MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell was disgusted by "many intemperate" comments made about the news that CBS's Lara Logan had been brutally and apparently sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian celebration that followed President Hosni Mubarak's resignation last Friday.
Not at all surprising, the only one he bothered to read on Wednesday's "The Last Word" was written by a conservative (video follows with transcript and commentary):
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, HOST: CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was interviewed by Charlie Rose on February 7th, after she and her crew had been detained by the Egyptian army. She talked about her desire to go right back in and cover the story.
LARA LOGAN, CBS NEWS: Fundamentally it is in my blood to be there and to be on the street and to be listening to people and to do the best reporting that I can. At the same time, I am also aware of the fact that I put my family through a very difficult situation.
O’DONNELL: “On Friday, February 11th, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS 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.”
So says a CBS News statement released yesterday. The statement continues: ”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. CBS, Lara Logan and her family intend to make no further statement on this. She is now recovering at home after being treated in an American hospital.”
Making a bad situation worse, there have been many intemperate reactions to what happened to Lara Logan, the worst from conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel who brags about her appearances on the "O'Reilly Factor."
She wrote: “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. This never happened to her or any other mainstream media reporter when Mubarak was allowed to treat his country of savages in the only way they can be controlled. How fitting that Lara Logan was liberated by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the liberation. Hope you're enjoying the revolution, Lara!”
Joining me now author and journalist Farai Chideya of Popandpolitics.com. Farai, I’m a little bit lost. I’m a little bit sickened by what I just had to read. I thought it was hard to be surprised by what can surface on the internet these days. This is surprising.
To begin with, O'Donnell was right to mention Schlussel's piece. It was indeed disgraceful.
But unlike the conservative website the Daily Caller, which wrote about "creepy pundits" wasting no time politicizing the Logan news, O'Donnell failed to mention what NYU journalism professor Nir Rosen posted at Twitter Tuesday.
As NewsBusters previously reported:
"Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal," he wrote, apparently wishing that former U.S. general Stanley McCrystal and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper had been also sexually assaulted by a mob.
Rosen's disgusting comments got worse from there, even as the fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security attempted to rationalize his hatred. "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."
That wasn't enough for Rosen who continued his ranting as he stated why Logan was the target of his hate-filled, sexist tirade: She was not sufficiently against the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
"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," Rosen tweeted.
Moments later, Rosen started to backpedal: "Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I'm sorry."
If O'Donnell was going to mention Schlussel's disgraceful comments, he should have also let his viewers know about Rosen's. By not doing so, he was just as guilty as they were in politicizing this incident.
How sad that in his zeal to bash a conservative blogger as well as his competitor on Fox News, O'Donnell failed to see the obvious hypocrisy in his critique.
As for Logan, our hearts go out to her and her family. We at NewsBusters wish her a speedy recovery and return to CBS.