On Sunday, Kobe Bryant — basketball icon, Philadelphia native, fluent Italian speaker and retired member of the Los Angeles Lakers — was killed in a helicopter crash in his adopted home of Southern California along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez, following Bryant’s death, tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article discussing Bryant’s 2003 rape case. And the Post has suspended Sonmez, according to Managing Editor Tracy Grant.
The Beast’s article, published in April 2016, was headlined “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.” Sonmez, who said she received death threats following that tweet, later wrote, “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and e-mailed 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.”
Sonmez also posted, “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.”
On Sunday, Grant announced, “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.”
In 2003, a 19-year-old woman alleged that Bryant raped her in a hotel room in Colorado; Bryant flatly denied the allegation. The accuser refused to testify, and the charges were eventually dropped.
Sonmez has deleted the tweets she posted on Sunday, although the Daily Mail has published screengrabs of them as well as some of the angry responses.
‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response
President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.
"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."
‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election
As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.
The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times
Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.
You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”