UPDATE: Rosen has resigned from the NYU School of Law because of the matter.
The tweets about Lara Logan by Nir Rosen, a journalist and fellow at our prestigious NYU School of Law, are pretty revolting and warrant some reflection on how people (even jokingly) justify violence.
Logan, who is the chief foreign correspondant for CBS, was separated from her crew and security in Cairo, then beaten and sexually assaulted by a virulent segment of the crowds celebrating the resignation of Mubarak on February 11th. She’s recovering back in the US after being recused by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers.
Rosen’s first reaction? A now deleted tweet that said, “Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal,” referencing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and the head of US forces in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal. Rosen went on to tweet, “yes yes it is wrong what happened to her of course, but it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.” Both were later deleted, but another one that he did not feel the need to remove said, “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.” The implication is that voicing an unfavorable opinion about a war renders you unworthy of any sympathy you may receive for being attacked for simply being a woman.
What’s most shocking is looking at Rosen’s comments in the context of his career. He’s written three books about martyrdom and sectarian violence and his articles on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Time and Rolling Stone to name but a few. Isn’t dehumanizing a person over one aspect of his or her character — whether it be religion, gender or viewpoint — the reason why we have so much violence in the first place?
Before seemingly deleting his account, Rosen expressed some remorse over Twitter by saying, “i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private.” And the Internet is not exactly forgiving, as Rosen’s google search results now demonstrate, which seems like a fair result to me.