Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lara Logan's assault reveals human beings at their worst

The “brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” suffered by CBS correspondent Lara Logan when she became separated from her news crew by a frenzied mob of more than 200 people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square last Friday has stirred up some of the most partisan reporting and vituperative online comment I can remember.
Only the women and soldiers that came to her rescue emerge with any credit - and, of course, Logan herself.
The animals that perpetrated the violence on a defenceless woman are not the only examples of human beings at their worst.
The way the attack on Logan has been viewed through a prism of bias to support personal prejudices in the media and blogosphere has been loathsome. Each ‘analysis’ has inspired vitriolic counter-arguments.
First up were media figures that made light of the attack hinting in some way that Logan’s good looks had invited her fate. They retreated quickly under a wave of criticism. Logan was there by right of her experience in covering major world events.
Some chose to use the assault to support their anti-Islamism; others citing instances of sex attacks in America seemed to harp back to the “all men are rapists” days early in the Feminist movement.
Some in the opposite school suggested that either CBS or the reporter herself as a woman and mother should not have been put in harms’ way.
There’s no turning the clock back on that one. But neither should a female foreign correspondent be made to feel she must suffer in silence if she is harassed or worse on an assignment.
It was distasteful that many comments focused on whether Logan was actually raped or not as though her ordeal – that left her days in hospital – should be judged in that light.
When I was a newspaper man, the reporters and photographers that covered war zones were my heroes. They knew the price of falling into the hands of the enemy could be sexual assault – and death – regardless of their gender.

1 comment:

  1. GC. Was it just a question of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or was she deliberately targeted as 'a foreign spy'? She and her crew had been arrested a few days earlier and she was apparently a very well known correspondent both at home and in the Middle East.

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What do you think? GC