Taylor Lorenz Slams WaPo Colleague, Peddles Anti-Vax Conspiracy, Admits to Multiple Crimes

Democracy dies in petty drama: WaPo journalists keep attacking each other on social media

October 5, 2022

Taylor Lorenz is having an eventful week.

What happened: On Tuesday, the TikTok reporter challenged the scientific efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in a Twitter post lashing out at a Washington Post colleague. On Wednesday, she confessed to committing a series of crimes in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

How it started: Helaine Olen, an opinion columnist at the Post, tweeted in response to a New York Post article about deranged geezer Howard Stern eating at a restaurant for the first time since 2020.

• "At some point we're going to need to begin a conversation about the people still too afraid to leave their homes because of COVID," Olen wrote. "I personally know of two such cases. This is not a healthy way to live."

Shots fired: Lorenz was outraged. "What an absurd, insensitive thing to post," she fired back. "Thousands are dying per week, millions are disabled & we have zero effective drugs that prevent infection." Lorenz briefly deleted the tweet before reposting it.

Fact check: "We have zero effective drugs that prevent infection."

• This is anti-science disinformation. It is dangerous and should be flagged as such.

• Experts agree: The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective drug that helps prevent infection and minimize symptoms.

Crime spree: In response to a Twitter post about fare evaders on the D.C. Metro, Lorenz admitted that she "never paid for a single ride" while interning in the nation's capital years ago. This would have been well before 2018, when D.C. Council voted to decriminalize Metro fare evasion, which means that Lorenz committed multiple criminal acts punishable by up to 10 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.

Why didn't she get caught? Answer: White privilege.

• According to one study, black people accounted for more than 90 percent of the citations and summonses issued for fare evasion between 2016 and 2018.

The big picture: The Washington Post has a problem. Its employees keep attacking each other on social media. Reporter Felicia Sonmez was fired in June after going on a multi-day tirade against the Post precipitated by a colleague's retweet of a joke she didn't like.

Go deeper: The Taylor Lorenz 'Lizard Person' Scandal, Explained