On CNN, Rosen Falsely Claims He Didn't Know Logan Was Sexually Assaulted

Disgraced journalist Nir Rosen claimed on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 that he didn't know Lara Logan was sexually assaulted when she was attacked by protesters in Egypt. However, Rosen's own Tweets, which he subsequently deleted, revealed that he indeed know about the nature of the attack and tried to downplay it: "Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women."

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper aired his taped interview with the anti-war journalist during the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program. Cooper raised how Rosen brought the CNN personality into his attacks on Logan:

COOPER: You said: 'I heard that Ms. Logan was roughed up like many other journalists. I had not realized it was something more serious.' That's hard to believe, though, reading your first two Tweets. You clearly knew, it seems, what happened to her was sexual, because you said that she was trying to- she had to outdo me, so clearly you knew I had, you know, just been punched a couple of times or roughed up a little bit. So you knew the attack on her was worse than that. And in the second one, you said it would be funny if it happened to Anderson, meaning,  I can only assume you meant a sexual assault, because I had already been roughed up. So, didn't you- you did know that there was a sexual assault involved?

The journalist flatly denied he knew, and when the CNN anchor pressed him about his linking to the CBS News statement, he continued to stick by his claim:

Nir Rosen, Journalist | NewsBusters.orgROSEN: At the time, I didn't know that. I have been in the Middle East and not really with much access to information, and I just assumed that you were roughed up, and she was roughed up a bit more, not that it's justifiable. No matter what, whether it's just roughed up, obviously, it's wrong. But had I known that it was a sexual assault, then there's no laughing matter, especially for a man, and there's no excuse for it. There's no defense. No matter say or try to explain, I look like a jerk.

COOPER: But, again, it is hard to believe you didn't know it was a sexual assault. Not only did you say that, you know, she was trying to outdo me or- and that it would be funny if it happened to me, but you also linked to the CBS News statement, which clearly says it was a sexual assault.

ROSEN: Yeah, I should have read it. I just heard the word assault, not that that's just- no matter what I say, it doesn't sound good. An assault isn't justifiable either (unintelligible) terrible. I just assumed you were roughed up, and she was roughed up a bit more, and now, the mainstream media is going to make a big deal out of this, instead of focusing on other events.

COOPER: But you honestly want people to believe that you were linking to a CBS News statement that you yourself had not read?

ROSEN: I just- I was sort of re-Tweeting. I heard the word assault. I figured, okay, many journalists are being pushed around and roughed up. Here's one more.

COOPER: But did you read the CBS statement that you linked to?

ROSEN: Not at the time. Afterwards, I did, and I realized that I was going to be in a lot of trouble.

Rosen's claims don't stand up to scrutiny. On Tuesday, Jim Geraghty of National Review put up screen caps of the journalist's Tweets that day before he deleted many of them. At one point, he stated "yes, yes its wrong what happened to her. of course, it's wrong to beat and sexually assault somebody. obviously, but still." In his next Tweet, he downplayed it by noting that "incidentally, it seems like this happened to quite a few women, foreign and egyptian, on friday in tahrir square." Two Tweets after that, he defended himself after someone called him out for his clear cynicism: "I wasn't excusing it. it's wrong. I just think she's so bad that I ran out of sympathy for her."

The journalist made his "thousands of other women" statement four Tweets later: "look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than I'm sorry."

It's clear that Rosen's far-left stance clouded his views towards Logan, as when Cooper pressed further, he admitted his personal animus against the CBS News correspondent. He also tried to defend his career:

COOPER: You tried to then delete a number of your early Tweets, and then, clearly aware that some people were offended at you, you Tweeted- quote,  'F. 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.' At that point, your apology there seems half-hearted at best, and you kind of sound just like sort of a bitter, jealous reporter, angry at some other reporter who's more well-known.

ROSEN: Yeah, it sounds like that. That's not the case. But my point was that dozens of women suffered from this attack, and one of them is going to get all the attention because she's white and she's a celebrity correspondent. I'm not- again, I'm not defending myself here or justifying it, but just explaining.

COOPER: You're also insisting now that you're a radical supporter of women's rights. But, you know, I was talking to a lot of the women in my office, and all of them would say the same thing. They've never heard a radical supporter of women's rights make fun of a woman who has been sexually assaulted.

ROSEN: That's true, and at the time, I wasn't aware that she had been sexually assaulted. There's no justification for it. I was trying to provoke a guy that I was on Twitter with, just- we banter about WikiLeaks, the morality of WikiLeaks, and we call each other murderers-

COOPER: But if you didn't know- let me just jump in. If you didn't know if she had been sexually assaulted, how come you were saying she was outdoing me, and that it would be funny if the same thing happened to me? Because you already knew I had been attacked.

ROSEN: I didn't know very much about your attack either. I mean, there's no defense here. I just figured that this is going to be more attention and is going to take away from events on the ground and from other people who were attacked because they weren't white, they weren't celebrities, and, you know, you make fun of the celebrity culture of the mainstream media, and people try to outdo each other and make it about the correspondents, instead of the news.

In my defense, in terms of my record, if I may, I spent eight years risking my life trying to tell the stories of victims and condemn their oppressors. I spent today actually here- I'm in the Middle East documenting sexual abuse against women by local security forces who are trained by the Americans. I mean, there's no way- there's no defense for what I did.


COOPER: What people are going to have to decide is whether your apology is real and heartfelt, and they'll do that based on whether they think you're being honest in your explanation of what happened. So, again, I want to ask you, are you standing by the idea that you did not know she was sexually assaulted? Because, again, in your first Tweet, it makes it sound like you were saying she was one-upping the minor assault that I had, and that it would be funny if that happened to me, and then you actually did link to the CBS News article that was very clear about the nature of her assault and the fact she was in a hospital.

ROSEN: Yeah, it doesn't look good. No, I didn't read the article, and I apologize to her and her and to women everywhere. There's no excuse for what I did. I have ruined an eight-year record of taking risks in defense of justice and my own career (unintelligible) people and embarrassed myself and my family.

One could reasonably conclude that Rosen's apology isn't "real and heartfelt" and that he isn't "being honest in [his] explanation of what happened," if he's trying to cover up what he actually Tweeted that day. He should just stop digging.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center