Yesterday afternoon, CBS broke the news that its correspondent, Lara Logan, was beaten and sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian revolution last week. It didn't even take a full day for a commentator to ruin his own career over it.
Nir Rosen, a serious writer and filmmaker who's worked extensively in the Middle East, has resigned from his position as a fellow at NYU following a good deal of ranting about Logan on Twitter yesterday. His first reaction to the news of Logan's assault:
A now deleted tweet that said, "Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal," referencing CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and the head of US forces in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal. Rosen went on to tweet, "yes yes it is wrong what happened to her of course, but it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too."
Rosen went on to call Logan a "major war monger" and say "she was groped like thousands of other women" (see attached screenshot). He started apologizing almost immediately, and over the next several hours offered several mea culpas, ending with "I know that in a matter of seconds with a thoughtless joke, I brought shame upon myself and my family and added insult to Ms. Logan's injury."
Fair enough. What can we learn?
1. Twitter is dangerous.
2. Some things aren't funny.
3. Even if you don't like the person they happened to.
Useful lessons for all of us.