave for a month because of a joke?
Dave, I’m offering you 3 months’ salary to retract your apology, repost the joke, and quit. Have some respect for yourself.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) June 6, 2022
“Wapo put @daveweigel on unpaid leave for a month because of a joke? Dave, I’m offering you 3 months’ salary to retract your apology, repost the joke, and quit,” Dillon posted on Twitter Monday evening. “Have some respect for yourself.”
The official Twitter account of The Babylon Bee has been locked since sharing one of their articles that parodied Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine being named as one of USA Today’s “Women of the Year” by giving their own award as their first-ever “Man of the Year.”
“Truth is not hate speech,” Dillon said at the time and has since remained adamant against deleting the post noting, “If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
In this case, the truth the CEO is defending is that jokes in and of themselves do not cause harm. He wasn’t the only one rising to the defense of Weigel either as many spoke to the man’s character as witnesses of there being no malice in his exercise of free speech.
This is ridiculous. https://t.co/QwU9EsGeLQ
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) June 6, 2022
Dave Weigel isn't just a great political reporter, he's a good guy who goes out of his way to be compassionate and fair-minded to both his subjects and his readers. Those who are trying to reduce him to a dumb dad joke he didn't even write reveal more about themselves than him.
— Leighton Woodhouse (@lwoodhouse) June 6, 2022
Dave Weigel once went out of his way to be extraordinary kind and generous to me in a time of need. In my opinion, suspending someone for a month without pay for a retweet they've already publicly apologized for is an overreaction.
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) June 6, 2022
Same here. And I was just some random Florida blogger who had a little website I created by googling "how do I make a blog."
I remember how people treated me when I had zero power and influence. That matters. https://t.co/OvcjGzvOqm
— Sarah Rumpf 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@rumpfshaker) June 6, 2022
Everyone knows what they're doing to Weigel is a cruel joke. Everyone. Even the people doing it to him. And that's the most Kafkaesque aspect of it all.
— Jeff B. is *BOX OFFICE POISON* (@EsotericCD) June 6, 2022
As has been proven the case time and again, Dillon’s stance of never bowing to the mob appears to be the correct route as there is no sating the demands of the woke when their feathers have been ruffled.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out that as far as Sonmez is concerned, anyone who stood against her outcry against Weigel should also be punished.
So predictable: @FeliciaSonmez carried on a public 4-day crusade to get her colleague Dave Weigel suspended without pay. Of course her bloodlust isn't satisfied. Now she's publicly demanding Post editors discipline reporter @jdelreal for having politely objected to her outbursts. pic.twitter.com/5QtacwaEDy
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 7, 2022
Of course, considering the joke that started Sonmez’s multi-day crusade, the irony that could itself become a Babylon Bee post was not overlooked.
Kinda ironic that Dave Weigel RT’d a joke about women being crazy so to prove him wrong the one that told on him has fever tweeted nonstop and without rest for a week straight. Like a completely crazy person.
— The Dank Knight 🦇 (@capeandcowell) June 7, 2022
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