Vile Beyond Words

As you may have heard, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was brutally sexually assaulted while covering the revolution in Egypt:

CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a “60 Minutes” story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

It’s an awful story, and of course most people would simply hope that Logan makes a full recovery.

Not Debbie Schlussel, though. Yes, the Poor Man’s Pam Gellar felt the need to take Logan’s story and turn it into yet another arrow in her quiver of hate:

As I’ve noted before, it bothers me not a lick when mainstream media reporters who keep telling us Muslims and Islam are peaceful get a taste of just how “peaceful” Muslims and Islam really are. In fact, it kinda warms my heart.  Still, it’s also a great reminder of just how “civilized” these “people” (or, as I like to call them in Arabic, “Bahai’im” [Animals]) are[…]

I just love it when the people of the profession of “the public’s right to know” suddenly want “privacy.” Tell it to your next interview subject, Lara. Of course CBS has no further comment. Wouldn’t wanna impugn the “peacefullness” of “Religion of Peace” animals, would we? Now, if they were Christians or Jews, well, then there would be comments galore.

So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows. Or so we’d hope. But in the case of the media vis-a-vis Islam, that’s a hope that’s generally unanswered.

So to hell with Lara Logan. That’s what she gets for viewing Muslims as humans, instead of animals, amirite?

Now, if Islam was the only religion to harbor rapists, Schlussel might have a point buried in her utter indifference to the rape of a woman. But alas, there are rapists of all religions, races, and nationalities. Indeed, Christians have been known to rape Muslims. And Americans have been happy to engage in gang rape.

No, while the behavior in question is abhorrent, it is far from limited to the Muslim and Arab world. Rape occurs across cultures and religions. If there is a saving grace in all this, it is that those who fight rape are everywhere, too; Logan was saved by Egyptian women and soldiers who defended their fellow human, and who got her to safety at risk to themselves. That’s far from subhuman; indeed, it’s the best part of humanity.

No, the assault on Logan doesn’t show us that Muslims are feral. It shows them as all too human. That’s why it’s horrific. And that’s why any decent person simply condemns it, and wishes Logan a speedy recovery.

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17 Responses to Vile Beyond Words

  1. 2
    RonF says:

    Gang rape is hardly limited to Islam.

  2. 3
    Mandolin says:

    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,

    Oh, BARF.

  3. 4
    RonF says:

    Apparently Nir Rosen has just resigned from his places at NYU. I imagine it was either that or get fired. Hopefully this will also cost him his position as a prominent political commentator – and I say that not because of the particular positions he takes.

  4. 5
    chingona says:

    I saw Nir Rosen’s comments first. They are both repulsive, and both seem to feel that rape is an acceptable, even desirable, punishment for a women who says things you disagree with.

    I appreciated what Amanda at Pandagon had to say:

    It says nothing about Egypt but that they’re a patriarchy that this happened. It says nothing about the claims of the protesters otherwise, and it may not say anything about the future of women. It definitely says nothing about whether or not this people or that people can self-govern. It simply says that when we raise men from the cradle to think of women as the gender that serves and is dominated, rape will become an expression of power and dominance. Gang rapes happen here. They happen pretty much everywhere, because patriarchy is a worldwide injustice. Rapes are about this oldest injustice, and this ugly spot on the stain of all humanity. Crowds of men, struggles over power, women as objects. It’s a formula that leads to this.

  5. 6
    Bearence says:

    The big difference between Rosen and Schlussel seems to be that Rosen has apologized for his comments. Schlussel, on the other hand, is not only unapologetic but has used the outraged reactions to sneer at her detractors.

  6. 7
    Mandolin says:

    Hmm. I don’t know enough about the situation to know whether an apology might mitigate (e.g. I thought it should have for Helen Thomas so I’m not opposed to apologies ameliorating repulsive remarks on principle), but at first blush, I agree with Ron.

  7. 8
    Robert says:

    Re: Rosen, I’m inclined towards forgiveness of people who make mistakes, but some mistakes are awfully revelatory of a person’s character. Your first unedited response to someone being horribly attacked is to say they’re just trying to get attention? This seems to indicate a major character problem on your part. There are offensive reactions that indicate much more human(e), much more common, much less reprehensible character defects; ain’t none of us perfect, and there could be joking responses that just reveal discomfort about the situation, or the individual’s own fear, etc. That kind of thing I find less horrible. (YMMV.)

    Re: Schlussel, I’ve seen her name in the occasional headline but examining her site in response to this link: God, what a piece of work, and what a vile place her “thinking” has taken her to. Here’s hoping she’ll “resign” from the public spotlight and do some serious reconsideration…but it ain’t gonna happen. She’s got an echo chamber going and once that happens people don’t usually pull out of it.

  8. 9
    Ampersand says:

    I’m inclined towards forgiveness for saying cruel, asinine things IF the person acts in the right way — which I think Rosen has (i.e., resigned from his NYU job, seemingly sincere public admission that his behavior was shameful).

    There’s a saying — “There’s more to everyone than the worst thing they’ve ever done.” (Anyone know where it comes from?)

    I think there are limits to that — if you were in charge of slaughtering hundreds of innocent civilians, probably nothing else you do in your life will really matter compared to that — but that expression does apply well to this situation, I think. (For both Rosen and Schlussel.)

  9. 10
    RonF says:

    I don’t think that Rosen should be hauled out and shot. But I do think that he needs to go sit on the sidelines for a while, keep his mouth shut, and as Robert notes consider what it is within him that would cause something like that to come out of his mouth and what he needs to do to change. He did show self-awareness in his comments about how they would be received, but did it anyway.

    Yes, Amp, forgiveness is proper when the sinner is properly repentant. I’d say that in Rosen’s case that would include a personal apology to Ms. Logan, not just one offered through the media. But forgiveness doesn’t mean that they go back to their previous status. I can forgive a thief, but that doesn’t mean that I then put them in charge of the cash register.

    It reminds me of an earlier thread about the Rep. Giffords (and others, let’s not forget them) shooting. Jake alleged that everyone’s first thought when they heard it was about it’s political implications. If your first thought about something like this is not empathy and horror then there’s something wrong with you. And yes, in the current instance I include those who came up with something along the lines of “Well, that’ll show people what Islam is all about.”

  10. 11
    mythago says:

    I’m not really down with this whole “oh, just go ahead and forgive them” meme. That is, the belief that if someone goes through a public display of apparent sorrow (for getting called out, at least), that they are owed forgiveness, and failing to immediately give them a big, liberal group hug is mean-spirited and judgy. Fuck THAT shit.

    Speaking of people who do not deserve forgiveness, Schlussel is a bigot. Full stop. She’s a shandeh. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that the rapists were Muslim (because…every male in Egypt is Muslim?). If she didn’t have such a history as a foaming loonbag I’d assume she was cynically pretending the rapists were pious Muslims raping for Allah, but she probably really does believe it.

  11. 12
    Mandolin says:

    “Jake alleged that everyone’s first thought when they heard it was about it’s political implications.”

    I think this is an oddly literal reading of Jake’s statement; I expect he meant first thought about its cause. I’m sure 90% of the people Jake is talking about were horrified. I was. The people on the blog threads I saw where people broke into comments on other topics to talk about the breaking news were horrified. It was horrifying.

  12. 13
    chingona says:

    I think it was Jeff’s comment, not Jake’s, but I also think (and thought in that thread) that it was an overly literal and very unfair reading. My first thought was horror and – because the news was very much breaking when I heard about it – “Oh my God, what is happening?” But very quickly after, I did wonder if it was political and if it came from the right. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. Frankly, that it never even crossed your mind that there might have been some political motivation for the attempted murder of a politician, does not make you a better person than me. (You might be a better person than me, but not for that.)

    Setting that aside, I agree with Robert that Nir Rosen’s comments reveal some very unattractive things about his character. And I agree with mythago that the comments were so beyond the pale that I’m not sure a simple “I’m sorry” makes it all okay.

    That he apologized and Schlussel has not may say something better about him as a person (compared to Schlussel), but it also reflects the political and professional atmosphere in which each of them operate. While the left certainly is not free of misogyny (rather self-evident in this case), it looks bad enough for a leftist journalist to openly act like total douchebag that he had to back off from it. It appears that for Schlussel, this is right in line with her public image. No apologies necessary.

  13. 14
    Jake Squid says:

    I think it was Jeff’s comment, not Jake’s…

    Yeah. I’ve been trying to find the comment to which Ron refers without success. I don’t remember writing anything of the sort, but I could have forgotten.

  14. 15
    Bearence says:

    I think the reason that Rosen apologized and Schlussel did not (and why Rosen seems to be suffering more the consequences of his words) is not that Rosen is somehow deserving of forgiveness that Schlussel is not. I do think, though, that it indicates something that was touched upon in the posts (and comments) regarding the violent rhetoric of the Teabaggers. That is, when a liberal says or does something beyond the pale, they are quickly and unequivocally called upon the carpet–such as happened to Rosen. Schlussel, however, feels empowered to sneer at those who protest her vileness because she knows that a Conservative can pretty much say whatever they want with little or no real consequence.

  15. 16
    Robert says:

    Well, I think it’s a little bit simpler than that, Bearence. Schlussel is simply continuing an existing schtick. It’s an ugly schtick, but it’s not like she is surprising everyone when she says something that fits squarely within it. There are people out there who do a misogynistic and woman-hating schtick, and I am sure those people twittered their followers with nasty comments about Logan, but nobody cared. Rosen’s outburst came out of left field, thus, the shock and condemnation.

  16. 17
    RonF says:

    My sincere apologies if my memory is faulty!

    Forgiveness and repentance is a lesson I’ve had to teach. A kid was messing around with that nasty orange “French” salad dressing in the dining hall at camp. He managed to accidentally splash it on an older Scout’s snow-white article of ceremonial clothing. I pointed his error. He hurriedly said “Sorry!” and went back to goofing off. I told him “Not good enough”, grabbed him, requested the article of clothing, and hiked him out of the dining hall to the laundry facilities in the shower house nearby. “But I’m going to miss the rest of dinner!” Yeah, that’s right. So am I. This takes precedence.

    Soap, scrubbing, rinse, a few minutes in the dryer and it was all good. Probably the first time the kid has ever washed an article of clothing. I told him “Saying ‘Sorry’ isn’t what shows you’re sorry. Actually doing something to fix what you did is what truly shows you’re sorry.” He wasn’t happy, but at least I tried.

    Mr. Rosen has said he’s sorry. Fine. Now he needs to do some scrubbing.