A lot of weeks, I enjoy writing Honorable Mentions. In fact, there was even one week where it was so difficult to decide who should hold the Dick of the Week title that I went ahead and let the two leading candidates share it. Sometimes it’s very hard to decide who the biggest dick is.
This was not one of those weeks.
In fact, Nir Rosen is the Dick of the Week by such a wide margin that I’m not even going to entertain secondary dicks right now. Head and shoulders above the competition, Rosen stood up this week and announced to the world, “You may not have heard of me, but I am the biggest asshole alive!”
We at Dick of the Week were both saddened and angered to hear about the tragic attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan this week. For those who haven’t heard, Lara Logan was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian protests last week. The news reached the states and was met with an inspiring upwelling of support for Logan and condemnation of her assailants. Thank God she was rescued by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers, or the story might have ended even more tragically. But as we all recoiled in horror at what had happened, Rosen stood up for rape apologists everywhere and shouted the equivalent of “yeah, but she was asking for it.”
Rosen isn’t well know, but he does have a reputation as a staunchly anti-war leftist commentator and serves as a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security. When Rosen heard about the Lara Logan assault, his first reaction was to go on Twitter and let everyone know what an attention seeking bitch he felt Logan was.
I’d love to talk about what Rosen said, but I think it might be more effective to…well, to just go ahead and tell you exactly what Rosen said.
“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.”
“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”
“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger”
“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.”
Actually, I’m at a loss for what to say beyond that.
I guess…I guess let’s just start at the top. Not one, but TWO tweets implying that Lara Logan wanted to be sexually assaulted so that she could beat Anderson Cooper in (drumroll please) the ratings battle. Which, if you think about it makes sense. I mean all a woman has to do is have her body completely violated and she gets a slight bump in ratings? Sounds like a fair deal to me! Who WOULDN’T make that trade?
And really, what’s worse about the Anderson Cooper comments? The fact that Rosen is comparing the minor assault that Cooper suffered while covering the protests to Logan’s sexual assault or the fact that Rosen is implying that if Anderson Cooper were sexually assaulted in a similar manner, it would be “funny”? We joke about a lot of things here, but rape isn’t one of them…and I have no desire to see Anderson Cooper raped (for a variety of reasons).
I really wish that was the end of Rosen’s crimes. Amazingly though, Rosen was only getting warmed up. It’s his apologies that really set the standard. Rosen made several attempts at an “apology” that range from whining and petulant to flippant and dismissive. It becomes very clear very quickly that Rosen feels absolutely no remorse whatsoever for his inappropriate, insulting tweets. Why don’t we take a few moments to look at Rosen’s various explanations/apologies:
“Ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.” [posted on Twitter. Rosen's first attempt at an apology. Really tugs on the old heartstrings, doesn't it?]
“No matter what I say, I look like a jerk.” [said on the Anderson Cooper show. A whiny attempt to paint himself as the victim. Also...maybe just a little awkward since Rosen wished rape on Cooper.]
“When you’re in war zones you develop a black humor and make jokes about your death, other people’s deaths, other terrible things, writers and photographers do it, as of course do Bosnians, Iraqis, Somalis and others as a coping mechanism. But taken out of context this can be deeply hurtful, especially when made by a man.” [said in an interview with Media Bistro. Hate to say it, Mr. Rosen, but you weren't tweeting from a war zone. And while black humor might be appropriate between two close friends, Twitter is...not between two close friends.]
“How 480 characters unraveled my career.” [title of an essay written by Rosen to, in the words of New York Magazine, "paint a picture of himself as a progressive martyr."]
“I have been frustrated by the ideological opportunists who have used this ordeal for their personal gain.” [from the aforementioned essay. Yeah, you're quite the victim, Nir.]
“I felt she was a terrible journalist who supported wars that I had covered….I point it out now only to explain my thinking.” [from the same essay. And oooooooh, yep. That's a step in the wrong direction.]
“Had I been a right-wing writer I doubt this would have happened to me.” [maybe the most ridiculous statement of all. Not only is it petulant, does he really think that Republicans don't suffer backlash for inappropriate comments?]
There’s a whole lot to work with there, but I can’t improve on perfection. No, Terry Glavin of the National Post says it best:
“The evidence he submits in his own defence: Exhibit A. At least you can’t accuse me of saying bad things about Julian Assange. Exhibit B. I’m probably not as stupid as Anne Coulter. Exhibit C: I was only joking, “and an entire mob turns on me.”
Objection: Actually, the mob turned on Lara Logan. You weren’t even there.”
Sharp rebukes don’t get much better than that. It’s amazing that Rosen managed to get even MORE offensive while trying to apologize for his INITIAL offensive comments.
But why? Why is Rosen like this? I’d have to say that the evidence points to him being little more than a colossal attention whore. Aside from the myriad interviews he has given since his comments went public, from the essay he wrote to give as many excuses as possible, to the insincere public statements he released, Rosen AMAZINGLY turned back to TWITTER to gain more attention. On the 16th, shortly after the controversy began, Rosen SWORE OFF TWITTER!
“but there is no point following me, i am done tweeting. too ashamed of how i have hurt others and the false impression i gave of who i am”
Immediately after that, he made a follow-up statement. This was an apology to Lara Logan, and, to his credit, this one at least sounded sincere:
“I feel I should make one last statement. I offer my deepest apologies to Ms. Logan, her friends and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone”
He then…continued to tweet for the next few days. And Rosen wonders why nobody seems to believe that he actually feels bad for this. When a guy can’t even be sincere about something as simple as whether or not he’s going to continue tweeting…I’d have to say it’s probably not much of a surprise that no one thinks his apologies are sincere either.
The real happy ending here is the fact that the Rosen, at the very least, had the good sense to tender his resignation from NYU. News articles announced the NYU “accepted” Rosen’s resignation, but, really, come on. What were they going to do, fight to keep the man who made jokes about the rape of a female reporter? What a great headline that would be.
No, Rosen “ruined his own career.” When Rosen said those words, it was in an attempt to paint himself as a victim. When I say those words, it is as a solemn thank you that there is some justice in the world, after all.