What was Nir Rosen thinking? Scholar apologizes, explains Lara Logan critique on Twitter, "no place for nuance"
What was Nir Rosen thinking? The journalist/foreign-policy scholar let loose on Twitter on Tuesday evening with a burst of cynicism upon the news of CBS newswoman Lara Logan's brutal assault in Cairo:
"Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson [Cooper] . . . 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. . . . Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [that] I'm sorry."
Within hours, Rosen was apologizing profusely via the same terse medium ("a thoughtless joke . . . [I] added insult to Ms. Logan's injury"). But by Wednesday morning, he was out of a job: New York University announced he had resigned as a fellow from its Center on Law and Security. "I think he realized he had overstepped his bounds," the center's executive director, Karen J. Greenberg, told our colleague Valerie Strauss. By the end of the day, he told us, he'd lost another job: consulting for an NGO.
On Wednesday night, Rosen seemed dazed by his career's Internet-speed implosion (and weirded out by the surge of followers to the Twitter account he plans to abandon).
In an e-mail, he expressed regret and shame -- and tried to explain what he was thinking. He tweeted out of annoyance with a "celebrity culture" that "turns the journalist into the story." "Had Logan been a non-white journalist, this story would have never made it to the news. Ahmed Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist, was killed in cold blood and nobody ever heard of him. Dozens of other women were harassed . . ."
But, Rosen added, "These are not points that should be made at the expense of a woman being abused." Also: "Twitter is no place for nuance."
The Reliable Source
| February 16, 2011; 9:00 PM ET
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