Updated after the jump: Commenters respond to bloggers respond to reporters respond to Tweeters respond to the inexcusable crime against Lara Logan.
Breaking news: South African TV journalist Lara Logan, known for her shocking good looks and ballsy knack for pushing her way to the heart of the action, was brutally and repeatedly raped while a crowd of 200 celebrated the February 11 resignation of 30-year Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Logan was in Tahrir Square with her “60 Minutes” news team when Mubarak's announcement broke. Then, in a rush of frenzied excitement, some Egyptian protesters apparently consummated their newfound independence by sexually assaulting the blonde reporter:
CBS News reports that “she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration.” Then, the horrific assault:
In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.
Thirty-nine-year-old Logan has long attacked Hollywood-lite reporters for their dumbing down of overseas violence — at the same time using her Hollywood good looks and spotlight to push a more hard-hitting agenda.
In this 2008 interview with Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, the gutsy stunner calls America out on its appetite for easy, bite-sized war reporting:
Strangely, Logan had just been detained by the Egyptian government during anti-Mubarak protests the week before her rape, and was reported as having returned to the U.S. momentarily on February 4.
But she went back again, hoping to catch Middle Eastern history in the making — and fell victim to the chaos of the moment. An Esquire interview with Logan last Friday called her “insane” for making the return trip to Egypt. One chilling excerpt:
But Lara Logan, you see, is not afraid. “There's no doubt in my mind that the situation we were caught in before, we are now arriving into again,” she tells The Politics Blog.
Another unsettling discovery for us, in light of Logan's brutal rape, is how viciously she's long been attacked by both right and left bloggers for her no-holds-barred approach. On February 3, Mofo Politics wrote: “OMG if I were her captors and there were no sanctions for doing so? I would totally rape her.” The Huffington Post has dealt her a few blows as well.
Logan's sex life famously came under fire in 2008. From the New York Post:
Sexy CBS siren Lara Logan spent her days covering the heat of the Iraq war – but that was nothing compared to the heat of her nights.
The “60 Minutes” reporter and former swimsuit model apparently courted two beaus while she was in Baghdad, and has been labeled a home wrecker for allegedly destroying the marriage of a civilian contractor there, sources said.
Passions got so hot in the combat zone that one of her lovers, Joe Burkett, brawled in a Baghdad “safe house” with her other paramour, CNN war reporter Michael Ware, a source said.
The wife of Burkett, a US Embassy worker, claims the sultry 37-year-old correspondent seduced him while bullets flew overhead.
But there are also those who've focused on appreciating her attack approach — including one Los Angeles Times blogger, who commented on the “Daily Show” cameo:
“I for one was struck by Logan's candor. What she says about the sanitizing of war coverage borders on media sacrilege. You rarely hear that kind of opinion from a major media representative, let alone on a major television station. Impressive.”
Impressive, indeed — but nobody's invincible. For a look back at Logan's break into big journalism, see 2005 New York Times piece “War Zone 'It Girl' Has a Big Future at CBS News.”
Update: Well! Never has this girl's inbox been so thoroughly inundated with hatred. Scary stuff, guys.
Just so we're clear: Rape is awful. Logan's rape was not her fault. Nothing she did before or during the February 11 attack could have possibly invited or justified the heinous crime that was committed against her. And, just so we're clear, nowhere in providing links to her highly publicized past did we mean to suggest those facts had somehow led to her assault.
Seriously though. We may be wordy and nosy and over-saturated, but we know our human rights.
True, Salon.com, apparently looking for its own hard-hitting approach to the day's biggest story, did choose to take that angle — meanwhile reprinting about half our story on its own pages (enough said) — but that was another blogger's choice.
Fox News, for its part, went after one prestigious New York University fellow and rampant Tweeter in particular, a somewhat public figure who made the mistake of thumbing out some disrespectful blurbs about war mongers and small humor and his own lack of sympathies.
And NPR apparently got so fed up with the hate speech in its comment stream that it resorted to deleting all the nasty ones.
But back to Logan.
We're mostly just glad the “blonde reporter” is alive today, and hopefully recovering, hopefully well on her way back to fighting the good fight for truth, journalism and girls who happen to fall on the gorgeous side of the fight for truthful journalism.
Things are definitely looking up on that front, seeing as she had the guts to go public with the roughest story of all yesterday: her own.
Originally posted February 15 at 1:35 p.m.