Now that CBS has made public Lara Logan's sexual assault in Egypt, other media outlets are clamoring to respond — in the most offensive way possible. Please, let's talk about Logan's looks and sex life!
The NY Post says Logan "is known as much for her toughness as for her good looks," and also includes a total of four paragraphs about her various romantic liaisons. Simone WIlson of the LA Weekly (via Salon) kicks the jerkitude up a notch, calling Logan a "Warzone 'It Girl'" and a "gutsy stunner" who "has long attacked Hollywood-lite reporters for their dumbing down of overseas violence — at the same time using her Hollywood good looks and spotlight to push a more hard-hitting agenda." Wilson also winds up her piece with this creepy line: "Impressive, indeed — but nobody's invincible." In fact, all the emphasis on Logan's "toughness" seems to imply, albeit indirectly, that the assault was some sort of inevitable comeuppance.
Not indirect at all were journalist Nir Rosen's tweets about Logan's attack. He questioned the assault: "look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than i'm sorry." Then he added, "She's so bad that I ran out of sympathy for her," "jesus christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger," and then "ah fuck it, i apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, thats obvious, but i'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get." Rosen later apologized more fully ("I know that in a matter of seconds with a thoughtless joke, I brought shame upon myself and my family and added insult to Ms. Logan's injury") and quit Twitter, but his accusations of fame-whoring stand as one of the worst possible responses to sexual assault.
Of course, there's lots of competition. In addition to the isn't-she-hot angle and the she-just-wanted-attention angle, there's also the Islamophobe reaction, brought to you by Debbie Schlussel, who writes, "it bothers me not a lick when mainstream media reporters who keep telling us Muslims and Islam are peaceful get a taste of just how 'peaceful' Muslims and Islam really are. In fact, it kinda warms my heart." Oh, also: "I just love it when the people of the profession of 'the public's right to know' suddenly want 'privacy.' Tell it to your next interview subject, Lara." In fact, it's Logan's position as a journalist that made it impossible for her to get privacy. According to the Post, CBS decided to issue a statement regarding Logan's assault when it became clear the AP was working on the story — apparently Logan "was 'involved in the process' of deciding whether to make her attack public, and ultimately understood why the statement had to be released."
At least she had some say in the matter. While she recovers, she can't control the bullshit people throw at her for being a well-known woman who was sexually assaulted. The rest of us, however, can call this bullshit out for what it is. Writes Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon,
Like countless women around the world, Lara Logan was attacked in the line of duty. She was assaulted doing her job. It was a crime of unspeakable violence. And your opinion of how she does that job, the religion her assailants share with a few million other people, or the color of her hair has nothing to do with it.
Update: Nir Rosen has resigned from his position as a fellow at NYU Center on Law and Security.
Battle-Tough Beauty No ‘Wimpy Girly Girl' [NY Post]
CBS Reporter's Cairo Nightmare [NY Post]
How Muslims Celebrate Victory: Egypt's "Peaceful, Moderate, Democratic" Protesters [Debbie Schlussel]
What Not To Say About Lara Logan [Salon]
Lara Logan, CBS Reporter And Warzone 'It Girl,' Raped Repeatedly Amid Egypt Celebration [LA Weekly]
Earlier: CBS Reporter Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted In Egypt