NYU fellow trashes raped journalist

Offensive comments are a step back for progressive attitudes toward rape victims


While most of us were horrified to read the news that CBS correspondent Lara Logan had been brutally beaten and raped in Egypt, Nir Rosen, a fellow at NYU Center for Law and Security, just couldn’t resist a few political jabs.

He began his Twitter rant saying:

“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.” (Anderson Cooper had also been attacked while covering the protests in Egypt.)

He then continued:

“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.” (Rape is hilarious, says NYU scholar.)

And it gets worse:

“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.” (Don’t feel too bad for her, she propagates war!)


“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.” (Maybe if I pluralize her plight than you’ll see my point? Uhh… *then.)

Followed, of course, by a feeble attempt a damage control:

“ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, it’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.”

Then a better one:

“As someone who’s devoted his career to defending victims and supporting justice, I’m very ashamed for my insensitive and offensive comments.”

It’s hard not to be disgusted by Rosen’s remarks. Despite much of the progress that’s taken place in Western society in recent decades with regards to the perception of women and gender equality, sexual assault is one of those issues that seems to lag behind. It wasn’t until 1983 with Bill C-127, for example, that a man could be charged for sexually assaulting his wife. And later, in 1992, when victim blaming finally took a hit with a rape shield law laying out strict guidelines governing how accusers’ previous sexual conduct could be brought into assault trials. Then there are treasures, such as Whoopi Goldberg, who defended Roman Polanski’s rape of  a 13-year-old girl as not “rape-rape,” and worrying stories of honour killings taking place in Canadian cities where girls deemed “sexually immodest” are murdered for dishonouring families.

Blaming the victim is not new, although usually the line is: “Well, if she went out looking like that…” rather than “Well, she is a war monger, after all.” But politicizing tragedy is always tasteless, no matter how you spin it. Whether it’s rejoicing in the grave illness of a political opponent or using a horrific incident to malign those on the other side of the table, there is usually little to be reaped for such rhetoric except for some pitiful self-satisfaction.

As a man and an academic who purports to be a progressive human rights advocate, Rosen has let his larger political agenda blind him from acknowledging individual injustice. Remarks such as his, which are so poorly and misguidedly contextualized, hinder the progression of attitudes towards rape victims and women overall. It seems he can only support justice as long as its on his terms. Your move, NYU.

Update: Nir Rosen submitted his resignation to NYU earlier today. The university has accepted.


NYU fellow trashes raped journalist

  1. Just let it go. His reaction was honest, not evil. Seems like a politically correct which hunt to me.

  2. Just let it go? Seriously? Mocking and denigrating any person who has been raped and beaten – regardless of their gender, political, religious, or other views – is wholly unacceptable. Anyone who would make such a comment cannot be permitted to transmit that kind of attitude to impressionable minds in institutions of higher learning.

  3. Politically correct which hunt, says Ken Black?? What larger uncomfortable truth did Rosen reveal exactly? That journalists shouldn’t go into a volatile area and not expect to get roughed up a little bit?

    His reaction wasn’t ‘honest’, it was spiteful. The news of Logan’s assault hasn’t even been out for half a day, and Rosen is cracking jokes?! Clearly, this guy has some serious professional jealousy toward Logan, and he couldn’t help himself.

    You shouldn’t let this story go, because it’s typical of progressivism. The guy, Rosen, says he’s motivated by the need for justice and to defend victims. But, as someone who used to be a progressive, I wonder now if his purpose is about the victims or about him. If he was really about helping victims and finding justice, he couldn’t have made the kind of comments he did. But that’s what liberal-progressivism is all about — the narcissistic and self-obsessed pursuit of one’s crusader complex. If anyone is ever actually helped by people who claim to want to ‘make a difference’, it’s incidental and probably accidental.

  4. I think he should lose his position at NYU immediately. I certainly wouldn’t want any daughter or son of mine to be “educated” by this monster. Anyone who would make these kinds of “jokes” in the immediate aftermath of the brutal beating and sexual assault of a journalist — while she was innocently performing her Constitutionally protected JOB to inform the public — is about as repulsive as a festering pustule.

    Journalists have been beaten, raped, tortured and killed over the decades for the “crime” of doing their jobs — since when did it become funny?!?

    He should be shunned by all psychologically normal human beings. I suggest a quiet retirement somewhere far, far from “Send” buttons and microphones.

  5. Hmm. Perhaps it seems like a witch hunt to you, since you’ve most likely never been raped by a murderous mob in a country where women are often considered property.
    To me, Rosen’s ego-driven comments seemed like the thoughtless and coldblooded ramblings of a misogynist jerk popping off. Nobody in the world cares what he thinks about world events or the women journalists who cover them.

  6. “liberal-progressivism is all about — the narcissistic and self-obsessed pursuit of one’s crusader complex”

    There are plenty of “liberal-progressives” who think he’s a repulsive cretin.

    That’s just human decency being shocked by human filth.

  7. Dear Ken Black – If he ‘honestly’ thinks it would be ‘funny’ if Anderson Cooper had also been brutally beaten and raped, then he honestly deserves the nasty backlash he is about to receive.

    And before you share your half-witted ideas, learn to spell.

    It is Witch, Not Which.

  8. Listen, since you chose to find one single person out of the hundreds who reported this story so you could go on a rant I’ll say it; she’s an idiot.

    You don’t send a blonde haired former model into a lawless revolution in the middle-east. Does this really need to be said? Did she deserve it? Of course not. Was this foreseeable? Of course it was. Women go to bars in the US in pairs, they don’t walk the streets of major cities alone… what the hell possessed her to think that this was a good idea? We’ve been watching reporters get pushed around all week, was reporting from the middle of the crowd really worth the danger? It isn’t like it hasn’t happened before.

    Of course we could get real cynical and point out that she released this information through CBS, thereby making it the story it is… but that may imply the news media is sensationalist and self-promoting.

  9. “You don’t send a blond, former model into a lawless revolution….” No, perhaps not, but what why can’t you admit that you should because Muslims are different and much more violent than western men when it comes to the treatment of females? That is the reason she shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

  10. I wonder if you would feel the same way if she was your daughter, sister..friend.. You are an un evolved cretin if you think she was “asking for it because she had blond hair and was in a foreign country” She had taken precautions, she had security. She had been in much more hostile environments over the course of her career. She, and others like Anderson Cooper , were instrumental in bringing the plight of the people in Egypt to millions of viewers all over the world. That how it all started in the first place, Facebook, to mass media communication on a grass roots level …
    This was a good thing..good for their cause, good for helping them gaining support all over the world… The animals who did this to her and the ones who stood by and watched.. These are the same people criticizing a brutal police force… and trying to prove that they are deserving of freedom…what, the freedom to rape and assault a defenseless women out numbered 20 to 1…? It is interesting that the women in this country demonstrated more courage than the men..Those men have unfortunately, set their cause back in many ways..It is not a very good way to prove you have been opressed and brutalized.by attacking and sexually assaulting innocent people who are working hard to get your message out to others. I for one, hope they catch them and lock them up for good. They certainly dont represent the country in any favorable manner.
    As for the NY scholar, he just wrote his own ticket out of academia. Teachers are just that..teachers… people who are supposed to be good role models, examples of higher learning, enlightenment and principles. We are all entitled to our viewpoints, but when we are in a position to influence young minds, in any subject, it is just good practice to keep some thoughts to oneself. Shame on him…I have no doubt he will not only lose his position, but also the respect of many.. He already has.. and he should. Maybe he can get hired in Afganistan, or teach in a prison.. What a loser, in every sense of the word..He has clearly lost his mind, likely his job, and the respect of millions of readers…and he knows it.. He is desperately trying hard to back pedal.. He doesnt sound sincere. He sounds like someone who knows he made a HUGE mistake by making his thoughts public. It’s pretty clear that he meant them, he just isn’t man enough to accept the consequences…He reminds me of the guys in the crowd that just stood by and watched the assault happen…
    Althoughg he’s not openly condoning it, he’s minimizing, justifying and defending it.. I for one,( an alumni) wont be contributing another dime to that institute of higher learning facilty if he is not fired, nor will any of my colleaques…bad news travels fast in the academic community in NY. The wire and (grapevine) have been burning up, the phones ringing, emails coming in, twitter, and meetings are being scheduled…

  11. A fine example of liberal compassion. Didn’t the libs were saying that the protest in Egypt was “peacefully”?

  12. Rosen should be FIRED from NYU! If this is level of civilized thought and argumentation, this sad piece of human garbage must not be allowed to be within 1 centimetre of an Academic institution. And this neanderthal and ideologically myopic bozo is a Fellow of Security and Law….Amazing that a misogynist like this academically inclined barbarian is allowed to be with colleagues who could be….horrors”!….female!

    Kick this moron out of NYU–now!

  13. Seems the woman is full of herself, and now she’ll puff herself up all the more. I think this is what some of the writers were getting at.

  14. Bravo to the courageous EGYPTIAN WOMEN who came to Lara Logan’s rescue bringing 20 soldiers with them to force the pack of misogynist wolves to break their vicious hold of their prey!

    Attitudes toward women in the middle east and asia are despicably misogynist and it’s culturally bred into the boys’ psyche from birth. Rape and incest (as it is in North America) are commonplace. The partying boys just found the opportunity to “celebrate” their animalistic culture on a brave journalist who was female and had no business doing a man’s job–an attitude that many Canucks and Yankees share in spades. Women are not safe in Montreal or Toronto or New York than they are in Cairo! they must always look behind them to see if they’re followed! Safety can never be assumed here as there. Difference is it’s part of their Sharia Law barbaric culture to degrade women more blatantly knowing there will be no punishme nt for their misdemeanors. that’s all!

  15. cbs will probably give charlie sheen a renewl and pay raise next season … these are the same communists who sent lib logan into a mob

  16. Mary,
    Comparing the attitudes of these particular Egyptian men to Americans (or Canadians) is pathetic. Have you ever been to a beach in North America? Have you ever looked around at all the half-dressed girls that were being sexually assaulted? No, because it wasn’t happening. All I’ve read about is how the ‘Frenzy of the moment’ took over a rather harsh element of the crowd. Read some more and you will find that more than 50% of Egyptian men admit to having commited various sexual crimes, their excuse is always the same. It’s a culture that devalues women, plain and simple. I don’t know if it’s according to the Koran or an abuse of the teaching, I do know it’s sick and not to be compared to normal life in the West.

  17. 1. He should be fired. His remarks are indefensible. I predict he will be gone
    from NYU forthwith.
    2. It would be ignorant to lump all Muslims or all Muslim men in one group.
    As a faith, Islam provides for the independence of, protection of,
    and respect for all women. Read the Koran before you claim to know what Islam is about.
    3. She wasn’t in Egypt alone but with a crew from whom she was separated.
    4. Rapes and murders occur on US college campuses….

  18. Last night I went to the library to read a quick chapter or two on Egypt. I didn’t find any books just on Egypt, but I was lucky to find Dreams and Shadows: the future of the mideast, by (Ms.) Robin Wright [not the actress]http://www.robinwright.net

    Robin Wright http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Wright_%28author%29
    talked about the pro-democracy movement, focusing in particular on one woman who was active, and how a common tactic at demonstrations was for the police (and plainclothes thugs) to go after woman; beating them & ripping their clothes off.

    “The thugs had gone only after the women….Females old and young had been beaten, groped and mauled; and then had their clothes ripped off.”

    You can read this portion online (at least I can right now) in chapter two

    This is a horrible crime to happen to Lara Logan, if it was “merely” this; and more so if it was worse. It is all the more worse if we in America get indignant about this happening to an American reporter; but not that our tax dollars have been enabling this for years and years.

    I think Nir Rosen is deeply aware of how silent and invisible American support for dictatorship has been (for decades and decades), and that is some of his anger.

    One of the things I learned at a conference on UN SCR 1325 (a UN resolution facilitating woman rebuilding civic culture after war) is that a common war tactic is for soldiers to rape the enemies women– it is meant to destroy the very culture by creating a maelstrom of hatred. It sounds like this is the tactic being used by the thugs above in 2005.

    I hope this is helpful. Might I recommend that others react emotionally rapidly a little less, and that more of us might do some back-reading on militarism, Egypt & the mideast?

  19. The comments on this blog are as revealing of each author’s character as Mr. Rosen’s twitter writings were of him. In addition, the name calling and gender stereotypes give insight into the differences of conservative vs liberal thought.

  20. Fire his ass and send him to egypt where he belongs. He fits right in with all of the other third world dunbasses

  21. You know the reporter in question has herself said that it was state-sponsored thugs who took her and assaulted her, right? It has nothing to do with any of your half-baked ideas about Muslims being hyper-sexual animals, and everything to do with a repressive dictatorship trying to cling onto its last vestiges of power. Christ, the people rising up for support of true democracy in the Middle East is a good thing, not just for them, but for everyone. And all you lot can do is talk about how barbaric Muslims are or how a good looking woman should know that she’s at risk in a large crowd of feral Arabs.

    Racist tossers, the lot of you.

  22. Just let a conservative say this instead of a liberal, and it would be used to tar and feather every single Republican in the U.S. By the same token, let a bunch of people at a Tea Party rally gang rape a reporter, and see if it’s not a black-eye for everyone and anyone the media can tie to conservatives. Heck, Jarred Loughner had no ties to them at all and they somehow managed to blame the Tea Party — of which I’m not a member — for shooting that poor conservative Democrat congresswoman. I find the times collective guilt is applied and not applied fascinating.

  23. No, he’s a liberal. He can get away with this half-hearted, third person, passive voice non-apology. But let Rush Limbaugh simply report what this guy said, and suddenly he’ll have said these words himself. That’s how it works. Man, it’s great to be a leftist professor. You can have all the hate you want! And I don’t see President Obama condemning this lack of civility, do you? No, no, ’cause we know that’s just a codeword to shut up his critics. If you’re on his side, brother, you can be as nasty and uncivil and “Bush blew up the Twin Towers with the help of aliens” you want.

  24. Thankyou Robyn, for calling him out on this shit. Regarding Rosen, I’m at a loss for words at the moment. Cheapening what happened to her because he dislikes her personally, mocking the rape because she wasn’t on his side of the political divide, he has really just exposed himself. That’s all I can say.

  25. And Chico you are absolutely 100% right about the hypocracy.

  26. Terry says: You know the reporter in question has herself said that it was state-sponsored thugs who took her and assaulted her, right?

    WHERE does she say this? You have a problem with reading comprehension, I suspect. Since every article mentions how state sponsored thugs arrested her PREVIOUSLY and jailed her while she was ill, and vomiting, that was PRIOR to Mubarak stepping down, and PRIOR to the assault by people on the street. Separate incidents.

  27. And by the way Terry, if muslims are so docile WHY DOES EGYPT HAVE STATE ISSUED TRAVEL WARNINGS SPECFICALLY DUE TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON THE STREETS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT? YEAH, WE MUST BE RACISTS. I guess the muslim Egyptian women are also racist, since they’re the one’s who are complaining about it so much. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7514567.stm

  28. Robyn Urback is being wholly sensationalist by claiming that Logan was raped. The LA Times piece Urback refers to does not at all mention this. Shame on Urback for misleading readers.

  29. What’s the matter with you guys? Do you figure that because Ms. Logan is attractive, the rapists were just fired-up regular joes who couldn’t contain themselves? Do you think that the urge to rape is somehow natural to men? Speak for yourselves, bros. Rapists are hard-core, sick, no-conscience criminals. If you want to lump yourselves with them, be my guest, but leave me out of it. I don’t want to know you.

  30. Now your arguments are mute. The newest reports state she was NOT raped. Reassess.

  31. Pingback: Lara Logan of CBS, Nir Rosen and Debbie Schlussel - sexism, rape and sexual assault - blog by Gurdur - Blogs on the Heathen Hub