Catherine Forsythe

Catherine Forsythe
know a bit about computer security, dogs, horses, skiing, medicine and making risotto. My nickname in real life/online is "Noggie" - I'm on Twitter, with the @dogreader account.

FEBRUARY 16, 2011 10:50AM

CBS News Reporter Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted in Egypt

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The tradition in journalism school has been to stress that reporters are sometimes the first witnesses of history. The function is the journalists is to report the events as impartial observers and to avoid involvement in the story. Those guidelines may have been altered drastically with the competition of twenty hour cable news services and the continuous reporting stream of the internet.

Nevertheless, the dangers of on-location reporting were evident during the recent events in Egypt. Reporters were detained and physically assaulted. In the case of Lara Logan, the Chief Foreign Correspondent for CBS, she suffered one of the horrors that female reporters in the field fear. On the day :

"...  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 home recovering."

Some reports have Ms Logan recover in a hospital facility. 

There are times when female reporters are placed in a quandary. To acknowledge such incidents may curtail their journalistic responsibilities. News organizations have been reluctant to place women in such situations whether they are so vulnerable. Male reporters are also at risk. An example was the physical assault on CNN reporter Anderson Cooper during the recent conflict in Egypt. The horrific incident of Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and killed by Al Qaeda will remain a constant reminder of the dangers that journalists face in conflict situations.

News organizations are put in the delicate situation of reporting on a veteran fellow reporter. Ms Logan is well known in the industry and frequently has appeared on popular programs such as 60 Minutes. Most media sources are striving to handle the situation with the utmost sensitivity.

Others in the news industry are not so kind. 

After the physical attack and assault on Lara Logan, Nir Rosen stated that she was a war monger and is quoted as saying that people "have to find humor in the small things". Rosen is a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security. Perhaps he can explain how the word "humor" can be used in relation to the beating and sexual assault of any woman, let alone a fellow journalist.

Catherine Forsythe
some additional links
Lara Logan in an interview with Charlie Rose, four days before her attack in Egypt. 

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I saw this yesterday and was so upset.
Women are so worthless to some people and it kills me,
rated with hugs
That Rosen guy is such a shmuck. Terrible thing that happened here. Scary.
Reporters take a lot of grief, but the fact remains, those who go into the streets are far braver than the critics -- and usually a damned sight more intelligent.

There's no justifying this awful act, but Lara Logan was intelligent and experienced enough to know the risks she was taking. That in no way excuses or explains the behavior of beasts who pass themselves off as humans.

It would be poetic justice if Neil Rosen were confined in a maximum security prison for the foreseeable future. Perhaps that experience would educate him as to other "humorous" aspects of rape. I'm pretty certain that experience would remove the smug leer from the face of this thoughtless cretin.
I hadn't heard about this. What a terrible ordeal for her and her colleagues. She seems like an incredibly brave person. I don't know that I could be a news reporter - it can be so risky, so dangerous. I've lived and worked in dangerous countries --Kuwait, Colombia, Egypt -- but to be a reporter! Yikes! Thanks for writing this. A very important issue. What a complete asshole that Rosen guy is. I wonder how he would like being raped.
I see by Huff that Rosen has apologized and said he's brought shame on his family. All very fine, but a forced apology, methinks.

Dunno if (some) Muslims believe women have no souls, but it wasn't so long ago that that was the official Christian/European position. Anyway, it doesn't excuse cruelty, since many people who believe animals have no souls (but they themselves do) also believe in treating animals well. (This appears to be a 'luxury' of well-to-do societies, of course.)
This story freaked me out and my hands are shaking right now. It reminded me of that woman in New York years ago who was beaten to death in the street and later on they found all those people who shut their windows because of her constant screaming. Then the recent news of that group of boys who publicly beat the crap out of the one little boy.

Thank God for those Muslim women. This is why I never go to a dance hall without a pack of mother-bears with me. The world is a terrifying place, I couldn't watch the video or the news. I'm glad you posted it, we need to know about these things and I knew your post would be safe to read. Thank you Catherine.
If this can happen to Lara Logan, with all her experience and savvy, it can happen to anyone. I hope Nir Rosen finds another line of work. It seems those comments you mentioned were a few of many. Disgusting!
RWNutsack, check this out:

Last year, the Pentagon reported there had been 3,230 complaints of sexual abuse by members of the military services during fiscal year 2009, an 11 percent increase over the year before. But Pentagon officials acknowledge that most cases go unreported — and of those that do, department figures indicate less than one in four ever get criminally prosecuted.

I guess it's not just those skeery Mozlimz who like raping women, eh, Nutsack? I wonder if the US military thinks women have souls. Then there are the 90,000 or so rapes reported each year in the good ol' USA. We're 9th in number of rapes per capita, far higher in that regard than any Muslim country. It kinda makes ya wonder about them there Christian values, don't it, Nutsack?
I got the excerpt about military sexual abuse from:
The only thing more abhorrent than a woman being raped is a woman being blamed for being raped. Jesus.
Got a link to back up those numbers, RW, or are ya just whistlin' Dixie?
It is amusing, or would be if it wasn't such clear evidence of a diseased soul: Nutsack begins by demonizing Moslems, then when someone points out that rape on a per capita basis is far more prevalent here than in Muslim countries, he comes back with "Yeah but only because of them blacks!"
good for the women (and soldiers) who rescued her. There are f* up people in every society and mobs tend to bring out the worst in us.
You done killed your engine at the starting line. For starters, when you quote statistics, it's customary to cite your source.

But even if one accepts your "30,ooo blacks", how about the other 60,000 (90,00-30,00) rapes Nantehay cited? Or were those committed by the same Mexicans who commit all the other crimes in Arizona and elsewhere?
RW's something else ain't he, Tom? I also enjoyed how he explains that when a rape happens in a Muslim country it's because of the religion prevalent there, but when it happens in a Christian country it happens in spite of the dominant religion. wheeee!
@ RightWingNut,

You have fallen kersplat on your face in your own. You could not possibly refute the truth, and to take on Cordle and nanatehay in a battle of wits and/or statistics further exemplifies your distorted vision of the world and yourself.
Your posts always teach and enlighten. Thank you for this.
rated with love
Nutsack puh-leeeeze! The link is to a white supremacist-type website, which in turn has links to supposed DoJ statistics. Yet, when I clicked on those links, NONE OF THEM WORKED, it was "HTTP 404 Not Found." I quit trying after ten or so of them showed the same non-result. Thanks though for your assertion that The Gays are in on it too, along with the Moo-zlims and them wicked black folk. You've so far left out the Mexicans and the Jews but I'm sure you'll get to them next. Don't forget the Belgians though!

You really shouldn't enter into a battle of wits when you are unarmed. I too have bumped noses with nana and Tom. I can assure you that they are FULLY armed for ANY battle of wits.

Oh yeah......Catherine is no slouch in the wits department either.......just so you know before you step in it with her.

Puts a blot on the "nonviolent" claims of the protesters.
The attack on Ms. Logan is horrifying. Bless the women and soldiers who came to her rescue.
keep in mind egypt is a totaly deferent culture and the way she was dressed is seen as a "invitation" there ; most likely if she had dressed fitting the local culture then most likely this would not have happend.

Temting people and then cry when they act is the same as leaving your car unlocked with running engine and then cry when its stolen.

SO she has atleast some of the blame.
Latest news (from Slate) - Journalist Nir Rosen has resigned from a fellowship at NYU after making fun of CBS reporter Lara Logan on Twitter.
I'm guessing that if and when the truth comes out about the attack on Lara Logan, the blame will fall on Mubarak's police thugs, who were sent in to stir up violence as an excuse to bring in the military to put down the rebellion.

Why do I say that? Because the thugs were also sent in to intimidate the press for daring to report the truth. Anderson Cooper was intimidated, Lara Logan was violated -- and in both cases, so was the truth.
Nana - "whistling Dixie" - cute.
Thanks Cmulder for pointing out that rape is the woman's fault. "She shouldn't have been dressed like that." Wow, I've never heard that one before.

My apologies Catherine, I'll stop haunting your comment thread now. It's just that whenever a story like this breaks a wave of idiots come out of the woodwork wanting to blame the rape victim, not to mention the Muslims, black people, The Gays, and the Order of the Illuminati.
@ Nanatehay: Don't forget the Bulgarians too.
Somehow I'm not surprised. Chritiane Amanpur is one of my heroes.
and good for you for posting this.
I am very sorry this happened and wonder if it was wise to put her in that particular setting. I was glad to hear that several other women came to her aid and drove off the perpetrators. I then heard that 20 Egyptian military arrived. Thank you for your report.
I've seen this reporter many times on "60 minutes". What an awful black mark on the record of this historic uprising.
I covered anti war demonstrations for ABC News back in the Sixties as a stringer.....and I was given just one firm order by my bosses: Don't become the story.

Therein lies the dilemma: how can you cover stories like these without being swept up in them.

The answer is quite simple: from a distance.

Over the years, it has become de rigueur to put correspondents and camera crews into the middle of exploding stories in order to provide a credible backdrop for their reports.

This outgrowth of television journalism is neither wise nor proper.

The proper role for a reporter is to interview those who were on the scene of an event....not to be the eyewitness yourself. That's what my old editors meant by becoming the story.

One of the dirty secrets of the journalistic profession is how many reporters are strapped when they go out to cover stories. Outside the United States, however, where it is more difficult to carry a firearm, many news organizations provide professional bodyguards to protect the teams.

Those of us who didn't carry guns usually carried Nikon F2s....because they made excellent weapons in a pinch. If you've ever been hit with F2, you know what I mean. Those cameras were like billy clubs.

Assumptions about who, specifically, attacked Lara aren't just premature; they're insupportable. If you've been in the middle of a riot, you would know that, once a riot starts, people from both sides of the conflict start to behave in manners diametrically opposed to their previously espoused positions. The non-violent become aggressors and the agitators often retreat. No one knows why this happens for sure, but mob psychology is what it is.

There's some truth in the statement that Logan's presence, as a woman in Western garb, might have agitated some men...but this is Egypt, not Iran, and there's no rigid dress code for women in Egypt.

Much more to the point is the observation that, to a large extent, the media aided and abetted this revolution, and Logan was probably attacked in resentment as an expression of disapproval of the media's role in fomenting the uprising.

The manner in which Logan was attacked, however, was dictated by her gender.

In the final analysis, I blame the moron who sent a camera crew into the middle of that melee without adequate security.
Sage has some, well, sage comments. TV producers want, ah, sexy shots. Lots of action in the background. Otherwise it might as well be radio, no? Anderson Cooper apologized for the drab no-action background when he was hiding out in a hotel room for part of his Egyptian coverage. Actually, it probably started long before, but I'm inclined to blame his hurricane coverage for a lot of this current approach.

Seeing what's going on in these places is very helpful - to the viewer and to the protestors (or whoever) - but it's also distracting... Are we really listening to the info while watching a reporter get jostled around. And, also, is the reporter actually able to give sensible info or is s/he just illustrating the story.

Excellent angle, Mr. Merlin.
Thanks for all the comments. The perspectives are interesting. My apologies that real life demands are such today that my attention is pulled in a multitude of directions.

I would like to highlight this from the L.A. Times:

"...According to the Committee to Protect Foreign Journalists, a watchdog group in which Logan serves as a board member, at least 140 reporters have been injured or killed while covering the protests in Egypt since Jan. 30."

the link is:,0,7395138.story

I post the full URL because I find it troubling that the Los Angeles Times has posted this article under its "Entertainment" tab. That I find unfortunate.
The earlier protests included a lot of women, and I think what was important to recognize is that crowds of hundreds of thousands of angry men are not all the same people in the same mood. Most of them, Egyptian, male, would not rape a woman. Some would, and unfortunately she ran into the group that would before women and soldiers could stop the attack. As a seasoned reporter and having grown up in South Africa, where rape is extremely common, she would not be purposefully putting herself at risk any more than she was any other day she was there. Women can get raped anywhere, any time, by strangers and men they know, in any country and by any nationality or religion. I am really sorry for Ms Logan, and even more sorry her American colleagues would rather say shit like "she's a target, she's a blonde, she's a woman" instead of express sympathy for violent assault.
That must have been so scary for her. I have always admired her bravery and remember some good reports from Afghanistan. But it is a dangerous world out there. Sometimes I long for the days when women were protected like in a harem but then I have a soul so I guess Im out here on the path now and need to fend for myself. Brutal.
Thoroughly horrific...all of it.
What kind of sick bastard writes "Yes, yes, it's terrible that it happened to her, but wouldn't it have been funny if...." What a condescending MF. I hope he never gets another job in his life. (That
I meant to add (That's harsh, sorry) but I'm not sure it is.
I hadn't heard this news. Thank you for writing about it. Your information and knowledge is truly amazing. What do you do for a living?
@Bonnie Russel, perhaps by this group, they are a non-profit security frim that works all over the world. The have photos on their site of some of their people doing 'security' durring an Anderson Cooper filming in Haiti last year. The non-profit thing may help them get into countries with reporters et al that would freakout if a company like Blackwater was hired... they just posted a 'lessons learned' on this situation - it is worth reading. They make a bunch of points I have never thought of, but I am not a security expert. Link to post: I so hope she recovers fully and that the animals that did this face Egyptian justice (i.e. Rendition) ;)