Ever wonder what our nation looks like to folks from afar? Here we look at how a uniquely American story--the kind of news we have trouble explaining even to ourselves--is being told overseas. Want to see a particular topic covered here? Let us know.
Today, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan spoke publicly for the first time, putting her brutal assault at the hands of a Cairo mob while covering Hosni Mubarak's fall from power again at the top of the news. It seems like a good time to look back and see how Arabic-language media covered the incident. Type لارا لوغان--the Arabic transliteration of Logan's name--into the search bar at some of the major online news outlets and you won't find much at all. In a sense, that's not entirely surprising: the West would have more interest in a Western reporter, while pan-Arab dailies might be more preoccupied with the Mubarak ouster at hand.
Al Jazeera--the Arabic version, not the English--has absolutely no mention of the attack on Logan, though she appears in a story back in 2003 on journalists in Iraq. Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat back in February reprinted a translated version of Lisa de Moraes's and Paul Farhi's story from the Washington Post. The Egyptian paper Al-Ahram apparently had nothing. Al-Quds Al-Arabi ran a UPI story about ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez's beating in Bahrain, which mentioned the attack on Logan only as an additional note.
Want to know who did cover the incident, however, and at length? Large pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, in the form of an op-ed by Jihad al-Khazen. What inspired his column was a post over at conservative online publication FrontPage Magazine by Jamie Glaznov: "Islam and the Brutal Sex Assault of Lara Logan." You can imagine what that was about. Al-Khazen felt Glaznov "took advantage of the assault on Lara Logan" to make a point about Islam. By way of refutation, al-Khazen recounted incest, prostitution, and stonings in the Torah: "there is nothing like it in the Koran," he protests. Today, "there is no Arab or Muslim country wherein there are crimes you cannot find in the West." It is not about Islam or Christianity or Judaism. That said, he continues:
I apologize to Ms. Lara Logan for what happened in Tahrir Square, and I say that we all reject it ... and I demand the strongest possible punishment for the criminals, including those who attacked the CNN reporter Anderson Cooper and ABC correspondent Christine Amanpour.