Fake News Associated With Reporting Kobe Bryant's Death
Feb. 17, 2020
After news broke on Sunday afternoon of the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, the fake news immediately rushed to report the details – often getting the facts wrong in the process.
Reporter Matt Gutman of ABC News may have gotten the story more incorrectly than anyone else, claiming without evidence that Bryant’s four daughters all died in the crash.
“[T]he fact that four of his children are believed to be on that helicopter with him, all daughters, one of them a newborn, is simply devastating,” he said during a live broadcast before adding, “hoping that this is not the case but, you know, from the police reports right now, it appears that Kobe Bryant is down in that helicopter.”
After Gutman reported the fake news, ABC affiliates soon ran with it and blasted the false report into many different local markets. It was later confirmed that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among the nine people killed in the helicopter crash that took place in the hills above Calabasas, Calif.
Lindsey Mastis, another reporter for an ABC affiliate in Washington D.C., also reported fake news when she said: “Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife and four children, so it does not appear they were on board the helicopter.”
ESPN even reported that Bryant’s former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Rick Fox was killed in the accident, which Fox himself confirmed was fake news. While most fake news reporters were getting the story wrong, others were busy pissing on Bryant’s grave based on a decades-old sexual assault accusation.
Washington Postreporter Felicia Sonmez angered thousands of Bryant supporters after she re-tweeted an article published following Bryant’s retirement from the NBA in order to drag his name through the mud. Before she deleted her classless tweets following an epic ratio , Sonmez attempted to justify her actions to an enraged Twitter mob.
“Well, THAT was eye-opening. 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 & 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,” Sonmez said in Twitter posts that she would later delete.
The fake news has showed yet again why they are so reviled by the American people in the aftermath of Bryant’s untimely and tragic death.
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