In the Arena

Rape and Revolution

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Jeffrey Goldberg is right to be disgusted by the various attempts to make light–or to make a political point–out of the sexual assault and beating visited upon Lara Logan of CBS. The attack is yet another reminder that those cowering, sniveling members of the mainstream media who actually go out and report things are not so cowardly or sniveling after all. I am constantly amazed by the courage shown by my fellow journalists, male and female, in extremely difficult circumstances. And their absence from the streets of Iran this week demonstrates just how important the work they do is: there really are no reliable accounts of what’s happening to the protesters there. For all we know, the numbers killed and wounded might have dwarfed the hundreds of victims in Egypt’s revolution.

An Iranian friend reminds me, apropos of Lara Logan, that there were wild depravities–gang rapes–visited upon the male protesters taken prisoner in Iran during the 2009  post-election demonstrations. Unseen, with victims who were not celebrities, these atrocities received little notice in the west. Yes, the social networking has been crucial to the current prairie fire–but without the international camera crews, and reporters like Lara, Richard Engel (it was so much fun to watch him interviewing the triumphant young Egyptians in Arabic) and the fine CNN crew, Egypt would never have happened. And so I have less than zero patience for those who would make light, or make hay, of the Logan tragedy. I pray she recovers fully and soon.