February 18, 2011


The Nir Rosen Overreaction: Rosen destroyed his reputation by joking about Lara Logan’s assault, but the media should stop reducing people to the worst thing they’ve ever done (Michelle Goldberg, 2/17/11, Daily Beast)

I happened to be on Twitter when Nir Rosen was destroying his reputation on Tuesday. In a matter of minutes, he went from joking about Lara Logan’s assault in Egypt, to digging in and defending himself, to self-justifying semi-apology, to abject regret. It was appalling to watch, and it indicated that Rosen has deep, unexamined problems with women, particularly women who are his more-celebrated competitors. But it was also appalling to realize that this brief, ugly outburst was going to eclipse an often-heroic career. The media’s modern panopticon has an awful way of reducing us all to the worst thing we’ve ever done. [...]

His comments about Logan were grotesque, and came from a very twisted place. But he apologized fulsomely and sincerely, and has kept apologizing. In an interview on Mediabistro after the whole thing happened, he seemed profoundly mortified. “I feel like when you have done something so offensive and stupid, even trying to explain it seems like you are justifying it and what you say will be taken out of context,” he said, later adding, “I feel like shrinking now, I am so embarrassed for what I have done and how many people I offended. I always meant for my work to offend the powerful and give comfort to the weak. Yesterday I did the opposite of that.” He’s done himself few favors with subsequent, defensive attempts to explain himself—especially the self-serving essay he wrote for Salon. Still, the general picture is of someone grappling with real remorse and humiliation.

This is very different from the reaction of Debbie Schlussel, a right-wing New York Post columnist and regular O’Reilly Factor guest, to the uproar over her vicious comments about Logan. “How fitting that Lara Logan was 'liberated' by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the 'liberation,'” Schlussel wrote on Tuesday. “Hope you're enjoying the revolution, Lara!” The next day, rather than apologizing, she doubled down: “[I]t 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. Because now they know how it feels.”

All you need to know about the two wings is that each has something to celebrate in a rape.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2011 7:00 AM
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