Tags: Nir Rosen

Nir Rosen: ‘I was not aware of the right wing attack machine waiting to take me down.’


Well, that didn’t take long. Nir Rosen has begun discussing the “right wing attack machine” in the events that led to his resignation.

Why were you compelled to resign from NYU so quickly? Were you asked to step down?

US academic establishments are already under attack from the right, and my Center at NYU stood to be harmed by the pack of dogs sent to take me down, and I did not want to harm a very important center or the work of people I greatly admire.

Did you receive any form of official university response or reprimand regarding your comments?

I did not receive any official reprimand.

Do you think your tweets have been unfairly attacked or blown out of proportion?

I think certainly my tweets have been unfairly attacked and blown out of proportion. That does not excuse my lapse of judgment for making them in the first place. I stupidly didn’t think that some crude banter would become fodder for thousands and I was not aware of the right wing attack machine waiting to take me down, nor did I realize, even though I was criticizing the celebrity culture in the media, what happens if you mock one of those celebrities, especially if you do it in such an offensive way as I did.

That said, I find the reactions sanctimonious and silly. A few crude jokes on twitter do not make a philosophy, they just make you a momentary jerk. I didn’t mean it and I have a record of eight years of risking my life for justice to prove my values. Had I been a right-wing writer I doubt this would have happened to me. That said, twitter is not a place for nuance and I should stick to long form journalism.

Because you have to be a part of the “right-wing attack machine” to ask whether NYU’s Center on Law and Security would want itself associated with his remarks.

UPDATE: I see Nir Rosen has noticed me, accusing me of using his awful judgment to “further my career.”

Others include Michael Totten, Lee Smith and Jim Geraghty of the National Review, who led the crusade against me. I used a horrible situation as a way to provoke some friends. They are using it to further their careers.

Sure, pal. I’m the one who’s on shaky moral ground here.

Writing about him furthered my career how, precisely? I have the same title as I did three days ago. Same duties. Same paycheck. I’m working at the same desk I was before he even heard the news about Lara Logan. It’s almost as if I had barely heard of Nir Rosen before all this began, was surprised and shocked to come across his Twitter comments, figured he would probably try to delete them and hide what he wrote, had the good sense to hit “print screen” a couple of times, and then put them out for the world to see and for NYU to contemplate what reaction was most appropriate. Nah. The whole thing had to have been part of my career plan.

Then again, if anyone has some position of fame, fortune, and influence that they’re willing to offer as a result of my coverage of this . . . heck, my e-mail is above.

Tags: Nir Rosen

From Nir Rosen to the Muppet Lobby


Some nights and early mornings, the Jolt almost writes itself . . .

As OneRepublic Said, ‘It’s Too Late to Apologize.’

Well, that’s resolved. In part.

Should we feel good that Nir Rosen has resigned from NYU’s Center on Law and Security? I’m sure many will. I’m somewhat relieved that NYU didn’t confirm my worst suspicions and respond with a pro forma, ‘I’m sorry if anyone is offended, now let’s sing kumbaya’ that we’ve seen academic administrators deploy in previous egregious controversies.

Rosen’s apology can be found here.

I remain close to my sense that this kind of a reaction goes beyond political incorrectness or controversy to suggest a lack of empathy that offers a profoundly disturbing suggestion about Rosen’s psychology. Apologize? Resign? In a way those are almost beside the point, presuming the fallout from this doesn’t trigger some sort of wholesale reevaluation of the way he sees the world. In short, he needs to start seeing people as people and not abstract representations of good and bad political figures.

To hear this awful, awful news about Logan and decide that right then and there, you have to express your grievances about her coverage of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, or her war coverage, or to declare that you’re out of sympathy here? Or the idea that a sexual assault against Anderson Cooper would have been funny?

Who needs to do this? Who needs to take every little bit of information, even the shocking and stomach-turning, and say, “See, this proves I was right?” Is it driven by insecurity? Are figures like this so terrified of having their beliefs challenged that they can’t see it as a human tragedy beyond the realm of our ordinary political debates? Must every new development of the day be processed and categorized as a new variety of supporting evidence proving argument X or point Y?

(A couple of folks have written in, in a frustratingly nagging tone, saying, “Well, what about Debbie Schlussel and Jim Hoft? Huh? Huh? What about them?” I tuned Schussel out back when she wrote that I was writing in captivity over in Turkey and that I must be “Jimmy Carter Geraghty.” Get it? Get it? You see, because I have the same first name as a former president, she’s creatively and wittily putting the two names together, suggesting that I’m on the same page as him! Hooboy! Hilarity! Touché, Ms. Schlussel. Clearly, your all-nighter thinking that one up that proved worthwhile.)

You’ve seen Hoft in this newsletter before, and you’ll see this again. The only thing I’d say to him is that when you’re writing with strong emotions, you can end up writing things you regret. I’ve met Hoft, he seems like a reasonable guy with a good head on his shoulders, so I have a hard time believing that he really thinks that Logan believed that she would be treated differently than other Western reporters. I’ll let him speak for himself regarding this post; I’d note that even if one doesn’t intend to blame the victim, a poorly chosen word or two can inadvertently leave that impression.

I also discuss Sen. Jim DeMint’s mockery of Democrats defending PBS by holding publicity stunts with “The Muppet Lobby.” A key point: “When reached for comment, Cookie Monster responded to DeMint’s argument by declaring, ‘NOM NOM NOM COO-KIE NOM NOM NOM.’”

Tags: Jim DeMint , Nir Rosen , PBS

NYU Accepts Rosen’s Resignation


Just arriving from NYU:

From Karen J. Greenberg, Executive Director, Center on Law and Security

Nir Rosen is always provocative, but he crossed the line yesterday with his comments about Lara Logan. I am deeply distressed by what he wrote about Ms. Logan and strongly denounce his comments. They were cruel and insensitive and completely unacceptable. Mr. Rosen tells me that he misunderstood the severity of the attack on her in Cairo. He has apologized, withdrawn his remarks, and submitted his resignation as a fellow, which I have accepted. However, this in no way compensates for the harm his comments have inflicted. We are all horrified by what happened to Ms. Logan, and our thoughts are with her during this difficult time.

Yesterday I predicted, with some cynicism, some sweeping of this under the rug, so I applaud NYU’s Center on Law and Security for taking this seriously. I believe in the First Amendment and the need to forgive the occasional stupid, thoughtless, or insensitive comment; everyone makes one sooner or later. But there was something profoundly disturbing in Rosen’s complete inability to sympathize with the awful ordeal of Ms. Logan and the fact that when others recoiled at his comments, he kept digging in deeper.

Tags: Nir Rosen

An Appalling Reaction to an Outrageous Crime


The news from CBS about correspondent Lara Logan’s assault in Egypt is awful beyond words.

At a time like this, we all feel helpless. And angry. The perpetrators, anonymous men in an angry mob, may never see justice.

Perhaps we can channel that frustration and anger towards righting a wrong closer to home. To some other outrage . . . say . . . the reaction to Logan’s assault from a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security, Nir Rosen.

Nir Rosen deleted some of his worst comments about Logan on his Twitter feed, but . . . it’s the Internet. It’s never gone forever.

I’m sure Rosen will apologize at some point, and perhaps we’ll get some tut-tutting statement from NYU about the need for “civility” and “restraint” and “sensitivity.” Brows will be furrowed. Maybe they’ll hold a seminar about technology and emotional reactions to breaking news events.

But let’s just remember one thing going forward: Nir Rosen believed this was the right moment to let the world know that he “ran out of sympathy for her” and that we should “remember her role as a major war monger” and that we “have to find humor in the small things.”

Your move, NYU.

UPDATE: Nir Rosen has departed Twitter. Your reaction to this development probably depends on whether you think the offense in this circumstance is the ability to broadcast that type of reaction to the crime to the entire Internet, or whether the problem is the reaction itself.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I just called the NYU Center on Law and Security, and they told me they will be posting a statement in response to this matter on their web site within an hour or so (roughly by 11 a.m.).

Tags: Nir Rosen

Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review