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The ‘Lara Logan Deserved It’ Meme

Having noted Nir Rosen’s bizarre Twitter rants about how Lara Logan’s assault isn’t worthy of his sympathy since she supported the Iraq War and Jim Hoft’s idiotic notion that Logan’s liberal belief system blinded her to the risks of reporting from a mob, I’m suddenly inundated with similar notions. As Doug has noted, prominent columnist Debbie Schlussel has issued ugly remarks saying, essentially, What did Logan expect from a bunch of filthy Muslims?

The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg terms this “The Lunatic Left-Right Harmonic Rape Convergence Theory” and comments, “How far past disgusting is this? Way past disgusting.”

Indeed. It’s part of the larger tendency of the extremists on both sides to immediately jump on any tragedy as an opportunity to score points for their pet political cause. Our fellow humans aren’t victims with families but mere grist for the mill.

I don’t watch much television news these days and don’t know that I’d ever heard of Lara Logan before she was attacked. I still know little about her or her politics. But I’m quite sure she didn’t deserve to be beaten, much less raped, for trying to tell us an important story.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    I’m on the left. Am I supposed to know who Nir Rosen is?

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Rosen is an incredibly important and influential journalist and activist on Middle East issues. He’s well regarded in prestige foreign policy circles, at least.

    My guess is that he’s at least as well known as Schlussel and Hoft, both of whom would garner a “Who?” from most informed conservatives. (Although they may both appear on Fox News; if so, they may be better known than I perceive.)

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  3. jwest says:

    Mantis,

    Nir Rosen is on the left too, so everything he says and does, along with everything we can extrapolate from his actions, we can ascribe to you.

    At least that’s how it works when liberals characterize conservatives.

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  4. Nikki says:

    “At least that’s how it works when liberals characterize conservatives.”

    Sorry jwest, but this theory works both ways. I still have no idea who the heck Ward Churchill is, yet, somehow, conservatives managed to make him THE representative of the left.

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  5. Brian Knapp says:

    Indeed. It’s part of the larger tendency of the extremists on both sides to immediately jump on any tragedy as an opportunity to score points for their pet political cause. Our fellow humans aren’t victims with families but mere grist for the mill.

    Unfortunately, this practice doesn’t happen in only the fringe, but seems to be a feature in American political “discourse”. Really, ALL social discourse.

    The cognitive dissonance required to to take sides on particularly complex issues cultivates this sort of thing.

    In the past, I am certain that I did the very same thing on a regular basis. Most people do.

    But I’m quite sure she didn’t deserve to be beaten, much less raped, for trying to tell us an important story.

    Exactly. Except, there is absolutely NO reason to beat and rape anyone, whether they are telling a story or serving time for murder and rape themselves.

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  6. Matt B says:

    @Nikki

    Which is of course proves Nietzsche’s point that if you go far enough to one side you almost always find that you end up reproducing the same argument styles (and often conclusions) of the extreme on the other side.

    Also, I think this explains why it seems like 60% of the advertisers for radical left and right radio hosts overlap (I’m looking at you gold).

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    Why is Nir Rosen on the left? Because he disagrees with mainstream conservatives? But he disagrees with mainstream leftists too. ‘Left’ does not equal “Not on the Right”.

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  8. Joerg says:

    Lara Logan supported the Iraq war? Did she? And what does ‘”support” mean anyway?

    My impression was that she reported fairly on Iraq. She talked about the successes and the failures. She gave a complete picture.
    Some folks just want to see one side.

    Here’s an example: A video from March 2006:
    Lara Logan smacked down the right wingers who were saying the media was biased against the war:

    http://crooksandliars.com/2006/03/26/lara-logan-smacked-down-the-quotnegative-iraq-war-coveragequot-charges/

    I linked to a few more videos in 2007: http://atlanticreview.org/archives/571-Media-Coverage-and-our-Understanding-of-International-Politics.html

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  9. André Kenji says:

    1-) Logan is hated by the left because she worked as a embedded journalist, and because she is not an antiwar hippie. She is hated by many in the right because she works for CBS and it´s not somekind of Islam hating pundit.

    2-) She is a pretty good war correspondent. No wonder that she became a star at CBS.

    3-) Yes, she is extremely beautiful, she does her job well and she, for god sake, has sex. Yikes, most blog comments about her say something about her beauty, there are several commentaries about her sex life.

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  10. André Kenji says:

    This explains a lot

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  11. mantis says:

    Why is Nir Rosen on the left?

    Because they can then claim “both sides did it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. James Joyner says:

    @mantis and @MarkedMan:

    He was a New America Foundation fellow and was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone and Mother Jones. He’s on the left.

    I’m not arguing that Rosen represents the Left any more than Hoft and Schlussel represent the right. I’m just noting that there’s a general tendency to leverage personal tragedy for political agenda.

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    James Joyner said: “He was a New America Foundation fellow and was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone and Mother Jones. He’s on the left.”

    Fair enough.

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  14. Terrye says:

    Extremes meet.

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  15. mantis says:

    He was a New America Foundation fellow and was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone and Mother Jones.

    He has also written for The Atlantic. Does that make him a neocon?

    Everything I’ve looked at today reveals Rosen to be a pretty independent journalist who does not often write or speak about his political views.

    I’m not arguing that Rosen represents the Left any more than Hoft and Schlussel represent the right.

    No, you’re arguing they’re equivalent. Schlussel and Hoft are both rightwing commentators. Rosen is a seemingly non-partisan journalist who mostly covers foreign affairs and especially the Iraq War. Your and Goldberg’s efforts to claim “both sides do it” are quite strained in this case.

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  16. mantis says:

    I’m just noting that there’s a general tendency to leverage personal tragedy for political agenda.

    What political agenda was Rosen pushing with those tweets?

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  17. andrew e. says:

    Not to make some overarching statement on Left/Right personalities but, well… at least Mr. Rosen understood immediately how absurdly inappropriate he was being and took steps to apologize for his actions.

    Schussel/Hoft and their blog commenters- reveling in the hate and attention. Marinating in it. Apologize or further reflect on their attitudes? Kiss their ass, you goddamn libtards.

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  18. James Joyner says:

    I agree that Rosen, who’s a leftist foreign policy expert, is in a different class than two rightwing pundits. I’d also argue that Rosen’s more prestigious, although that may just because we’re in the same professional space.

    I can’t speak for Goldberg but my point isn’t so much that “both sides do it” — remember, Rosen, who is on the “other” side was the first and most noteworthy case — but astonishment that several people were taking some bizarre schadenfreude out of Logan’s mistreatment and that they were doing so based on differing political/cultural agendas.

    Rosen’s agenda is anti-war. Schlussel’s agenda is anti-Islamist, if not anti-Islam.

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  19. mantis says:

    Rosen’s agenda is anti-war.

    I guess Ron Paul has joined the left, then.

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  20. James Joyner says:

    Ron Paul doesn’t fit on the American left-right spectrum.

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  22. [...] The ‘Lara Logan Deserved It’ Meme (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  23. michael reynolds says:

    There is something wrong with this country when rape elicits anything other than sympathy with the victim and contempt for the perpetrators. It doesn’t matter who was raped or who committed the rape: you feel sorry for the one and fury at the other, period, end of politics.

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  24. MM says:

    The important takeaway from this thread is that the real victim is jwest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. giantslor says:

    I’m on the left and I’ve never heard of Nir Rosen. I’m quite familiar with Schlussel and Hoft, though.

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  26. Terrye says:

    giantslor:

    Well of course you are more familiar with them, they are bloggers and they like attention. But the truth is Rosen is more influential within his sphere.

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  27. Axel Edgren says:

    Perhaps the reason Rosen writes in places like Rolling Stone is because he doesn’t LIE like Logan does when the narrative demands that all “proper” herd journalists write op-eds about how the US has to get it’s war on. He is a one-issue writer, who had to write for non-right wing and non-mainstream publications because all the “serious” or “independently right-wing” publications wanted war-mongers of different magnitudes.

    Aaaaanyway, with that said, I am not going to ignore the fact that there are bad people on the left as well on the right – that would be statistically ignorant. Judgments about whether one side contains more bad people than the other shouldn’t jump off from this kind of topic.

    *If* he had said something like “She lied or spoke stupidly about extremely serious things before the Iraq invasion, so she could have lied about this assault as well” I would have defended him.

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  28. Brummagem Joe says:

    I’m afraid there’s no way of legislating against idiocy. The endless rivers of hate one sees on blogs just indicate there are a lot of rather disturbed people in society and of course theres’a chattering class to serve their needs.

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  29. Jay Tea says:

    Mr. Rosen is also a journalist who embedded with the Taliban and helped his hosts get past an Afghani guard?

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/10/an-american-journalist/#comment-2213

    That’s right, he is.

    J.

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  30. Ben Wolf says:

    “Mr. Rosen is also a journalist who embedded with the Taliban . . .”.

    Unlike you, some see the value of trying to understand others, including those who oppose us.

    We have a thing called “curiosity” about a place called the “world” (which in terms you’ll understand means places other than America). We try to collect “knowledge” and understand it in the proper “context” (which in your terms is something founf not on Fox but on those liberal channels). We hope to “improve” ourselves and avoid past “mistakes” (which in your terms is the opposite of doubling down on ignorance).

    I know, it’s all very anti-American.

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  31. Davis says:

    No false equivalency, please. I learned about Rosen from Thers at Whiskey Fire who condemned him as did all of his commenters. Anyone who goes to the comments section at the vile Schlussel’s site should be forewarned. It’s very disturbing.

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  32. tom says:

    I’m a fan of Lara Logan and I agree with this article. Other countries were evacuating their citizens from this place weeks before. Journalists were targeted – jailed, assaulted, injured, killed. Journalists were also told to leave – some like Anderson Cooper held on as long as they could before they left – knowing that staying longer was very dangerous.

    Lara went into a war zone. She got arrested, kicked out, went back there and got assaulted. What happened to her was horrific, but not surprising given that she was in the middle of a frenzied crowd. Yes, she is lucky she is not dead. And her two year old daughter is lucky to still have a mother.

    All my respect goes to Lara for what she does. I certainly would not have the nerve to do what she does.

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