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Posted at 9:00 PM ET, 02/16/2011

What was Nir Rosen thinking? Scholar apologizes, explains Lara Logan critique on Twitter, "no place for nuance"

By The Reliable Source

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."

Lara Logan, 2007. (AP/Gregory Bull)

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."

By The Reliable Source  | February 16, 2011; 9:00 PM ET
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I find his remarks lame and unconvincing.

At one level, this is a story about the sort of male geek misogyny we see constantly on social media, and yes, about the limitations of Twitter for nuance.

But there's another level to this story that's not being examined. And that is his vicious and nasty believe that any reporter in the mainstream media is somehow "a war monger" because they are in a U.S. media organization. That's just lame and infantile. In this, Rosen is no different than Amy Goodmann of Democracy Now! and scores of other lefties, including thousands of people commenting on newspaper forums every day, claiming that the mainstream media are somehow to blame for the war in Iraq.

It's a thesis that is really unacceptable regarding the New York Times and this newspaper and the three networks. Just because they didn't adopt the shrill, doctrinaire Marxist view of this war doesn't mean they were doing the bidding of Bush.

And that's really what underlies the hate -- the belief that a young woman just doing her job in a network is somehow a caricature of an evil war-mongering capitalist. It really is so Pravda 1970s.

Rosen then distracts from his mask slipping by trying to gin up the other Marxist meme -- "it's all racism" or "it's all about imperialist neglect of the third world". Well, no. It's about a woman who was attacked in a crowd in a society where men have even more of a problem than Rosen respecting women's rights.

Rather than be fired, he should be penalized by having to sit in a seminar for two hours with this reporter and other mainstream reporters and forced to debate them on the merits of his proclaimed arguments about "war-mongering" and "racism". Let him try to document his tendentious and propagandistic utterly non-journalistic screeds in front of real people in the light of day, and not on the Internet.

Posted by: Catfitz40 | February 16, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Rosen says now he said all those disgusting things because he hates celebrity culture and the way people ignore the other deaths of journalists. Ok fine. How do you explain his previous comments? This does not sound like a rational person.

Posted by: TuJo | February 16, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The post by zidar on February 16, 2011 @ 9:17PM is bigoted and offensive. Please remove this item.

Posted by: ihelpkids | February 16, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

He was drunk. He was telling his truth. He is evil.

Posted by: TEXDEM | February 16, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Zidar: generalizing and hating.

@ grillshooter: unacceptable and shameful.

MODS: I'm amazed that you haven't removed the above. WTF?

Posted by: tangenjill | February 16, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

And he's pulled out the "Mainstream Media" because he's looking for a way to turn this into a job with Fox.

Posted by: TEXDEM | February 16, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

This idiot disgusting pig just said he is working on a project to inform us of the atrocities inflicted on Egyptian women. Really......? I say that is BS. Any person who would be investigating violence against women would NEVER tweet the things he did. He admits he has ruined his bet !

Posted by: akpulella | February 16, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

What did Lara Logan say? Did she release a statement? Until then I think NOTHING about this incident. Only sadness that it happened to anybody. It reads like Mr. Rosen was addressing the volume of issues that have sought to sidetrack the integrity and sincerity of this historic event. He could have taken a moment to edit, him being a professor and all. There were at least 2 other "network blondes", that I saw, working their stories. I mean SERIOUSLY! Did you see how the other reporters were getting pushed around? and every time something got out of hand someone "Egyptian" stepped in to "handle it". Why? Because they were claiming their country back!!

Posted by: bklynmaxred | February 17, 2011 1:50 AM | Report abuse


Lack of morals and respect for others.
Lack of maturity and intelligence.
Behavior limited to being primitive.
They are BULLIES!!


1. being in a rough or unfinished state: PRIMITIVE, UNDEVELOPED
2. lacking social refinement: IGNORANT, UNLEARNED
3. offensive in manner or action: DISCOURTEOUS, UNCIVILIZED


1. one habitually cruel
2. to use browbeating language or behavior
3. inducing a sense of inferiority into another
4. intimidation through insults, or aggressive behavior
5. through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment

Posted by: LMBR | February 17, 2011 3:12 AM | Report abuse

What a lying piece of crap this Rosen is. His supposed "apology" was a LIE. He KNEW she was SEXUALLY assaulted BEFORE he made his sick twitter comments. Now he claims he didn't know. THAT, liberal dupes is called a LIE. 8-)

Posted by: souldeep64 | February 17, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

your sociopathic personality is showing, mr. nir. just because you claim to be a arbiter for womens' rights doesn't mean you care at all about it- you are so obviously trying to save your ass. too bad no one believes you.

Posted by: tayriley | February 17, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"64" - liberal dupes? Really? You're no better than Rosen.

Posted by: MILWI | February 23, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

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