Friday, February 18, 2011

Nir Rosen attacks those who reported his mocking Lara Logan rape, continues to condemn Logan

In a column at Salon and in an interview with a blogger, Nir Rosen has said that journalists motivated by conservative bias and careerism are to blame for the troubles he's experienced since he mocked the gang rape and beating of Lara Logan. In an interview with an NYU blogger (read here), Rosen says:

I think certainly my tweets have been unfairly attacked and blown out of proportion.


I was not aware of the right wing attack machine waiting to take me down, nor did I realize, even though I was criticizing the celebrity culture in the media, what happens if you mock one of those celebrities, especially if you do it in such an offensive way as I did.

That said, I find the reactions sanctimonious and silly. A few crude jokes on twitter do not make a philosophy, they just make you a momentary jerk. I didn’t mean it and I have a record of eight years of risking my life for justice to prove my values. Had I been a right-wing writer I doubt this would have happened to me.


Others include Michael Totten, Lee Smith and Jim Geraghty of the National Review, who led the crusade against me... They are using it to further their careers.

Geraghty has quite reasonably responded in a blog post that he had hardly heard of Rosen prior to this incident and has no expectation of gaining anything personally from reporting on him.  (Read here.)

In a column he has written for Salon, Rosen also strongly condemns columnist Jeffrey Goldberg for using the phrase "this Nir Rosen person" in a blog post condemning Rosen's tweeted attacks on Logan.  Rosen finds that phrase offensive and accuses Goldberg of "act(ing) like he's never heard of me".  That's one interpretation. Another is that Goldberg was just expressing disdain for him, or saying that he considered Rosen insignificant.  Maybe Goldberg actually never heard of Rosen -- that is possible. In response to this perceived slight, Rosen writes that Goldberg "has blood on his hands" for his support of the Iraq War.  That's an ad hominem argument Rosen may want to make in another context, but making it in this context makes it seem petty -- merely a tit-for-tat attack on someone who has wounded his pride.  That Rosen considers such an insignificant perceived slight noteworthy shows the sheer narcissism of the man.  Why does he consider this issue worth discussing in his column at all?  How can someone so willing to be offensive to others have such a glass jaw when it comes to comments about him?

Even as he apologizes for his tweeted mocking statements about Logan, Rosen continues to defend them, casting his difficulties in terms that reiterate those statements and makes further implicit attacks on her. He casts himself in positive -- even heroic -- terms, claiming that he has suffered condemnation because he is a champion of the downtrodden and Lara Logan a supporter of the powerful.  He also implicitly condemns her as being preoccupied with the impact the Egyptian uprising would have on Israel.

This is not the first time my words have landed me in trouble. I have been challenged many times on my support of resistance movements and my support of engaging with America's enemies, and I have never and will never apologize for those stances.


My resentment of Logan was because I felt she was a terrible journalist who supported wars that I had covered.


So why all the focus on Logan? The U.S. media did not care when Egyptian journalists (or any other Egyptian) were being jailed. Only when pretty white people showed up did Egypt really start to matter, and then, they were preoccupied with the scary Muslim Brotherhood possibly taking over, or what would happen to poor Israel now that there was a "threat" of democracy in Egypt.

This is why I wrote in a Twitter that I was already rolling my eyes. Even before we knew what happened to her, I knew how to anticipate the media response in the United States. So Logan and Anderson Cooper have become the story, instead of the thousands of Egyptians who have far more compelling stories.

You can read his Salon column here: "How 480 characters unraveled my career".

Interesting headline he chose for that column.  Rosen accuses those who condemn his mocking of Logan's rape as careerists, yet focuses his first published piece about the incident on its impact on his own career.  That seems odd.  Maybe this careerism charge is a bit of projection on his part.

Rosen gives every indication of using his career as a sort of ego trip in which he fantasizes about being a revolutionary.  That he wants the world to see him as a freedom fighter is very clear from the following images which he has posted on his Facebook page.  (More here.)  The first is him.

Rosen's Facebook page also includes a photo of his toddler son dressed in a Hezbollah t-shirt.  (Although Rosen sees fit to post it publicly, I won't post it here.  You can view it for yourself here at Rosen's Facebook page.)

UPDATE (2/10/2011): Since I posted this, Nir Rosen has wisely removed the photo of his son, which was captioned "Hizb in the house",  from his Facebook page.

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