Nir Rosen, a journalist who writes primarily about the Middle East, has quit a fellowship at New York University after a series of tweets on Tuesday in which he urged his followers not to have too much sympathy for Lara Logan, the CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted by a Cairo mob, because she was a "war monger." Rosen said Logan shouldn't be "glorified" because she dedicated "her career to promoting America's wars." He also joked that Logan was just trying to "outdo" Anderson Cooper, and that it'd be pretty funny if Cooper were assaulted, too.
Given that Logan's attackers were an anonymous mob among millions of rowdy protesters, we'll probably never know their faces or names, much less see them brought to justice. Rosen, however, rather stupidly offered his own name and face to soak up all the outrage over the assault. There
are few news events that allow for such black-and-white moral clarity, but today, all of the Internet can agree: Nir Rosen is an idiot.
Here are a few of Rosen's tweets:
"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"
"lara logan had to outdo anderson. where was her buddy mcchrystal?"
"yes yes its wrong what happened to her. of course. i dont support
that. but it would have been funny if it happened to anderson too"
"it sort of depends who it happens to. sometimes we have to find humor
in the small things."
"i wasnt excusing it, its wrong. i just think she's so bad that i ran
out of sympathy for her"
The NYU Center for Law and Security's executive director Karen J. Greenberg says she was "deeply distressed" by Rosen's remarks and, though Rosen "misunderstood the severity" of the attack on Logan, she had accepted his resignation. Rosen told The Hollywood Reporter that he's "deeply ashamed" and that the comments do not represent who he is. He has now left Twitter.
Apology aside, pundits across the political spectrum are outraged by Rosen's remarks:
- Politics Daily's Matt Lewis compares the backlash against Rosen to the anger at Sarah Palin when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot through the head in Tuscon after Palin had posted an image of gunsights over Giffords' district.
- The National Review's Jim Geraghy writes,
"I believe in the First Amendment and the need to forgive the occasional stupid, thoughtless, or insensitive comment; everyone makes one sooner or later. But there was something profoundly disturbing in Rosen’s complete inability to sympathize with the awful ordeal of Ms. Logan and the fact that when others recoiled at his comments, he kept digging in deeper."
- Taylor Marsh notes that feminists often feel they have to combat conservatives' "nonchalant mentality" toward rape, which makes the comments of Rosen, a "supposed liberal," all the more unsettling.
"Political differences about war and peace should never give way to such callous disregard for a foreign correspondent who was sexually assaulted for a prolonged period of time."