Why CBS kept mum for four days about the brutal sexual assault of network correspondent Lara Logan by a Tahrir Square mob on Feb. 11 we just don't know.
Did Logan, flown out of Cairo by a network-chartered jet to a U.S. hospital hours after the attack, request secrecy as a brutalized victim?
Were news executives, or even Logan herself, concerned that the bombshell news of the assault, which took place almost exactly as Hosni Mubarak was relinquishing all powers, would detract from the "jubilant" crowd's "democracy" drama? 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. A keening outcry would have arisen from the heart of the MSM (mainstream media) against the mob, accompanied by a natural zeal to investigate cultural or other reasons for the brutality. Not excuses. And not disinterest.
But in this singular Logan case we've seen both. First, only after news queries indicated the story was breaking did CBS on Tuesday release a brief rap sheet on the Friday crime. We were told of Logan's accidental separation from her crew in the crowd. The prolonged assault by over 200 people "whipped into a frenzy." The rescue by a group of women and 20 soldiers. What CBS didn't mention -- what was later attributed to an unnamed network source -- was that as the thugs assaulted the 39-year-old journalist and mother of two, they shouted, "Jew! Jew!"
This essential piece of the story, this clue to the hysterical, obsessive anti-Semitism of the Islamic world including Egypt, was broken by the New York Post. It has sparked little comment, which in itself is worth comment. Imagine, again, if a tea party mob were implicated in such an assault, and, as if in answer to fervent leftist fantasy, it came out that 200 Constitution-loving thugs had been yelling racial slurs. The MSM would directly attribute it the fact that George Washington owned slaves.But Islam, even with its Koranically enjoined anti-Semitism and misogyny, isn't considered a factor here. Islam might as well not exist. Islamic misogyny might as well not exist. Islamic anti-Semitism might as well not exist. But imagine further if the foundational documents of the tea party movement, its official leaders and heroes, were steeped in equivalent hatred and misogyny. There would be no instinctive reaction in the MSM to universalize the attack and strip away all possible cultural or (considering those shouts of "Jew! Jew!" in the Logan case) religious context.
But that's exactly what happened here. It took a tweet from a movie critic even to broach the misogyny topic in the MSM when Roger Ebert wrote, "The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus." (Given that Israel is in the otherwise Islamically dominated "Middle East," Ebert is employing the quasi-accepted euphemism for Muslim.) Those few reports that even discuss the anti-Semitic angle do so without comment, or let it go slack, as when Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, noting the "undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism," only concluded that "not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind." (The light might have dawnethed more brightly had the MSM actually reported on the widespread anti-Semitic iconography visible in the demonstrations, as amply archived by John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media.)
Rather than consider the sources of violent animus that appear to have been manifested in the assault on Logan, who, by the way, is not a Jew, the MSM let it all go. The crowd was "whipped into a frenzy" just as CBS said. But was the frenzy cultural? Religious? Don't ask, and certainly don't tell.
That would spoil the story.