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      01-27-2020, 02:45 PM   #1
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Washington Post suspends reporter for tweeting Kobe Bryant sexual assault case story

Kobe Bryant: reporter suspended after sexual assault case tweet
Washington Post puts Felicia Sonmez on leave after post about 2003 rape allegation


I would say the cancel culture is alive and well, and now the media seems to be eating itself.

The Washington Post said the journalist’s ‘poor judgment’ had undermined the work of her colleagues. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
The Washington Post has suspended a journalist after she tweeted about Kobe Bryant’s historical sexual assault case shortly after the basketball player and his daughter died in a helicopter crash.

Felicia Sonmez was put on leave after posting a link to an article about the 2003 rape allegation against the former LA Lakers player, with the newspaper saying her “poor judgment” in sharing the story had undermined the work of her colleagues.

It raises questions about how to deal with the media legacies of much-lauded individuals and which aspects of their lives to highlight in the immediate aftermath of their deaths.

Sonmez did not write the piece, which was published by the Daily Beast in 2016 and is entitled “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession”. Nor does she cover sport – she writes for the Washington Post’s politics team.

However, her decision to share the article about the accusation that dogged Bryant early in his career – and ultimately resulted in him reaching a financial settlement with his accuser – drew a furious and widespread backlash from fans of the player. Many felt the tweet came too soon after the death on Sunday of Bryant alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

The backlash resulted in Sonmez’s post getting “ratio’d” – the term for when a tweet attracts substantially more replies than the number of retweets or likes, suggesting it has been divisive or badly received.

Those encouraging criticism of Sonmez included Donald Trump Jr, the son of the US president, who said: “You Washington Post reporters really can’t help yourselves, can you?”

The original accusation against Bryant was made by a 19-year-old receptionist at a Colorado hotel, who told local police she had been raped in the player’s hotel room but later declined to testify in a criminal case. The player always insisted the encounter was consensual but acknowledged that “she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did”. At the time he apologised for “my behaviour that night and for the consequences she has suffered”.

Sonmez initially justified her decision to share the article about the case on Sunday, saying: “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story – which was written 3+ years ago, and not by me. Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling. That folks are responding with rage and threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”

Her bosses disagreed and suspended her. Tracy Grant, the managing editor of the Washington Post, said: “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while the Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated the Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”
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      01-27-2020, 02:59 PM   #2
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He wasn't convicted & it's pretty tasteless to throw trash at a guy who hasn't been dead a day yet. This is one instance where I'm really not bothered by the WaPo's decision. Suspension isn't the end of the world.
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      01-27-2020, 03:03 PM   #3
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Sonmez initially justified her decision to share the article about the case on Sunday, saying: “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story – which was written 3+ years ago, and not by me. Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling. That folks are responding with rage and threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.

People suck! Really? How uncalled for. And she thought the time was right for her to tweet that article. She should rot.
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      01-27-2020, 03:08 PM   #4
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I was listening to a sports call in show this morning on the drive in and another human piece of filth attempted to do the same thing. The host cut them off and let any other callers know that if they tried that crap again they'd be banned from the show.

We weren't 24 hours into the tragedy of several people dying in a horrific manner...parents with children including Mr. Bryant and his beautiful daughter and these pieces of human filth bring themselves, front and center. The only good thing is that they unmasked themselves for all to see.

People can really suck.
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      01-27-2020, 03:59 PM   #5
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Rape is a pretty horrific crime - take some time and read the well vetted articles about the rape and his lawyers.
Who decides which men get called out and which men don’t ?

And Bryant trashed the 19 year old women after he screwed her that much we know is fact. He paid her in an out of court settlement and had her sign a non disclosure. But the case details are much more sickening then those.

The moral to the story is...when you act like trash it effects yours and a lot of others peoples lives.

https://www.thenation.com/article/so...otten-apology/

Last edited by ScottSinger; 01-27-2020 at 04:05 PM..
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      01-27-2020, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Rape is a pretty horrific crime - take some time and read the well vetted articles about the rape and his lawyers.
Who decides which men get called out and which men don’t ?

And Bryant trashed the 19 year old women after he screwed her that much we know is fact. He paid her in an out of court settlement and had her sign a non disclosure. But the case details are much more sickening then those.

The moral to the story is...when you act like trash it effects yours and a lot of others peoples lives.

https://www.thenation.com/article/so...otten-apology/
I find it interesting how some famous folks seem to get forgiven for bad behaviour and others are crucified for similar or less egregious conduct.
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      01-27-2020, 04:25 PM   #7
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Being here in Colorado where the instance occurred, it was quite notable to me how any commentary on this was missing from all the coverage.

He's being played up as some wonder-person, without any regard for some rather large past mistakes.

Personally I think the coverage as a whole is massively overblown and overshadowing all the other people that were lost.
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      01-27-2020, 04:28 PM   #8
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Honestly the saddest part of this story is that children perish in the incident. A life was snuff out well before it prime.
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      01-27-2020, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucketfoot View Post
Being here in Colorado where the instance occurred, it was quite notable to me how any commentary on this was missing from all the coverage.

He's being played up as some wonder-person, without any regard for some rather large past mistakes.

Personally I think the coverage as a whole is massively overblown and overshadowing all the other people that were lost.
So a terrible tragedy to be sure, and the loss for the friends and family of everyone on board is awful. And maybe it's just too soon, but I have a feeling and I may be wrong but I suspect that all will be forgotten. Kind of reminds me of Whoppie Goldbergs comments about Roman Polanski, "it wasn't rape, rape"....
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      01-27-2020, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog View Post
I find it interesting how some famous folks seem to get forgiven for bad behaviour and others are crucified for similar or less egregious conduct.
Yeah it’s crazy...when the court documents describe how Kobe through his semen stained shirt into the cops face.
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      01-27-2020, 04:54 PM   #11
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The guy just crashed and burned with his daughter and two other families. I read TMZ put out their identities before the families were even notified. I’m not a sports fan. I don’t condone rape. But was this really the time to bring this up? NO!
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      01-27-2020, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyx6go View Post
The guy just crashed and burned with his daughter and two other families. I read TMZ put out their identities before the families were even notified. I’m not a sports fan. I don’t condone rape. But was this really the time to bring this up? NO!
This.

His family just lost two members and this is brought up. And being defended for bringing it up. It speaks of a complete lack of class. The information has been out there for YEARS. Let the mans family grieve peacefully for God's sake. WTF.
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      01-27-2020, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Rape is a pretty horrific crime - take some time and read the well vetted articles about the rape and his lawyers.
Who decides which men get called out and which men don’t ?

And Bryant trashed the 19 year old women after he screwed her that much we know is fact. He paid her in an out of court settlement and had her sign a non disclosure. But the case details are much more sickening then those.

The moral to the story is...when you act like trash it effects yours and a lot of others peoples lives.

https://www.thenation.com/article/so...otten-apology/
Moral is, there’s a time and place for everything. Rehashing this, as if he got some justice here, is absurd.
Families ripped apart, and the soapbox slides out for the peanut gallery to preach on morality.
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      01-27-2020, 05:29 PM   #14
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Everyone crying over the death of a rapist. Couldn't give less of a crap. Have known all along that the Washington post is full of it so no surprises here
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      01-28-2020, 01:09 PM   #15
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The death of Kobe, his daughter, and all the other people on board the helicopter is a complete tragedy. Kobe was by far one of the best basketball players in history and has done a lot of good for the game, players, children, etc. I also think the WP tweet was in terrible taste.

I do chuckle a bit when the news proclaims how much of a "family man" he was given his known cheating including the 19 y/o rape allegation in 2003 (in which he did admit to cheating and settled out of court) and then in 2011 his wife apparently caught him cheating again and subsequently filed for divorce which they ultimately didn't follow through with. Given that history, there were likely many women he had affairs with. People can change and it's likely the case with Kobe, but to paint him as a saint, is a bit of stretch. I also chuckle when many say Kobe was self-made.

Let's not forget he was born into a rich NBA family and had a lot of money and options available to him that likely had a significant part in his confidence, work ethic, and coaching/training. I'm not discrediting his abilities at all because he was born with something a majority are not, but his story is certainly not a "rags to riches" type of thing. When you're driven and have money at your disposal like Kobe did, you're far more likely to work hard, maintain extreme focus (because money addresses the other crap most of us have to manage ourselves), and most importantly, take bigger risks with not nearly as much that can be lost.
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