view counter
Media Watch: The Lara Logan Cover-Up?
Were her attackers shouting ‘Jew, Jew,’ or not?
Associate Editor
Photo Galleria: 

‘You almost never hear the word ‘Israel,’” wrote Thomas Friedman in The New York Times (Feb. 8) of the recent Cairo demonstrations.

Not in Cairo, nor in the Times’ coverage of the demonstrations. You didn’t hear the chants that called Hosni Mubarak an “Israeli traitor,” or see the effigy depicting Mubarak “as a vampire with a Star of David on his forehead,”

and there was more than one such effigy near the center of the square. You could only have read about that in the Jerusalem Post (Feb. 3).

You also wouldn’t have known that when CBS correspondent Lara Logan suffered “a brutal and sustained sexual assault,” according to CBS, the 200-man Egyptian mob was chanting, “Jew, Jew,” as they assaulted her, if indeed they did. The Times didn’t have that. You could only have read that in the New York Post (Feb. 16), which cited an unnamed person at CBS as its source.

Though the Times print edition didn’t have it, the Times online Caucus blog (Feb. 16) provided a link to an outside blog that was headlined, “’60 Minutes’ Correspondent CBS Reporter Lara Logan Repeatedly Sexually Assaulted by Egyptian Protesters Yelling, ‘Jew! Jew!’”

Did the crowd chant that or not? If the crowd did, why not report it? If the crowd didn’t, why link to it?

Most other mainstream papers, didn’t report the “Jew” chants, either, except in columns or blogs.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen was as ambivalent as the Times. He explained (Feb. 16) that the “Jew, Jew,” story first appeared in the New York Post, “so a second source would be advisable. Still, the assault and its undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism (though Logan is not Jewish) is very troubling and, at the very least, suggests that not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind.”

When the Times of London (Feb. 20) picked up and further investigated the anti-Jewish angle to the Logan attack (published behind a pay wall), other papers, including the New York Daily News and New York magazine, picked up the baton, referencing the Times of London, not the Post. The New York Times still held back.

Was the New York Post’s reputation the only problem? Do a search of The New York Times and you’ll see how often The New York Times cites stories from the Post.

It’s not like the Logan attack and its Jewish angle were one of a kind. According to a statement from Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, there have been “at least three … violent episodes,” including Logan, in which “the perpetrators accused the journalists of being Jewish, or of spying for Israel.”

Alexander Flax, associate director for media relations at the ADL, told The Jewish Week that in addition to Logan, two members of a Fox News crew were severely beaten and hospitalized after being accused of being Israeli spies. The online New York Times linked to that story but did not report it.

And a news team from Sweden was attacked and hospitalized with severe injuries, accused of spying for Israel. That story also was almost exclusively online in the United States, not in print.

So now that brings us to three violent assaults laced with anti-Semitism that weren’t reported in most mainstream papers, only one of which can be “blamed” on the reputation of the New York Post as sensationalist and “right wing.”

There may have been more assaults. Al Jazeera (Feb. 3), hardly right wing, reported that “many of the gangs who attack reporters shout ‘Yehudi!’ (‘Jew!’).”

That’s “gangs,” in the plural; “reporters,” plural.

If the New York Post reported that a CBS source said the gang attacking Logan shouted “Jew, Jew,” was that really a story that couldn’t be believed because it appeared in the Post? Or was it hard to believe because it exposed the hollowness of the previous coverage? Many journalists were openly rooting for the “pro-democracy” demonstrators to succeed. Then, as Richard Cohen writes, the Logan story exposed the demonstrators as being less than advertised.

“The crowd in Tahrir Square,” writes Cohen, “was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy. In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat.”

Michael Graham pointed out in the Boston Herald (Feb. 17) that CBS’ own statement about Logan stated that she was not caught in the middle of a pro- and anti-Mubarak street fight but that she was “covering the jubilation” when she was attacked “amidst the celebration.”

The idea that this jubilation and celebration included a mob of 200 men screaming their hatred of Jews while they sexually assaulted Logan “doesn’t fit the narrative,” said Graham.

Here’s what also doesn’t fit the “peaceful” narrative.” The Egyptian Ministry of Health, reported Daily News Egypt (Feb. 17), said there were 365 people killed and 5,500 injured during the 18 days of protests. Even given the fighting that broke out at the very end, these numbers are closer to the Gaza war of 2009 than to Philadelphia in1776.

Many, from the Village Voice to the right, wondered why CBS kept quiet for four days about what happened to Logan. In that corporate hush-up, it is understandable why the Post’s source at CBS didn’t want to be identified.

But the anti-Jewish chants, writes, Diana West, columnist for the online Town Hall (Feb. 18), a conservative site, were “an essential piece of the story, this clue to the hysterical, obsessive anti-Semitism of the Islamic world including Egypt. … Such a news blackout is hard to imagine if, for example, a star correspondent had been similarly violated by a mob of tea party-goers at, say, a massive Glenn Beck rally — and particularly if other correspondents had previously suffered unprecedented assaults and threats from the same crowd.” There would have been “a natural zeal to investigate cultural or other reasons for the brutality. Not excuses. And not disinterest.”

What of the culture? There has been anti-Semitic incitement, broadcast from Egyptian mosques, week in and week out, long before the anti-Mubarak uprising, and Islamic leaders in Egypt have continued to attack Jews, as well as Israel, in the aftermath.

Kim Barker in a Times op-ed (Feb. 19) did not write about what this augured for Jews but feared that someone reading about this might become Islamophobic. “This attack,” insisted Barker, “had nothing to do with Islam.”

Did the anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group in Cairo, have anything to do with it? Don’t blame them either. The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t even have anything to do with Islam, it has “eschewed violence” and is “largely secular,” said director of National Intelligence James Clapper during hearings (Feb. 10) on Capitol Hill.

The Obama White House corrected him later that day.


Last Update:

05/06/2011 - 10:48
anti-Semitism, CBS, Egypt, Lara Logan, Media, Thomas Friedman
The Jewish Week App -- Now Available!
view counter


The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

In the aftermath of Ms. Logan's 60 Minutes interview we now know that anti-semitism, "anti-Zionism," and sheer paranoa fueled the Egyptian mob violence which led an innocent journalist to be brutally sexually assaulted.

Ms. Logan's presence in the midst of the Tarhir Square Square mob was foolish. BBC reporters were advised that it had become unsafe for foreign journalists in the square and did not report from that scene. The BBC reporters did report the "story" as did other reporters who similarly chose not to report from the mob scene. But sure this foolishness cannot serve as basis for brutally attacing Ms. Logan or anyone else.

Rather than query the motives of the all too politcally correct media in failing to report the role of the baiting of the mob by Jewish and Israeli slurs, we should perhaps concentrate on the Jewish community's own failures in this matter.

Where was the community as a support for Ms. Logan. Where were the prominent Jews at CBS and elsewhere in allowing untowards risks for reporters to "get the scoop." Where were the Israeli government and the Jewish community in failing to timely extending their resources to Ms. Logan and making it known to the world that Ms. Logan's suffering was an intolerable affront to human dignity.

As jews we need to worry about doing justice than debating the topic.

we need journalist like lara logan who can fight back and show their enthusiasm towards journalism

Once again, the left led by the tribe's own Thomas Friedman are not dealing with reality. The Arab world is anti-semitic. From the text books they use in schools that depict Jews in the same way as the Nazis depicted us to the sermons at the Mosques that frequently call for "Itbach El-Yahud", kill the Jews. From Mecca to Cairo to Rammallah, anti-semitism is used as a political weapon by leaders to frighten, justify and control and is the standard currency of discourse. Why would this be different for the demonstrators in Tahir Square? My dear liberal friends, this was not the "Summer of Love" or even Kent State. Many people died.
We still don't know where this revolution will lead and we do know that like most of the people in Egypt, these contemporary Jerry Rubin's and Tom Haydens, were weaned on a diet of anti-semitism in their Mosques and in their schools. Tom, before you break out the old protest vinyl, get a dose of reality.

So when responsible journalism sources refrain from repeating the unverifiable claims of a second hand anonymous source they are "fitting the reporting to their narrative." OTOH, when other sources repeat it and fit it all together into a narrative of the prominence of antisemitism in recent events they are not involved in narrative driven reporting. They are "just reporting the news."

‘You almost never hear the word ‘Israel,’” wrote Thomas Friedman in The New York Times (Feb. 8) of the recent Cairo demonstrations.
OMG! Friedman's got to be kidding! I watched some of the video of the major networks for one hour -tops- and I saw several ant-Jewish and anti-Israel signs and effigies. Considering that the movement of journalists was limited by the authorities and the obvious dangers in the crowd, and that Israel had NOTHING to do with the reasons and causes of the demonstrations, I consider the anti-semitism that we DID see a stark reminder that THE Egyptian PEOPLE are NOT the idealized vision of humanity that the Left portrays. The fact is: THE PEOPLE are likely to be more radical and anti-semitic than the Mubarak government.

I think the "why" is fairly obvious. In the minds of Egyptians the fact that she was what they thought to be a Jewish woman means she had it coming. And that doesn't fit into the media narrative of Israel is evil and Islamaphobia is sweeping the world.

I have for several days been searching the NY Times for some coverage of the very recent Grad rocket shelling of Beersheba from Gaza, which apparently co-incided precisely with the arrival in Syria of the two Iranian warships which were permitted the other day to transit the Suez Canal. If there was any such coverage--even of the shelling itself-- it was miniscule, buried in one of the back pages. Editorializing through news reporting is nothing new, but if done through selectively-controlled omissions (such as in the Lara Logan incident), serious questions are raised as to the on-going quality of journalistic standards.

As an Egyptian Jew, I wanted to thank you for your excellent article on Lara Logan and related issues of the revolution and on Egypt's virulent anti Semitism I can confirm that when we lived in Egypt, female Jews and other minorities were constantly being groped or assaulted in the streets. My mother would hold on to me ever time we went shopping. The whole experience was obscene and humiliating. Western women who visited Egypt and even Europe *where many Arabs also live, suffered the same experience. Unfortunately, American women were not aware of the Arab's behavior and often were assaulted. As for anti Semitism, Egypt is the most anti Semitic nation in the world, along with Spain, Britain and Saudi Arabia. Not a day passes with anti Jewish hate speech and articles in Mosques, in the media, in schools and in every day conversation. Finally, Democracy is anathema to Islam and to Sharia law. Islam is in the blood and DNA of Arabs. It is intolerant of other religions and other ethnicities. As you may know, nearly one million Jews were ethnically cleansed from nine Arab countries and Iran. So much for the Religion of Peace.
The question asked why would the media except for a few sites report the mob yelping at Lara Logan Jew!Jew! perhaps for the same reason CNN covered over some of the faces of the perps.
Isn't that interesting! A piece written empathetic to the better nature of the Egyptian people doesn't get published on this website. I'm sure had I had written a piece exposing the 'hysterical, obsessive anti-Semitism of the Islamic world' it would have been published in bold type. I am neither of Jewish or Egyptian descent. I am however a person whose opinion is open to sway. I think you have swayed it just now, just fine.
Of course it is relevant to report the Jew-hatred in the Egyptian crowd and society as a whole. Other TV and radio reporters have vaguely alluded to it. Here's photographic evidence that the "democracy" crowd contained anti-Semitic elements: Arab media demonizes Jews, so it's no wonder Egyptians harbor and exhibit a racist attitude. We can only hope/pray that true democratic values will prevail there.
The tone of this article would be laughable if the author wasn't so serious. Great angle, guys. An innocent woman was tortured, raped, and humiliated within an inch of her life, and the story is about whether some Jews were insulted in absentia while this was taking place? Talk about calloused myopia. Lara Logan is a victim here, world Jewry is not.
What wider implications? I have observed young women stray into groups of men at New Year festivities where they have been surrounded, mauled and groped to the point of obvious emotional distress before being left alone. And, this is in Australia, which is supposedly a sexually liberated society. There is a noticeable frenzied behaviour when this happens. Invariably, someone has palmed the woman's breasts, which - depending on the size of her bust - doesn't leave much surface area for the others to grope. So, they start pinching with their thumb and fingers around the periphery of her breasts or wherever they can get a feel. Mostly, the incident lasts less than thirty seconds before these dudes hightail it out of there and immerse themselves in the crowd. The distress however caused to the young woman is patently obvious. And that is in only thirty seconds. Ms Logan, reportedly, sustained a similar assault for more than twenty minutes in what is known to be a rather sexually repressed society. Whether that time increment is correct, or not, is immaterial. It is a frightening experience to endure for a woman even for only a few seconds. I would hazard to guess the only wider implications of any worthy note are those for Ms Logan herself. She has experienced many close encounters over the years in various theatres of war as a war correspondent, all of which she has survived relatively unscathed. Whereas, she may have prepared her mind for those eventualities, these events I doubt she did. As far as deriving anything else from this unfortunate incident with regards to the Egyptian people, I suggest you begin with the fact there were sufficiently ample people around Ms Logan more than prepared to come to her rescue once they were aware of her plight - as many of them did.
Listen. We'll never know what really happened that morning until Lara herself feels like talking about it. If she ever does. All I care about right now is that she gets better. Returns to work. An that her attackers are found, and convicted of the awful crime they committed against her.
It is incredible that some of your responders defend the lack of coverage bythe NY Times and the refusal of CBS toacknowledge the horrific sexual assault of Lara Logan. First, the media (including the NY Times) always reports incidents that seem unfavorable to Israel without independent verification. I can think of 3 incidents ofcf the top of my head: 1. The alleged massacre at Jenin that never happened. 2. The reports that "innocent peace demonstrators" were attacked by the Israeli navy in their attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. There was nothing in the initial reports that remotely suggested that the Israelis were acting in self-defense as films later proved. 3. When Netanyahu opened an exit from the underground passageway that surrounds the Kotel(Western Wall), he was attacked as being provocative by media sources and politicians including Sen. Feinstein. The fact that the opening of the exit had nothing to do with Islamic holy sites did not matter as Israel was attacked before verification of the events surrounding the incident. What can anybody expect from a newspaper that had the false headlines claiming that John McCain had and affair while refusing to publicize the Holocaust.
The whole attack on Lara Logan has been underreported... the fact that a gang of thugs did that to her in the midst of the demonstrations... no one is looking at the wider implications of that attack on what kind of society will emerge... and the anti-Semitic chants add to it but aren't the whole story.
The whole thing reminds me of the many emails I receive with some startling revelation, as "reported" somewhere. When I try to find the source, it inevitably leads back to some minor publication somewhere, and their questionable source. Typical of this were the "stories" about Pres. Obama's trip overseas costing $200 million per day --all originating from the same small newspaper. Here we have the same situation. The New York Post, certainly more reliable on Lindsay Lohan's latest escapade than on international news, reports something from someone, that NO ONE else has heard about. Suddenly, because it fits the right wing view of the world, it becomes "fact."
this is a ridiculous story. the egyptians are friends of Jewish people. if the egyptians hate Jews would israel have made sinai Judenrein to appease them? This would make the egyptians nazis and the israeli goyerment kapos. which we all know could never be true
The important question not considered here is: who exactly were the men committing this attack? Logan had filed a report showing Egyptian police brutality, already reported that she and here crew were seized by Mubarak's people, detained, questioned, threatened and accused of being Israeli spies, which plainly they couldn't have believed since their boss, as we have heard ad nauseam, was Israel's most reliable client in the Arab world. Obviously accusing any victim of police repression of being an Israeli or a Jew was a standard, and bitterly cynical, device of Mubarak's thugs (which does indeed reflect and expoit endemic anti-semitism) And it is a mistake to think that those people were not still out there that Friday night, looking for one last revenge against a very conspicuous and vulnerable enemy of of their ruined regime. If it was Mubarak's jackals, then the incident, the attack in the midst of a celebration against a foreign journalist instrumental in helping the revolution, the Jew-calls, if they happened, would all make sense as would the intervention of the local women and the army regulars. Maybe time will tell. Maybe we will never know.
The whole appalling attack has been covered up and it's extremely difficult to understand why. Here in England, there has hardly been any coverage of it at all, either on TV or in the newspapers. Even the red tops, which usually pounce on a story like this have been strangely silent. However, as has been pointed out, you only need to do a little digging on the net to know that several mobile phone cameras were filming on the night of Lara's attack and deeply disturbing footage is out there. Furthermore, it is very likely that Lara herself will talk openly and candidly about what happened to her, when the time is right. That's the sort of strong individual she is. If this is a story of brutal gang rape, as now appears to be the case, with highly offensive religious and political overtones, then the truth will out.
Here's an alternative theory: (1) NY Post claims source A said X. (2) NY Times could not independently corroborate the claim from either source A or anyone else. (3) Times of London ran with the story without any new sources. (4) NY Times could still not independently corroborate. That would rebut your claim that is about politics instead of journalistic ethics.
Far out. What cover-up? The "jew jew" claim is an unsourced rumor from a murdoch tabloid. They claim to have heard it from a "network source", but won't say who. No other source has verified it. Other sources (equally unsubstantiated) have suggested that actually somebody shouted "israeli" and "spy". That would be consistent with the reported egyptian paranoia about "israeli spies" in the media (and yes, I agree that's insane ... although let's not rule out the possibility that there MIGHT have been some spies posing as journalists - israeli or otherwise), as well as logan's own detention and questioning a few days earlier. I personally don't believe the "jew jew" version. It's cartoonish, downright odd, and I haven't seen a credible first-hand report yet. The other version, although equally unverified, at comes with an explanation for why somebody might have said it at all. I also (personally) think it's a very minor point ... and I'm astonished that it's so darn crucial to others that it be true. The whole egyptian protest boiled down to one dubious, unsourced allegation of anti-semitism - nice and simple. CBS' own slowness in reporting the attack isn't entirely inexplicable - it was a violent, sexually-aggravated attack on one of their staff. They might have decided to let logan herself determine when she wanted to talk about it, given its personal nature. Hardly monstrous, and it's not as though nobody's been reporting the attacks on journalists in egypt. This just strikes me as people desperately trying to create a story that suits a favored narrative from some very shaky evidence.
Hey, If you are going to publish my previous post can you change 'chatting' to 'chanting' Typo!!! If not, then, don't worry about it. Cheers
Seriously, where is the cover-up? I can well imagine if you only exited your mother's womb last week some of the attitudes in the world towards the Jewish people may at first seem quite confronting. Other than that excuse you really have none. Why would anti-semitic behaviour in a crowd gathered in opposition to a dictator who was known to have strong affiliations with Israel come as any surprise? An eyewitness count who witnessed the assault on Logan in Tahrir Square is of the opinion she was thought to be an Israeli spy by some of the people in the crowd. If so, this raises serious questions about the Egyptian peoples perceptions of Mossad's abilities to infiltrate a crowd undetected other than maybe at a beauty pageant. It is reported the crowd were yelling, "Agent, Agent" and not, "Jew, Jew". But does it really make any difference what they were chatting? Eyewitness reference:
This is not ambiguous event. There were thousands and thousands of video recording devices at work in Tahrir square that evening. Whatever happened to Logan - grisly as it was - is recorded somewhere. In so much as the nature of her attackers and their context in the larger crowd, that recording(s) wherever they are, have the answers. I wonder when one will hit the torrents? Poor Lara Logan, I feel very bad for her.

Not a single photo has appeared? Batteries going dead? It would also seem that even after a month, LL would have had bruising if she had been "pulled apart." LL making it clear that she was "hand-raped" for 40 minutes.


view counter