National reporter Felicia Sonmez was suspended by the far-left Washington Post after publishing private information about her critics, reports Matthew Keys.
Just hours after 41-year-old Kobe Bryant was one of nine people — including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna — killed in a Los Angeles helicopter crash Sunday, Sonmez tweeted out a 2016 Daily Beast story about a 2003 rape allegation against the legendary Laker.
Sonmez was immediately criticized by countless Twitter users for her crass and thoughtless decision. Not only is the allegation 17 years old, but Bryant’s accuser chose money over testifying. For his part, Bryant apologized to the woman without admitting to any wrongdoing, and admitted he had cheated on his wife. Most importantly, no one else has ever come forward to accuse Bryant of any kind of wrongdoing.
By all accounts, Bryant was a decent, loving, and committed family man who made a mistake, paid for it, and owned up to it.
Nevertheless, while Bryant’s countless fans and family were still reeling over the shock of his death, Sonmez imperiously decided this was how he should be remembered. It was a cruel thing to do, but nowhere near suspension-worthy. Regardless of the timing, the allegation is news and is part of Bryant’s biography.
But as we have come to expect from the fake news, media, Sonmez could not leave it at that. Instead of publishing her tweet and taking the incoming criticism quietly, like a professional adult, she needed to make her victimhood the story.
“Well, THAT was eye-opening,” she tweeted just two hours after the original “rape ” tweet. “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment to read the story … Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality … even if that figure is beloved.”
In an obvious reference to her own #MeToo experience, she added, “That folks are responding with rage & threats towards me … speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”
Back in 2018, Sonmez was one of two women to accuse Jonathan Kaiman, the then-Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief, of sexual misconduct.
Sonmez “said that alcohol clouded her memory of exactly how she and Mr. Kaiman ended up having sex, and whether it was coerced,” reported the New York Times in 2018. She also described “being repeatedly groped by Mr. Kaiman without her consent, being pushed up against a wall and eventually feeling pressured into sex after a night of drinking.”
Kaiman eventually resigned.
Not done making herself the story, Sonmez fired off a follow up tweet about the threats she received, this one with a screen shot of her email inbox.
“Hard to see what’s accomplished by messages such as these,” she huffed. “If your response to a news article is to resort to harassment and intimidation of journalists, you might want to consider that your behavior says more about you them the person you’re targeting.
The problem, though, according to Keys’ reporting, is that the screen shot of her Washington Post email inbox revealed personal information of critics who Sonmez claims sent threatening and profane emails: [emphasis added]
[A] person familiar with the suspension said it was not Sonmez’s tweet linking to the Daily Beast article that triggered the suspension, nor was it two follow-up tweets where she said the thousands who criticized her in the hours since was an “eye opening experience.” It was the third tweet that showed her email inbox that landed her in hot water with the company, in part because it contained the purported full names of those who sent her an email, according to a Washington Post employee who spoke with The Desk on condition of anonymity. [emphasis added]
“Her managers don’t care about the Daily Beast tweet,” the Post employee said. “But there’s a concern that the screen shot (of her email inbox) might create some legal issues and could violate Twitter’s terms (of service).” [emphasis added]
Sonmez has since deleted all her tweets referring to Kobe, has yet to tweet anything else about Bryant (so much for her “worth remembering in their totality” defense), and has not tweeted anything since Sunday afternoon.