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In his new memoir, former Washington Post editor Martin “Marty” Baron delivers a scathing assessment of the newsroom drama that eventually led to the controversial firing of star reporter Felicia Sonmez last year.
Baron details how Sonmez’s behavior on Twitter irked him throughout his final years as the Post’s executive editor. Her tweets about her experiences with sexual assault, along with attacking the Post, her fellow colleagues, and other reporters particularly enraged him, as did her posts referencing Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations on the day of the basketball star’s death. It was her comments on sexual assault that led to the ban on her covering it, he writes in the book.
The tumultuous tango between employer and employee prompted Sonmez to file a discrimination lawsuit against the paper and, eventually, ended in her firing last year in a reckoning that involved a staff revolt and an overhaul of the paper’s social media policies. Oral arguments in that lawsuit’s appeal are set for November.