Recently, Soraya Nadia McDonald of the Washington Post wrote an article coming to the defense of gaming vlogger Anita Sarkeesian after she had received anonymous death threats over Twitter on August 26th, 2014. Sarkeesian, as seen below, claims to have contacted authorities in order to investigate these death threats:
New information has been uncovered by historian, film maker, and journalist, Davis Aurini which proves otherwise. In a phone call placed to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), Aurini inquired as to whether or not Anita Sarkeesian has contacted them in regards to these anonymous death threats. Below is a video of the phone conversation between Aurini and the SFPD Officer.
It turns out that the SFPD has not been contacted by Anita Sarkeesian in regards to the death threats made against her. This raises a bunch of new questions regarding the incident. Why would Sarkeesian say she contacted the police when she did not? Or better yet, are these death threats even real?
Another question I have is why did Soraya McDonald publish her article coming to the defense of Anita Sarkeesian? It is clear that Sarkeesian lied about contacting the authorities. With minimal research and a phone call, Davis Aurini was able to perform some basic fact checking to conclude that Sarkeesian did not contact the authorities like she said she did. Did Soraya McDonald do this minimal amount of fact checking as well? If so, why did Soraya McDonald neglect to mention this important information? Withholding the pertinent facts from a news story spits in the face of journalistic integrity. If this is indeed the case, then McDonald should resign from her position at the Washington Post.
Or did Soraya McDonald fail to perform her duty as a journalist and check all the facts before publishing her article? As mentioned previously, it took minimal effort for Aurini to contact the SFPD in order to get the truth. If McDonald simply failed to perform any research at all, then she has failed as a journalist. If this is the case, then McDonald should publish another article apologizing to the readership of the Washington Post for her failure to do her research and check all the facts.
These are the questions that I have for Soraya McDonald: Did she know that Sarkeesian lied about contacting the police and withheld that information? or Did she simply fail to put in the minimal amount of effort to perform any research on this news story?