The Washington Post is engulfed in turmoil as staff frustrations with owner Jeff Bezos reach a boiling point. Amid explosive reports questioning the ethical integrity of the newspaper's new publisher, Will Lewis, Bezos has yet to take substantial action to address the growing concerns within his newsroom. The discontent among staff is palpable, as they await meaningful intervention from the Amazon billionaire.

In recent days, the situation at The Post has escalated, culminating in the withdrawal of Robert Winnett, who was set to become the paper's new editor. This follows a 3,000-word front-page exposé revealing that Winnett had previously used materials from a self-described "thief" for reporting, raising serious ethical questions. The fallout has prompted two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to publicly call for a change in leadership-a rare and significant move at the esteemed publication.

David Maraniss, an associate editor with nearly five decades at The Post, expressed the widespread discontent, stating, "I don't know a single person at the Post who thinks the current situation with the publisher and supposed new editor can stand." Scott Higham, a veteran of over two decades, echoed these sentiments, writing on Facebook, "Will Lewis needs to step down for the good of The Post and the public. He has lost the newsroom and will never win it back."

The internal unrest at The Post has reached a critical point. Staff members describe the ongoing drama as a "massive distraction," particularly concerning with a high-stakes election looming. The Guardian's report alleging that Lewis advised former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "clean up" his phone during the "Partygate" scandal has only fueled the fire, despite denials from Lewis and Johnson.

Adding to the controversy, the Financial Times reported that Lewis still retains links to a public relations firm advising high-powered corporate and political leaders, despite having sold his ownership stake. The firm has continued to distribute emails from Lewis, causing confusion among its contacts. This report, while not as explosive as previous ones, adds another layer of concern regarding Lewis's entanglements.

The situation has left staff at The Post demanding action from Bezos, who has so far responded with a brief, 138-word memo from his Mediterranean yachting vacation. The memo, which assured leaders at The Post that he wants standards to remain "very high," has done little to alleviate concerns. Notably, Bezos has not explicitly voiced support for Lewis in recent days, indicating potential reevaluation of the publisher's role.

In a surprising turn of events, Robert Winnett decided not to assume the position of editor at The Post, a move announced by Lewis in a memo to staff. "It is with regret that I share with you that Robert Winnett has withdrawn from the position of Editor at The Washington Post," Lewis wrote. The announcement came shortly after the Telegraph confirmed that Winnett had chosen to remain at his current position.

Lewis's announcement indicated that The Post would "immediately" launch a search for a new executive editor, promising a "timely but thorough" process. Until then, executive editor Matt Murray will continue to lead the newsroom through the 2024 election. The Post Guild, the paper's staff union, praised the investigative efforts of its colleagues that brought additional scrutiny to Winnett's journalistic practices.