A Washington Post features editor was denied a promotion days after the paper’s internet reporter Taylor Lorenz publicly criticized him on Twitter for a “miscommunication” involving one of her stories, according to a report.
David Malitz, a deputy features editor who oversees coverage of culture, arts, and entertainment, was lined up for a promotion to run the features department, according to The New York Times.
Malitz was initially promised the promotion by Sally Buzbee, the Washington Post’s executive editor.
A spokesperson for The Washington Post told the New York Post that Lorenz’s tweet wasn’t intended to be a criticism of Malitz and that there was no linkage between the tweet and the denial of Malitz’s promotion.
“It is absolutely untrue that Taylor’s tweets had anything to do with management decisions,” Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti told the New York Post.
When asked why the promotion offer was rescinded, Coratti declined to comment.
The New York Post has reached out to Malitz and Lorenz seeking comment.
The story delved into social media influencers who amassed page views and clicks by covering the salacious defamation lawsuit filed by Amber Heard against her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
The original version of Lorenz’s story stated that two YouTube creators — Alyte Mazeika and another user who goes by the name “ThatUmbrellaGuy” — were contacted for comment before publication.
But the two influencers went on social media and claimed that they were never contacted by Lorenz. The reporter only reached out to them after the fact, according to the influencers.
Soon afterwards, FoxNews.com noticed that The Washington Post “stealth edited” the story and deleted the claim. Fox News is owned by Fox Corp., a sister company of The New York Post’s corporate parent, News Corp.
The Washington Post then published several corrections as well as an editor’s note in hopes of quelling the controversy.
But the editor’s note stated that “only Mazeika was asked” for comment — this despite the fact that Lorenz herself admitted that she only reached out for a response to both creators after the story was already live.
Lorenz tweeted that a miscommunication with her editor is what led to the inaccurate line that was included in the initial version of her story — prompting a backlash which accused the reporter of shirking responsibility and laying the blame elsewhere.
“Last Thursday, an incorrect line was added to a story of mine before publishing due to a miscommunication with an editor,” Lorenz tweeted on June 4.
“I did not write the line and was not aware it was inserted. I asked for it to be removed right after the story went live.”
Lorenz added: “This should have been a small correction for a miscommunication, but it turned into a multi-day media cycle, intentionally aimed at discrediting the Washington Post and me.”
After Lorenz’s tweet, Buzbee rescinded Malitz’s promotion offer, sparking anger among staffers, according to the Times.
Some staffers angrily confronted Buzbee over her treatment of Malitz. But the executive editor said Malitz was “in no way reprimanded or punished for any errors.”
Buzbee declined to specify the reasoning for rescinding the promotion offer.
Lorenz was reportedly moved from The Washington Post’s features department to the technology department and had to now have her stories approved by senior managing editor Cameron Barr following the public dust up.
The reporter, who used to be on The Times’ technology beat, denied an accusation on social media that she was “demoted.”
“I have absolutely not been demoted, not even remotely,” Lorenz tweeted Friday.
“My job has not changed at all. I joined WaPo as a technology columnist writing tech features and I still have the exact same job. Cameron has always edited my stories, he edits all the big stories on the site.”
The Washington Post newsroom has been in turmoil in recent weeks, which has led staffers to cast doubt on Buzbee’s leadership.
Staffers were reportedly unhappy over Buzbee’s handling of the controversy surrounding former political reporter Felicia Sonmez, who was fired after posting tweets critical of management.
“Fantastic to work at a news outlet where retweets like this are allowed!” Sonmez tweeted. Weigel deleted the retweet and apologized, but the uproar led management to suspend him for a month without pay.
Days later, Buzbee circulated a memo reminding staffers to be “collegial” with each other online, but another Post reporter sent a “reply-all” email in support of Sonmez.