Was Lara Logan raped, redux

Lydia McGrew writes:

Regarding your mention of Lara Logan, not long after you asked, reasonably enough, what happened to Lara Logan in Egypt and what was meant by the phrase “sexual assault,” Pamela Geller posted a graphic report from a site called Wizbang, purportedly a description of what happened, that made it clear that Logan was definitely raped by members of the mob as well as being sexually assaulted in various graphic and shocking ways that went far beyond, for example, merely being groped. Frankly, I have no desire to look that report back up, but it was on Geller’s site and was quite disturbing. I did not have time to investigate the source or to see how reliable it was, but I thought I should mention it since you are now saying that when people looked into the matter they discovered that Logan was not raped but only assaulted.

LA replies:

Nowhere in the media has it been said she was raped. I guess I’ll have to go searching this at Geller’s site.

Lydia replies:

Here is a story at Geller’s site on the Lara Logan attack. I believe there was an earlier version of this also on Geller’s site, but this one is similar to what I recall.

LA replies:

The article provides not a spot of evidence for any of the sensational claims it makes. It refers to videos that supposedly show the various sexual attacks and rapes, but doesn’t link them.

On what basis could an article like this be credited? It consists of nothing but sensational claims, without an iota of fact backing them up.

Lydia McGrew replies:

As I said, I didn’t have a chance to investigate it originally, and of course I wouldn’t watch the videos. I believe Geller did have the videos linked originally, but they were said to be only partial.

Let’s remember: The very ambiguity you point out means that the media does refer to real rapes as “sexual assault.” The very article you have just posted concerning the gang-raped 11-year-old is an example. Moreover, the repeated references to Logan’s privacy may well mean that the reason Logan hasn’t given any details is simply that she doesn’t want to, not that she was not really raped. The fact that the mainstream media hasn’t included details is in itself not good evidence against rape but rather an extremely weak argument from silence.

Finally, one confirming detail is this: The original mainstream media reports did definitely refer to her as being injured and as getting medical treatment right away after leaving the country. One can conclude that this refers only to her being beaten, but in the context of her having been attacked by a male, Muslim mob in a country in a state of anarchy, when we were expressly told that the assault was at least in part sexual, I see no reason to assume that her injuries were unrelated to the sexual assault.

The argument that you made originally to the effect that this large mob of men would have been unlikely actually to rape her in public seems to me unconvincing. Why wouldn’t they? Would they have a sense of modesty? I would think not. Would they expect to be punished as individuals? That seems unlikely.

LA replies:

You make some good points, but if the only evidence for rape is the sensational, fact-free, and video-free article quoted by Geller, then there’s no good reason to believe that it happened. There has to be some evidence. So far there’s no evidence.

LA continues:

Geller writes in that entry:

Reportedly, some videos did show a crowd of about 200 or more men surround and separate Lara Logan from her security, and the crowd shouted “Jew, Jew!”, and “American bitch!”. Lara Logan is not Jewish or American, she’s a South African native.

Reportedly? If the video exists, why hasn’t Geller seen it and linked it?

More from Geller:

One video purportedly involved some boy fondling the breasts of the reporter. However, another purported video that was described by a controversial YouTube video claims that a bearded man ripped the top off the reporter and began slapping her face and breasts …

Nothing but “reported” and “purported” videos, which Geller has not seen, nor does she link them. Geller gives new meaning to the verb “to report.”

LA continues:

A commenter at Atlas sees what garbage this ‘report’ is

Aaron said in reply to …

“Either come out and deny this or assist in exposing this crime.”

The sole source is some chubby kid talking into a webcam on YouTube. There is no other material.

I don’t think any serious journalist, or, for that matter, any serious blogger, would spend a moment on it. Nobody needs to answer to “nothing”, and Wizbang is doing precisely what they (rightly) excoriated CBS News for over the Bush memos: presenting unvetted material that they know they can’t defend to an audience they know will take it at face value, then claiming in their update that even though the proof isn’t there, it’s just somehow so important that they think they don’t have to be accountable for the accuracy of their reporting. Fake but accurate, etc.

That’s never been acceptable in the conservative blogosphere, it wasn’t acceptable to Wizbang six years ago, and it makes me ashamed of where things have gone. The guy behind the video even claims he’s giving the money he makes from the hits to the Julian Assange Defense Fund and that he’s “just like Julian Assange”. You’re all obviously being trolled.

Lydia McGrew writes:

I think what it comes down to is that I think the probability on the basis of the mainstream reports is greater than not that she actually was raped, even without the Geller report. That’s just extra anyway, and if it’s valueless, the other points remain in place. That’s probably where you and I disagree. To my mind, when you have a case of a woman separated from her companions in an anarchic situation, Muslim country, surrounded by a large crowd of Muslim men, and all reports agree that she was assaulted to the point of needing medical treatment and that the assault was in some sense sexual, we already know the media now uses “sexual assault” as a euphemism for rape, all of this adds up to a probability that she was in fact raped. The details in the (admittedly unsourced and unconfirmed) report at Geller’s site just concur with what I would have feared was the case anyway. Given everything (and perhaps giving very little or no weight to the report at Geller’s site), I would say that it’s inaccurate to say that we found out later (or something to that effect) that Logan was not raped. I don’t think we’ve found out anything of the kind. There’s been a pretty determined mainstream media silence on further details, perhaps at Logan’s own wish.

LA replies:

I think you’re right on one point: I misstated when I said we “found out” that she hadn’t been raped; I was really thinking of my earlier point that the CBS announcement had only said sexual assault, not rape. In reality, to this moment, we don’t know what happened.

At the same time, I think you are missing what’s happening here when you treat Geller’s posting of the Wizbang report as merely flawed and “worth little,” and don’t see it as the pure garbage that it is.

I repeat: the supposed facts of the gang rape are based on “purported” videos which are NOT provided by Geller or the Wizbang report. If the videos exist, wouldn’t Geller or Wizbang have linked them?

I don’t want to treat Geller as a wholly unreliable journalist. Notwithstanding my criticisms of her, my position has been that she does useful things, such as spreading awareness of the Ground Zero mosque. But this post is beyond the pale.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 12, 2011 10:43 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):