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Posted at 9:53 AM ET, 02/16/2011

CBS shouldn't have withheld Lara Logan's story

By Richard Cohen

Say what you will about New York's celebrated tabloids, they know news when they see it. This is why both the New York Daily News and the New York Post devoted their front pages to the sexual assault by a mob in Cairo of CBS correspondent Lara Logan. Say what you will about CBS, it either doesn't know what news is or felt that the privacy of an employee was more important than its obligation to inform the public. It has it backwards.

Logan was sexually assaulted Feb. 11. CBS did not report the incident until yesterday, which was Feb. 16. Meanwhile, Logan was returned to Washington where she was hospitalized. Her sexual assault was clearly a brutal event, although the exact nature of it remains unclear. Whatever the case, a mob estimated to number around 200 attacked her in Tahir Square, separated her from her crew and bodyguards and severely sexually assaulted her. Ultimately, a group of Egyptian woman and about 20 soldiers rescued her.

As I'm sure even Logan would admit, the sexual assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story. It is particularly a story because the crowd in Tahir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy. In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year's Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat. In those circumstances, a mass the sexual assault in what amounted to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting.

Most news organizations do not name rape victims. I disagree with this policy for a number of reasons that I have written about over the years, but even if I agreed, exceptions have to be made. The awful Logan incident has to be an exception. Had another woman, say a strolling tourist, been similarly victimized, the incident would have been reported -- and the name withheld. In Logan's case, unfortunately, there was no way to withhold the name. Still, her privacy was not as important as the story.

The New York Post reports that the mob that set upon Logan yelled "Jew, Jew." This is the New York Post, so a second source would be advisable. Still, the assault and its undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism (Logan is not Jewish) is very troubling and, at the very least, suggests that not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind. I feel badly for Logan and wish her well. But she's a newswoman, and what happened to her in Tahir Square was news. CBS should not have withheld that story.

By Richard Cohen  | February 16, 2011; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Comments

ok, I will admit they should not have withheld the story, but as for you saying that they should not withhold the name of a women who is raped, is like rapping the women for a second time. unless you a man has ever been raped you have no clue what releasing a womens name in this situation will do to her. unless of course she agrees to have her name released.

Posted by: sherylauslander | February 16, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Respectfully, sometimes the story is larger than person. I'm sure that Rep. Giffords wouldn't want pictures of her legs and such shown all over the world on a gurney, but the day she was shot the "story" was larger than her. The press got that right.

If I were the victim in Ms. Logan's shoes, the media would not be so gracious in securing my privacy. I'd be unhappy about it, but I like to think I would understand.

Perhaps, if anything, this is a lesson for the press in bedside manner.

Posted by: LisabettaNM | February 16, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, before you take CBS to task on its reporting, it would be wise to proofread your own writing. Yesterday was February 15, not February 16, as you wrote in the second paragraph. Please correct the article and THEN you can criticize another news organization.

Posted by: stevethephotog | February 16, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I just found another glaring error. "As I'm sure even Logan would admit, the sexually assault of woman by a mob..." Really, Mr. Cohen. Is this journalism?

Posted by: stevethephotog | February 16, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen should really keep quiet about these issues. People might be reminded that he has had "issues" with his behavior towards women.

Posted by: newpairodimes | February 16, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, your comments are shameful. Being a reporter does not mean Logan gives up the right to be treated with decency and humanity. The name of a victim should always be witheld. Shame goes to the greedy news organizations who have no boundaries and will do anything for a story. Yes, an attack should have been reported. Yes, the nature of it should have been reported. Her name? Shame on you.

Posted by: melwaters | February 16, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Please note, Ms. Logan was attacked last Friday while those Islamic p*gs (who numbered in the hundreds) were in the middle of their revolutionary celebrations.

I suppose we can all be thankful that they weren't really angry or anything.

Here's to wishing everyone of those worthless b****rds eventually receive a good "whiff of the grape." That would be justice.

Posted by: packard1 | February 16, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Not to be overly critical, but do you proof read your articles before you post them? I am continually amazed at the errors in spelling, punctuation, etc. of professional writers these days.

For example, your sentence, "As I'm sure even Logan would admit, the sexually assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story."


Posted by: preese1143 | February 16, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this should have been reported in this way. It was enough to say she was attacked. I also find it very disturbing that most news agencies and web sites are filing it under "Entertainment News" - the same category where you'd read about the likes of Kim Kardashian posing nude (again) or Angelina Jolie doing something weird (again). Has our society really sunk so low as to consider a gang rape "entertainment news?"

Posted by: anahita2 | February 16, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Cohen, but you're wrong. I see nothing wrong with not reporting a story if the victim doesn't want it publisized (should it be the case). Our voyeuristic nature does not trump privacy. Splashing it all over the media wouldn't change a thing. You also seem to have this story out there to demonize an anti-semetic group of men(always a sidebar when dealing with Muslims nowadays).

Posted by: jckdoors | February 16, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I find your column disgusting. The fact that CBS News waited several days to report this story is irrelevant. There is no breach of journalistic ethics here, and the media does not have the right to know everything the very second it happens.

CBS News did report the story, and ultimately that is all that matters. A traumatic event happened to Lara Logan, and your only take way is that you didn't find out about it sooner. Poor, poor columnist Richard Cohen.

It's clear that this is simply another warped example of your attitudes on this topic. I'm sure if you were the one who had been raped you would feel quite differently.

Posted by: yarbs2000 | February 16, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I find your column disgusting. The fact that CBS News waited several days to report this story is irrelevant. There is no breach of journalistic ethics here, and the media does not have the right to know everything the very second it happens.

CBS News did report the story, and ultimately that is all that matters. A traumatic event happened to Lara Logan, and your only take way is that you didn't find out about it sooner. Poor, poor columnist Richard Cohen.

It's clear that this is simply another warped example of your attitudes on this topic. I'm sure if you were the one who had been raped you would feel quite differently.

Posted by: yarbs2000 | February 16, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Lara's a brave woman, and I hope she makes a quick and full recovery. It's hearbreaking to me, because I was trying to convince my boyfriend to plan a trip to Egypt in the near future. But there is no way I can convince him to go now. If a camera crew couldn't protect Lara from being raped, he can't protect me.

Posted by: mmreay | February 16, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Really too many grammatical errors in this post. Otherwise, Mr Cohen is talking around an issue. American women forget that the freedoms they have here in the US are not universal and put themselves in harms way when going to places that cannot protect them when danger is all about. Shame on CBS for not thinking these things through. It was brave of Logan to put her life in such peril, but really stupid on the part of CBS to permit her to go. It will cost them plenty.

Posted by: shangps | February 16, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Lara's a brave woman, and I hope she makes a quick and full recovery. It's hearbreaking to me, because I was trying to convince my boyfriend to plan a trip to Egypt in the near future. But there is no way I can convince him to go now. If a camera crew couldn't protect Lara from being raped, he can't protect me.

Posted by: mmreay | February 16, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I can not agree more... if this was any random tourist, CBS would have had Ms. Logan fighting for the first interview. They would be camped out in front of the hospital and her home, inteviewing doctors, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Selective reporting is a big no no. What else is CBS hiding from the world? What else are they withholding or deeming a non-story? Was this politically motivated? Did they intentionally try to portray this mob scene as a love fest instead of gangrape? This is a can of worms and the media needs to take notice - you can not have it both ways!

Posted by: mrhando | February 16, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Whether her name should have been released or not was a bit of irrelevance Cohen should not have brought up because it weakens his point, which was otherwise an important one. For the media to continuously characterize the events as a well-mannered celebration, while in fact people were being brutally assaulted and raped,is the media not doing its job. Of all outlets not doing thewir job, CBS has to rank #1 because they knew what had happened to their reporter.

Posted by: cerebral_but | February 16, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

So Mr. Cohen feels that in order to make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs, as the saying goes. Not only has that position has had some pretty disastrous historical consequences, those who espouse it are usually fairly certain that they'll never be one of the ones who suffer any of those consequences. This is no exception. It's always someone else who must be sacrificed for their cause.

Posted by: aa915 | February 16, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Cohen, but for another reason. The MSM was trying to put a "democracy" push on the story. Egypt does not know what democracy is. This whole riot was caused my a group of muslim thugs. They will take over Egypt, the rest of the middle east then head for Europe and America. They raped the western world in the square. This is the bigger story that no one is reporting.

Posted by: annnort | February 16, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Why must a brutal sexual assault be reported that soon?

CBS did right to "err" in revealing the assault 4 days later - on Feb. *15* (not 16) - in the interest of an employee's wellbeing.

There's smth tawdry about the instant-news-gratification need to report such an assault so soon.

What's even more tawdry -- SICK -- is that media should reveal rape victims' names.

No wonder ppl have such low regard for some in the press. WashPo deserves better.
= = = = = = = = = = = =
Lara Logan is courageous just to permit her "brutal and sustained" attack to be revealed as such.

Posted by: CitizenOfWorld | February 16, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The reporting of the protests was not universally about how peaceful they were. Rock throwing, injuries, etc. were reported. It was a fluid situation, and I don't think anything was hidden--it just changed from one thing to another, and reporting depended on where the reporter was located and how observant they were. The rape? Yes, it should have been reported because it charactarized and reinforced how brutally out of control the situation had become. The name still should have been witheld. As for your grammar and spelling, internet articles often are the beta version of what goes into the newspaper and don't have the copy editors correcting,correcting,correcting...

Posted by: melwaters | February 16, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Such a fuss over typos in a piece appearing under the label "quick takes." Anyway, you raise a subject not well understood by most media consumers: herd journalism. When the pack agrees on the shape of a story, in this case, "Large Friendly Crowd Demands Democracy," the pressure is tremendous on individual reporters not to bust out and say something like, "Elements in the Crowd Are Ugly." And yet, that is the kind of honest reporting that best fulfills the role of journalism and journalists.

Posted by: Donaldsmith1 | February 16, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

First, how do we know Logan was "severely" sexually assaulted when "the exact nature of it remains unclear?" Why not let the facts surface before writing something like this?

Second, I'm tired of amoral journalism's moral-duty-to-report argument. That's not just ironic, it's nonsense. Despite their protestations, journalists are stripped of neither morality nor discretion when they don their press credentials. Otherwise reporting would be reduced to unedited POV video phone reporting. Maybe it should be. Meh.

Posted by: Meximelt | February 16, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, if you're going to write a piece as potentially offensive as this one is, you might want to at least proof-read it first. In my opinion, your credibility is on the line here and you haven't done yourself any favors by stating that yesterday was February 16th or that "a mass the sexual assault in what amount to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting", whatever that means...

The opinions you've expressed here are riddled with such complete and inexcusable ignorance that I find them completely appalling.

Why, precisely, do you think that rape victims' names should not be withheld from the press? Are you aware that no more than 40% of rapes are reported at all? What do you think that statistic would fall to if the victim knew that reporting the crime would result in her being named on the evening news as the victim of a crime which is still so heavily stigmatized? Have you considered how difficult it would be for the police to arrest rapists and the D.A. to prosecute them if the victims’ names were not withheld? Have you considered how many rapists would still be on the streets?

And why, precisely, do you think the fact of Lara Logan’s assault being “news” trumps her need for privacy? As you must be aware, newsworthiness is not determined by what’s truly important for the public to know but rather by what will sell papers and get people to turn on their TV sets. Am I to understand that you’re upset that the WaPo was denied newspaper sales for 4 days while Lara Logan tried to cope with the horror of being the victim of a brutal crime in privacy?

If you really think that the newsworthiness of an incident is more important than the living, breathing person who the potential story happened to, then it seems that journalism has taken your humanity and swallowed it whole. Step out of your journalistic bubble and realize that there ARE more important things in life than website hits and newspaper sales; a rape victim's mental and physical well-being are two such things.

Posted by: mb15213 | February 16, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

She was sexually assaulted, brutally beaten and hospitalized. Exactly what else do you need to know, you disgusting, drooling voyeur?

Posted by: kstack | February 16, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the crowd was less inhibited knowing she had been having sex with multiple men in the Middle East over the past few years.

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc/lara-logan-gets-hitched_b13953

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | February 16, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Certainly the events that Ms Logan suffered through are news; I won't debate that. Also, I agree that Ms Logan's name could hardly be kept out of it. Report that an American female reporter in Tahrir Square was assaulted and it becomes pretty obvious based on which one of the few women reporting is missing.

With all that said, CBS did the right thing and the humane thing in holding off on the report. Nothing about what happened to Ms Logan changes the big picture of the events in Egypt. Everyone is well aware that there was some violence and that reporters in particular were suffering attacks. Adding Ms Logan's story immediately following the event would have served no purpose other than to make her a more visible target for additional harassment.

CBS dis what EVERY employer SHOULD do; it stood by its employee. CBS allowed her to get out of the country and to be safe before shouting to the world that one of their people was hurt and how. Had her attack been at the hands of the military as part of a larger effort to crush the rebellion, perhaps it would have been central enough to the overall picture to report sooner.

Instead, she was attacked by a mob with nothing better to do than what they did. You can't blame it on the protests, on the culture, on Mubarek, on ElBaradei, on Obama, or anything other than a group of men who have less sense and humanity than what we would generally consider the minimum necessary to be out of prison.

I hope Ms Logan recovers completely, quickly, and I hope she never faces anything like this every again. I hope the people responsible are brought to justice. I hope you, Mr Cohen, never face anything similar and are treated as you would have treated Ms Logan. Now, please, go visit the wizard and ask for a heart.

Posted by: turnbulld | February 16, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen...I have read your columns for years and I generally disagree with you a vast majority of the time, but you have got this one right! Forgoing the name-the-rape-victim debate, this is a grievous turn-around in reporting standards....can you imagine if this was anyone but their own? It would be a HUGE story. And I know this will stir up the feminist's hornet's nest, but I always thought Lara Logan was being highly disrespectful to the Muslim citizens that she was among, over the years, when she would do her overseas reporting showing a lot of cleavage, though I personally thought she was an excellent correspondent. I was shocked that CBS and her crews did not advise her against that. That was a red flag, to me.

Posted by: hitx | February 16, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Another "glaring error"....

"In those circumstances, a mass the sexual assault in what amount to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting."

I can't help but ask, was the author drinking while writing this story? I'm not familiar with Mr. Cohen at all, and find it very hard to follow what he's written.

Posted by: preese1143 | February 16, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What is pogromist???

Posted by: preese1143 | February 16, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

There were a lot of people in the square that day; it was not a homogeneous group. Good reporting would include an attempt to identify which component of the mob attacked her.

Posted by: withersb | February 16, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse


The world would be a much better place if Arab culture never existed.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 16, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Well another liberal wanting to save the world or change the world pays for it. Hate to burst your bubble lefties, some people could care less about your ideals. Suffer the consequences or don't go. We really didn't need to know another opinion about Egypt. Should have sent loser, Couric.

Posted by: nomobarry | February 16, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the crowd was less inhibited knowing she had been having sex with multiple men in the Middle East over the past few years.

That is a disgusting thing to say. The crowd did not know who she was, and the fact that she has had consensual sex does not make her a legitimate target for rape.

Posted by: MaineWoman | February 16, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me but other news sources are reporting today that Ms. Logan's sexual assault did not necessary occur in Tahrir Square at all. She was held by the then security forces of the former regime in Egypt for a time where she was tortured-stress positions and the alike. It seems more likely that the "sexually assault" likely occurred under these circumstances and not in the square. The being ruffed up likely occurred on the Square but the sexual assault-extremely unlikely. Egyptian society is very no nonsense and any Egyptian would have come to her rescue and severely beat anyone attempting to do such a thing in public. At any rate the issue is whether this was her story to tell or conceal and I think that she and her fellow reporters that have been attacked and remained silent have right to so do.It is their right. Everything that happens to everyone does not have to become a story and these victims are in the best position to determine this. When Mr. Cohen mentions an unconfirmed report of Ms. Logan being called a "jew" during her assault in the square it is just this kind of unconfirmed report and the interjection of suchinto this very personal story that maybe the reporter Ms. Logan was trying to avoid.

Posted by: safiyah1111 | February 16, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Something else is going on with this post. Although the author presents his piece as a critique on CBS for withholding a news story, the subtext of his argument was that this story, if properly published, would have exposed the anti-semetic elements of the Egyptian protesters. In light of Isreal's and their US supporters' concerns over the removal of Mr. Mubarak, I believe Mr. Cohen's real objective is to intill fear in the Wash Posts readers over the recent revolution in Egypt.

Posted by: aiellokl | February 16, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,
I am a rape survivor. I have professionally counseled victims of violent crime (men and women) and sexual assault survivors.
Sexual assault survivors' names should NEVER EVER be publicized.
Any time you would like to discuss this with a woman who has experienced this and counseled many others, contact me.

Posted by: shaftels2do | February 16, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I am angry.
As a man... I am angry.
I am not angry at the the wonderful commentary (it needed to be said). I am not angry and CBS, who at least we're decent and reported the story with respect to Lara. I hope she will be able to make the best recovery she can.

I am angry at the mob of Egypt. This historic day is now marred by this angry rabble that will define the middle east.
I am angry that a beautiful, wonderful woman like Lara was violated in such a way, a woman doing her job like anyone else and we have not mentioned the undue toll on what this now will mean... not only on Lara... but to how the US will now react, because of this.

On another side note...I hope there will be justice for Lara. May the news be able to serve her in this fashion to find the perpetrators. This is the least I would ask of the press. I no longer want to be angry .. but for Lara... for this moment... I will be angry on her behalf.

Posted by: marosete | February 16, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The liberal press is too cowardly to report honestly on the cultural brutality toward women that is the norm in Islamic societies.

"All cultures are equal" is the foolish belief which must be served, despite overwhelming facts.

Women's rights and safety are consistently thrown under the bus by the press in order to praise diversity. It happens every day.

Posted by: BerkeleyBW | February 16, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't see anywhere in the official reports that says she was raped. Sexual assault and Rape are not necessarily the same thing.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network defines sexual assault as stopping SHORT of rape or attempted rape.

This in no way condones any of the actions that took place. I just see people jumping to conclusions and forming opinions without proper evidence. (I know...like that never happens around here)

Posted by: trident420 | February 16, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Very important post, Mr Cohen, thank you. I think the motivation behind the delay of this report is that CBS didn't want to reveal that their Cairo team had (to their shame)failed to protect their lead journalist, at very least by realistically warning her of the dangers.

They were thus trying to "protect" her after the fact by revealing neither the incident, nor her name. (But they were really only protecting themselves--and only for a short time).

In so doing they failed that day to protect hundreds of journalists and ordinary foreign citizens (including students studying abroad in Egypt) who had a need and right to know what was truly going on, so that they could protect themselves.

Additionally, Ms Logan's attack threatened to mar or even wholly contradict CBS's narrative of a wildly-celebratory but incredibly peaceful victory rally. If Ms Logan, who had all kinds of support--even bodyguards--could sustain such a vicious and lengthy attack, that meant that others, far less protected, may have suffered similar, or worse, attacks (that also went unreported).

The information about the cry of "Jew, Jew," as Ms. Logan was attacked, if true, is equally essential to our understanding of events as they unfolded in Egypt. IMO, not enough has been made of the dozens upon dozens of images of Mubarek with the star of David blazoned on his forehead, demonstrating to anyone who is willing to see that that hatred for Muburek is inextricably linked in the minds of so many, with his support for Israel/ the Jews.

This is of course deeply disturbing and deeply frightening to anyone who cares about the future of peace in Egypt.

Certainly Lara Logan has a right to privacy. She was the victim of a terrible act of mob hatred, and we are all shocked (and outraged!)at its intensity and concerned for her complete recovery. However, as a responsible journalist whose goal is to report the truth, Ms. Logan would undoubtedly be DISMAYED by CBS's decision to delay reporting of her case, which served no real goal other than to mask its own shame.


Posted by: sulupo | February 16, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it an even sadder indictment of the journalistic trade that something so badly researched, composed and spelled is allowed to be published on a highly reputed newspaper's website?

Nonetheless, "hope springs eternal" for Mr. Cohen and America, if you can still make a living by being totally useless at something!

'Honi soit qui mal y pense'

Posted by: 1amnotanumber | February 16, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

You are an idiot Cohen.

This story is Lara Logan's to tell when and only if she decides to tell it at all.

Go crawl back into your cave.

Posted by: pmpsap | February 16, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

What the H is up with the Post's continued employment of misogynists like Messrs. Cohen, and Milloy, for that matter?

Washington Post, shame on you.

Katharine Graham must be turning in her grave.

How can you print this stuff???

Posted by: missmoll414 | February 16, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'm surprised the liberal media isn't apologizing to the Muslim world for making them look bad for gang-raping Logan.

Religion of peace my a*$. I hope Israel pushes them all into the Sea.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | February 16, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

CBS news executives have their heads way up in the lofty clouds above their W. 57th St. headquarters in New York. They never should have put Lara back on a plane to Cairo in the first place, after what she had gone through there a week earlier, in detention and blindfolded. I don't care even if the reporter had insisted. The news executives are paid to know better -- at least supposedly. And for her to find her way into the middle of a raving Muslim crowd like that ... dressed as she was? What could they (anyone) be thinking? Well, vicariously I suppose, and through the lens of 60 Minutes, I feel I've been given a glimpse into the crude reality of Islam 101, unbridled and let loose now in the dark, unpatrolled streets of Cairo. I think the best thing that could happen to Egypt now is a women leader, and then to Yemen, Tunisia, Iran and all the rest.

Posted by: jacob10 | February 16, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

You do not feel badly for Lara Logan unless there is something wrong with your sense of feel. You feel bad. I do, too.

Posted by: images1 | February 16, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

For those of you pretending to know facts, claiming she was raped, try reading this article.

"A person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the ordeal, which lasted roughly 20- to 30-minutes, "was not a rape."


http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41625503/ns/today-entertainment/?GT1=43001

Posted by: preese1143 | February 16, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Cohen's comments are unbelievably insensitive and callous. Yes, this story should have been reported as a brutal, horrific attack on a US reporter. But nothing but Larson's distress and humiliation is achieved by identifying her.

Posted by: calp1 | February 16, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe additional sources are needed. After all, this IS Richard Cohen.

Posted by: dofbd | February 16, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I learned a long time ago not to count on the POST or other "Main Stream" media for the news. I look at all news sources available on the web. If the story isn't what they think it should be, it is placed on page 106 in the business section or doesn't get reported at all.

Posted by: gfhoward258 | February 16, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course many of the 'protestors' in Tahir Square didn't have democracy on their minds. Are we 5 years old? The world is a dangerous place, and while I feel awful about what happened to this woman, some common sense would seem to be in order.

Posted by: ExConservative | February 16, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The problem is the stringers who speak Arabic did a great job.
Then we had to send out the millionaire network anchors who can't refuse a prime time face off if they tried.
Logan's story is the story of American media who love face more than facts.
You will survive Laura because millions of poor women survive more than you experienced and they can't take out the next first class seat on an American Airline.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | February 16, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"Say what you will about New York's celebrated tabloids, they know news when they see it."

Yes indeed. Past front pages of said tabloids have brought us all manner of vital, breaking news, including "$177 Bagel!", "Snooki Busted for Drinking!", and "Winter Turns to Fall!".

"This is why both the New York Daily News and the New York Post devoted their front pages to the sexual assault by a mob in Cairo of CBS correspondent Lara Logan."

Or.. they did it to sell papers.

"Say what you will about CBS, it either doesn't know what news is or felt that the privacy of an employee was more important than its obligation to inform the public."

The privacy of a sexual assault victim is, in fact, more important than your unsettling wish to be informed about what is actually confidential medical information and none of your business.

CBS has no obligation to satisfy your voyeuristic vagaries, Mr. Cohen.

"It has it backwards."

Can't use a pronoun to a refer to another pronoun. Please fix this grammatical error so we can address the glaring logical error you are attempting to make.

"CBS did not report the incident until yesterday, which was Feb. 16."

On a Julian calendar, maybe.

"As I'm sure even Logan would admit, the sexually assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story."

How, exactly, did you acquire such certainty about about the opinion of a person you do not know?

Re: Random replacement of adjectives with adverbs, e.g. "the sexually assault" - please just don't.

"It is particularly a story because the crowd in Tahir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy."

A story can not be "particularly" a story, any more than you can be "particularly" Richard Cohen.

And there's that pesky "it", again with no antecedent and this time at the beginning of a sentence, a double whammy.

"In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year's Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat."

What does this have to do with your purported thesis, which appears to be that CBS should have immediately informed us all of the private medical issues, preferably in graphic detail, of one of its employees?

If it matters, that's federally protected information under HIPPAA.

"In those circumstances,"

ahh, OK, there's the connection.

"a mass the sexual assault in what amount to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting."

I applaud this heroic effort to make yet another error of logic, and I encourage you to press on. Do not be deterred by one mangled sentence.

"Most news organizations do not name rape victims. I disagree with this policy for a number of reasons.."

Know what? We don't care.

I say "we" because I hereby challenge you to provide the name of one individual outside your immediate family who actually cares what you, personally, think of said policy.

One name, and I will eat my hat.

Posted by: missmoll414 | February 16, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

well, she shouldn't have been there in the first place. and why is it news that she was raped - who cares - other then her of course. the New York Daily News and the New York Post printed it becasue they're a bunch of purient mutts.

Posted by: submarinerssn774 | February 16, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Forget any human decency or sense of compassion for the victim. Richard Cohen needs to know every single lurid detail *right now.* Preferably, with plenty of close-up video.

Posted by: _wm_ | February 16, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

A right to privacy? This is the same news organization that showed our boys getting killed in Afghanistan, it's funny how the news wants the right to publish everything EXCEPT when one of their own gets involved in bad circumstances...no compassion here for her, if it's true, sounds a bit too sensationalized. Also reminds me of the Peal guy who thought he could honestly survive agaist the terrorists he was tracking...

Posted by: mark0004 | February 16, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

It was sad and shocking to read about the assault on this CBS reporter. The Egyptian demonstrators at Tahrir Square should have been doubly careful not to misbehave with any member of the press corps. They had all the reason in the world to be on their best behaviour towards journalists.
It will be a long time before they can live down an episode of this kind. V. C. Bhutani, vineycb1@vsnl.com, Feb 17 2011, 0912 IST

Posted by: vineycb1 | February 16, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"... she's a newswoman, and what happened to her in Tahir [sic] Square was news. CBS should not have withheld that story."

First, CBS did not withhold anything. They may not have informed you of every lurid detail as quickly as you would have liked, however, and for that you have my sincere condolences.

Secondly, since when is it the duty, or even the right, of an employer to issue a press release announcing that an employee has suffered a crime?

Thirdly - you're a newsman, and what happened to you in Dupont Circle on, say, the night of January 28th, 2011, was news. The Washington Post should not have withheld that story.

Really?

Are you actually arguing that anything that happens to a journalist is news, simply because it happened to a journalist?

And that furthermore, said journalist's employer has an obligation to inform the public of this "news", post haste?

Perhaps one thing we can agree on, Mr. Cohen, is that neither one of us wants the Washington Post to start reporting on the personal lives of its newsmen and newswomen, in some misguided pursuit of journalistic integrity.

This so-called column is a hot mess.

(For the record I have no idea what may or may not have happened to Mr. Cohen on the night of January 28, 2011, or on any other night for that matter, and I hereby relieve the Washington Post of any obligation to enlighten me.)

Posted by: missmoll414 | February 16, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

.
out of dozens of posts, I was glad to see that 2 or 3 understood the essential central point that even Cohen missed:
Tahrir Square was (and still is) in Egypt, and Egypt is a dangerous place.

In most of the non-western world, any western woman going around dressed as Ms. Logan dressed is unwise. In addition, she was either ignorant of her surroundings, or knew that sexual assault was a very real possibility, and accepted the risks.


18 Months ago, the WaPo ran a photo essay on a handful of young prostitutes in Baghdad. Photos of their faces were published. The location of the bar where they met clients was given.
Within a week, they had all been killed by vigilantes.

In 2008, a US military "Human Terrain Team" was wandering around rural Afghanistan. One analyst/ anthropologist, a civilian woman, was walking up to strange men, without so much as a veil, and interviewing them. She was killed by one of the local villagers who was humiliated by the experience.

/////////////

Egypt is NOT White Plains. Afghanistan is not London. Baghdad is not Amsterdam.
If we cannot be bothered to find out about the culture and sensibilities of the peoples whose countries we are attempting to colonize, more of these kinds of "misunderstandings" are likely.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | February 17, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Lara Logan and other reporters put themselves in harms way to bring us news of the protests in Egypt. I believe as a journalist she would want her story to be told. Not the gory details, but she would want people to know it was more unstable than people thought. Mika on MSNBC Morning Joe program thought the protests in Egypt were peaceful and went well. Lara's story shows just how naive and ignorant many of the news commentators truly are.

My best wises to Lara for a speedy and full recovery.

Posted by: grannysunni | February 17, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

CBS was protecting the image of the Islamic Egyptian protesters in addition to protecting their reporter.

As others have pointed out, if Lara Logan had been brutally sexually assaulted at a Tea Party protest (a group whose protests have been completely peaceful to date), CBS's coverage would have been instant, detailed, and non-stop.

Women are chattel under Islam, and women who step outside the bounds set for them by men are freely sexually assaulted as a way to terrorize all women into submission. The left-wing media has romanticized Islam for political reasons and will not report truthfully about its brutality.

Posted by: carol24 | February 17, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

It didn't fit the main stream media's story line to point out the various assaults on several reporters - we were supposed to believe that these were wonderful, suppressed people seeking democracy. Others who have been in Egypt say that groping of young women tourists is the norm in Egypt. This is just another Islamic country with typical Islamic values. They'll have an Omam in charge in the near future, and the Christians in that country that they haven't already killed will have to flee for their lives.

Posted by: MissButterfly | February 17, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

This type of incident is typical of the 'religion of peace' and their apologists in the media.

Posted by: robtr | February 17, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, kinda like the Post ignoring the massive right to life marches in DC every year and any story that makes a democrat look bad. Notice how Jack Johnson's party was not printed in the story the other day?????

Posted by: j751 | February 17, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

If the same thing had happened at a Tea Party protest, CBS would have run the story with no hesitation. Of course, no violence did occur. CBS is playing the politically correct game, not wanting to add to a perceived anti-Muslim bias they believe their audience may have. They want to dictate the news. If the story hurts their agenda (liberal), they will sit on it as long as possible, and indefinitely if possible. The truth is that this mob in Egypt and all over the Mideast is something to be wary of... not celebrate. The majority of the participants hate Israel and they hate us. No amount of appeasement, friendly talk or the flowery spin the media tries to put on this is going to change that.

Posted by: vbdevpro | February 17, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen????

The "Dick" Cohen who likes to talk about oral sex with interns?

http://www.observer.com/node/40521

Despite his displeasure with Ms. Spurgeon's job performance, Mr. Cohen seems to have sought out her opinion on matters relevant to his column. After reading a Lewinsky-related article that referred to oral sex as "casual sex," Mr. Cohen engaged Ms. Spurgeon in a discussion on the subject that other staff members found offensive. Staff members said that Mr. Cohen sometimes used foul language in the office and that he remarked on Ms. Spurgeon's appearance, telling her she "looked good in black," according to a Post staff member. On another occasion, the staff member said, Mr. Cohen asked Ms. Spurgeon to "stand up and turn around."

Posted by: fakedude2 | February 17, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

February 14, 2011
Video: "Islamic Anti-Semitic Demonstration in Front of the Synagogue in Tunis LINK >> http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206314.php

Posted by: justQQ | February 17, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think you're missing the point that the people at CBS work with and know Lara Logan. Of course they wanted to protect her and keep her privacy as much as they could. If they could have squashed this story completely, I'm sure they would have.

If someone in your office got brutalized and sexually assaulted, would you be flashing their personal business all over the place.

Wait, being you, maybe you would.

Posted by: stinkweed | February 17, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

You're simply wrong on this one Mr. Cohen. May God give you the compassion and understanding you seem to lack.

Posted by: dvcoop | February 17, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

when you are gang-raped by an angry mob, you can speak on whether you want your face plastered all over the news about it- so that all your family, friends, and strangers will forever attach your face to 'rape victim'. this article was insensitive to the point of blasphemy. i hope you grow the eff up, cohen.

Posted by: tayriley | February 17, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, the column below sums up pretty well CBS's lame response to this story ... as well as that by other news outlets.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=208754

Posted by: jacob10 | February 18, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

This column is idiotic. Interesting that you are outraged by the Jewish angle, and not at all sympathetic to the raped-woman angle. What makes you dare to say what Lara Logan thinks? Just as bad as the congressman saying what Gabriel Giffords thinks (but actually saying the opposite of what she said on record, before she was shot).

Posted by: LoriWisconsin | February 21, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

This column is idiotic. Interesting that you are outraged by the Jewish angle, and not at all sympathetic to the raped-woman angle. What makes you dare to say what Lara Logan thinks? Just as bad as the congressman saying what Gabriel Giffords thinks (but actually saying the opposite of what she said on record, before she was shot).

Posted by: LoriWisconsin | February 21, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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