The attack of CBS reporter Lara Logan by a gang of protesters while reporting on Egypt's political upheaval is a tragedy, a reminder of the risks reporters in the field take every day in order to hunt down the news. But what if the attack meant something else entirely? In the days since news of Logan's ordeal broke, there have been no shortage of pundits who have been quick to use the Logan attack to validate their pet cause. Not surprisingly, their takes range from insensitive to horrifically insensitive:
The most infamous of Logan's critics is Nir Rosen, the journalist who quit an NYU fellowship Tuesday following a series of Twitter posts in which he seemed to dismiss Logan's journalism as biased, calling her a "war monger," and joked that she was merely trying to "outdo" CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was punched in the head by protesters in Cairo earlier this month. A contrite Rosen appeared on Cooper's show last night. "I just assumed she was roughed up and you were roughed up a little bit more," explained Rosen, "and now the mainstream media's going to make a big deal out of this instead of focusing on other events." Cooper wasn't buying it:
Unlike Rosen, conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit places the blame for the assault not on Logan's award-winning reporting on the U.S. military, but on the "liberal belief system" that put her in harm's way. He explains:
Lara Logan is lucky to be alive...Her liberal belief system almost got her killed on Friday.... Did she not see the violence in the square the last three weeks? Did she not see the rock throwing? Did she miss the camels? Did her colleagues tell her about the Western journalists who were viciously assaulted on the Square? Did she forget about the taunts from the Egyptian thugs the day before What was she thinking? Was it her political correctness that about got her killed? Did she think things would be different for her?
The Fox News commentator has already voiced his complicated theory about how the Egyptian revolution is the first step in a burgeoning alliance between Islamic fundamentalists and a shadowy cadre of communists. On his show Wednesday, Beck cited Logan's ordeal as evidence the entire Middle East is on the brink of chaos. "We're seeing human rights violations," declared Beck. "Big time."
Never one to sympathize with a journalist attacked in a war zone--in 2006 she called captured Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll a "spoiled brat America-hater from Ann Arbor"--conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel was pleased to see a reporter from a major news organization exposed to the true face of Islam, a face Debbie Schlussel--and Debbie Schlussel alone--sees every day. "It warms my heart when reporters who openly deny that Islam is violent and constantly promote it get the same kinds of threats of violence I get every day from Muslims," blogged Schlussel. "Because now they know how it feels. They aren’t so dismissive of the threats when those threats are directed at them, instead of at us little people...Lara Logan was among the chief cheerleaders of this 'revolution' by animals. Now she knows what Islamic revolution is really all about."