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Egypt and the failure of the so-called fourth estate

February Fri 25, 2011

Star of David on Mubarak's image  Star of David on Mubarak's image

One feature of the on-going epic failure and collapse of our so-called fourth estate, namely the news media, is its penchant for making itself the news even in the midst of something as monumental as the Egyptian uprising, which quickly brought Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule to an end. Of course, I am referring to nothing else except the lamentable assault on CBS News reporter Lara Logan at the hands of some male protesters. Let me be clear up-front, Logan was certainly the victim of a violent sexual assault. Sexual assaults are reprehensible, morally wrong, which is why such attacks are universally condemned and punished by civil laws, as they should be.

 

Before cutting to the chase, it also bears noting that Logan was rescued by members of the Egyptian military, along with some concerned Egyptian women who were nearby. So, without blaming the victim in the slightest, I do not mind stating that I find it a media failure that this became the story in the final days of the uprising and continued to be the story for several days afterwards. Are we really to believe nothing else of this sort went on in the lawless atmosphere during the days of protest?

 

As he so often does, Peter Hitchens writes very lucidly about this matter. He begins by wondering about a couple of things concerning Logan’s assault, namely why it isn’t always made clear that she was sexually assaulted by protesters, as well as why the fact that her attackers shouted "Jew, Jew, Jew at her" was not much reported. As regards the Western news media’s narcissism, he concludes that certain, relevant details, like the Judophobic taunts of Logan’s assailants, can be left out because they do not fit the approved narrative, which holds "that the removal of Egypt’s government is a good thing," unequivocally.

 

In the square where the main protest took place, mob rule, "with all the horrible dangers involved," was in effect, but the news media, according to Hitchens, decided that "people power" sounded "so much nicer." The result of this no doubt a "strategic" decision was that a "violent sexual assault on a Western woman, tinged with Judophobia, doesn’t fit this picture."



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