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February 16th, 2011
08:41 AM ET

Female news correspondent sexually assaulted, beaten in Cairo

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was reporting on the protests in Egypt Friday when she was separated from her crew and attacked. She is currently recovering in a U.S. hospital, having been sexually assaulted and beaten.

Judith Matloff is a Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has known Logan since 1992. She says Logan's story is unusual not because it happened, but because the public is hearing about it. Professor Matloff speaks to American Morning's Kiran Chetry.


Filed under: Egypt • World
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    Even though i haven't heard much of the incident that happen with her, I do feel sorry for the woman for what she had to go through in Cario, Egypt. They sugarcoated, she was rape. Like what Jonhathan said " just brush it off." How can she brush off what she went through, seriously. Why the hell aren't you giving her support. What if it was one of your relaitives in that stituation, what would you do, how would you feel? Would you just say " Oh just brush it off"? Or would you comfort them?Or would you say she wasnt really raped, like youre doing with lara logan.

    February 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Kclegg

    In all seriousness I believe that we should feel for this woman. She may have taken a risk to do a news report there, but it’s not her fault. It’s what the job entails. nhuntle states "She took a stupid risk and we are suppose to feel sorry for her? Think not." well, I don’t agree with you there.
    I also don’t agree with how they stated the event, calling it a 'sexual assault'? Its way more serious then how they stated it. Richard Harris states how it’s not true? why would a woman lie about something like that, it’s not like she needs the air time, hell she's a news woman for Christ’s sake.

    February 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  3. Wayne

    I am black and I know that if I travel to certain parts of the southern United States, I will probably want to be very careful and watch my back. I have also been harrased by the police in Northeast just because I don't look like the majority members of the community. That is a fact. In my opinion some white people seem to not want to accept what it means be a minority. Minorities are at times singled out for attacks by worthless members of the majority. In Africa (Egypt is a part of Africa) Blonde haired, blue-eyed, white men and women are the minority. Thus Lara, Anderson and others were attacked. I really doubt that a reporter of African or Arab descent would have been singled out. CNN and other news agencies often send latino reporters to South/Central America. They often send correspondents of European descent to Europe, Perhaps if they hired some correspondents of African descent, they could send them to Africa.

    February 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  4. russell dybata

    This is a sad day,for Lara Logan,and her family.I just hope she can find it in her heart to for give these savage pigs,For the unspeakable sexually assaulted,upon her.May the dear Lord bless her,and her and her family.Give her the strength to move forward,and heal.I send out my prayers for Lara Logan,and her famly.God bless you Lara Logan.Russell Dybata.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Abby

    Something most Americans don't realize is the history behind blond hair in foreign countries, (that are not naturally blond) and that it was the sign of prostitution. I only knew this after it was told to me on my first visit abroad by a Sicilian who understood I wouldn't have known. Since then, I have followed the customs of the country I'm visiting and even dye my hair a dark brown as not to confuse the locals who know nothing of the PC we practice in the USA. I'm in THEIR land, and being with an American company does not protect me. (especially if they believe the company CNN is just a mouthpiece for the elites)

    As for Anderson Cooper, he took a great risk going into a country that feels the Elites have robbed them (he is the son of a Vanderbilt) and his choice of lifestyle is punishable by death in some Middle-East countries.
    He was lucky he got out with his life.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  6. Richard Harris

    This story has been proven to be NOT TRUE. She was NOT sexually assalted ! She was assalted, but NOT sexually. I would suggest that in the interest of truth, that people posting it be more responsible and correct the false information. Since Alex Jones says he is the truth I would suggest that he also acknownledge this error and correct himself.

    February 18, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  7. R Henderson

    I don't know what happened, sexual assault can be a number of things from groping to rape. I have read in 2, papers that Lara Logan was not raped. So, besides being slapped around and scared s##tless, was she groped, touched, felt, squeezed or what.
    Of course this is/was a terribler thing to happen to anyone, in any city or country in the world. News people are risk takers, she must know the risks out there, boots on the ground with all kinds of people.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  8. Janet Scrivener

    First, I hope that Lara Logan takes her time to recover fully. To have survived at all shows that she is both physically and mentally very, very tough. None-the-less, after such extreme trauma, a prolonged recuperation is both wise and appropriate.

    The attack, which was described in some detail in a short video I found on line by a person who viewed some of the (apparently) many cell phone videos taken at the scene, took place over about 3 hours, with several dozen men availing themselves of the helplessness of the victim. Apparently some time after being held down by 4 men while other men raped her she became semi-comatose and no longer required restraining. While these photos/videos were uploaded to somewhere on the web, you won't find them on YouTube or other web searches here in the US. Perhaps if you can read and write Arabic you might be able to find them. I don't think even the video I saw earlier today by the person who viewed the cell phone videos will be found on-line now here in the States. Which perhaps is just as well. Too many angry but stupid and poorly informed US citizens might think they should 'do something' – like attack any Muslim community around the neighborhood. People, that is just stupid. Don't do it.

    I hope these videos will allow identification of the men involved.

    I've read so many absurd comments by both men and women about the incident. People who have said it 'didn't matter' that she was blonde, beautiful – in the Middle East? Don't make me laugh. It matters. It matters a whole lot right here in the USA. Doesn't it??? People who said she was 'asking for it.' Did she willingly put herself in harm's way? Yes. However, she went out into streets celebrating the departure of Mubarak, presumably a crowd mostly in an upbeat and happy mode. She had a crew and security detail with her. Was she personally targeted for other reasons, i.e., political, religious? I think it's extremely likely. Was she a victim of mob violence? Definitely. Was this a hate crime against 'women' in general. Definitely. Would the participants be proud, or even indifferent, if their own part in the attacks were shown by identifying photos? Probably not. I really doubt that their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters are proud of them. I doubt that most of the men in their families are proud of them. Does this have much to do with Islam? Not necessarily. Similar things happen to women all over the globe. But it does seem that she was particularly targeted.

    I hope that eventually photos which show the identity of the men involved, while blurring the identify of the victim will be made public – especially in Cairo. Do you know this man? Is this man your neighbor? Would you be happy to have your daughter marry such a man? These questions could be asked world-wide. Why are such men so desperately afraid of the developed capabilities and innate power of women? Why do they hate us so much?

    February 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  9. elaine McDonald

    It sickens me that anyone could feel anything but sorrow for this woman.

    February 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  10. Sara H

    Judith Matloff, you are the reason I will never apply to Columbia School of Journalism. Did you really just say that upon her return, Lara Logan's colleagues will be imagining her in her 'greatest moment of shame'? SHAME?? The perpetrators of this unconscionable violence should be ashamed, as should you, for your ridiculously ignorant comment. And to throw in that other female correspondents have told you they're rather die than be raped? I feel like I'm in a time-warp.

    February 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  11. gruven

    The place was a war zone...a total mob scene...utter chaos...people getting killed and maimed on the street...but yet she makes the choice to put herself in harms way, for what?...to land the big story?

    Not too bright.

    February 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  12. Don Straub-Euclid, Ohio

    Lara Logan was the victim of a terrible crime. The bedlam and turmoil in Egypt at the time clearly led to her victimization. Should women continue to cover such events in the future? It's a difficult question to those dedicated individuals, whether male or female, who risk their lives that the world may have knowledge of world-wide developments.
    As we saw, Anderson Cooper was also attacked covering the upheaval in Egypt. Covering world events can be dangerous at times. Caution must be taken, but I have a feeling that journalists will continue to press the limit in trying to cover the news. Hopefully, Lara Logan will recover and resume her trying profession.

    February 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Verity

    A book that chronicles similar atrocities against women in North African Islamic nations is available at Amazon.com. The title of the book is A Way In The Wilderness And Streams In The Desert. It is written by a woman who lived one year in Libya and had to smuggle her infant son out in 1979. She chronicles the attitude of Muslim men towards women but western women in particular and the horrific things they will do to women. She also talks about how she dealt with the situation in her circumstances. The story is a riveting story.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  14. Tom Meldrum

    I am dumbfounded at the ignorance displayed by some bloggers! We now have to "see" proof in order to accept that something terrible happened to this woman? We have to somehow attribute part or all of the blame on the victim? And I suppose if she were wearing a skirt or dress then she would "somehow" be soliciting the abuse? Get real! This professional woman was doing her job and she was criminally assaulted by "animals" who will use any opportunity to their own "sick" advantage! An innocent person's appearance does NOT justify inhumane treatment whether physical or verbal, by anyone in any country! You should be Ashamed of your own ignorance! I pray this woman "heals" both physically & mentally!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  15. Inspiration

    I am so sorry for Lara! I wish her speedy recovery!

    I just want to say why are you people always blame any bad action on Islam, do you really believe that criminal minds are having believes of faith in any thing, if they have, they wont do that! it is very offensive to Islam to stick it to any sick human act.
    Please do not forget the people who rescued the reporter are Muslims too!

    February 17, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  16. rachel

    nhuntle ,
    Lets not put you in charge of helping people ok? My word. Grow a heart. Read the word compassion in the dictionary smarty pants…shame on you. PERIOD. And Rufus, your name fits you.
    Rachel

    February 17, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  17. rachel

    Dear Anderson Cooper,
    Thank you for this interview and for CNN taking this seriously for women worldwide. Thank you thank you.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/02/16/exp.ac.rosen.intv.cnn

    February 17, 2011 at 4:31 am |
  18. Rufus T

    There's still no proof. The only thing in the world – you can google it – that suggests that lara logan was raped or sexually assaulted is lara logan claiming it. No witnesses, no scars, no bruises, no photographs, no video, no nothing. Where's the proof that this woman was raped – it doesn't seem to exist ouside of her mind. Sure rape is terrible, but isn't making a false accusation of rape just as terrible. Look it up – the proof doesn't exist, only copies of copies of her claim, nothing more.

    February 17, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  19. Renee

    Lara and women in her profession are very aware that these types of things can happen in the field, even though I'm sure like many of us, they suffer from the "it could never happen to me" mentality. It is by no means her fault that these scum bags acted out like the animals that they are and committed this heinous act. These types of animals exist in every society.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  20. rachel

    I promoted this video a lot today for LARA!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  21. World Traveler

    Does anyone really doubt what happened? Mobs are vicious and brutal. Many arabs hate americans. I have no doubts it was not brutal, sustained, and that she was raped by many.

    Wake up you idiots. This happenned in a very poor country! Yes....it was no doubt brutal (as in she had her nipple bitten off).....was raped by many, urinated on, and beaten.

    Yes this is possible.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  22. Paul

    The real story is that angry men in a sexually repressed society acted out in a violent manner. It happens every day in their homes and in their lives. Women will not be safe in this world until there is a universally accepted view of all human beings as having HUMAN RIGHTS and be deserving of respect. Sadly, I'm afraid, that will not happen until all religions give up this idea of male dominance.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  23. Bert

    Islam permits and encourages this type of behaviour towards non-muslim women. Rape by muslim gangs is a problem in Europe. It's just that main stream media isn't reporting it. It's too "politically incorrect" to be reported. It exposes an inconvenient truth about islam and muslims.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  24. dni

    Really Dee? Seriously, don't turn the woman's comment into something it was not meant to be. You are the ignorant one trying to start something.

    February 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  25. Han Plato

    I tend to agree with Michelle - on this matter only: white, blonde women are symbols of non-Arabic genetic stock (in this case) and are at risk in many situations – in Egypt, in bad areas of Charleston, SC and in Cleveland, OH. (The latter two – dicey situations I've personally been involved in, and have been lucky enough to come out with nary a scratch with my blonde, white, female friends...) They are symbolic targets. I don't think it has anything to do with whether a white blonde is more or less attractive than a brunette, redhead, Asian, African-American, etc... but, they make for a more symbolic target. That's it. I think this horrific act is symbolic of hate for outsiders in Egypt. Dee, I see what you are saying, but I don't think Michelle meant what you are extrapolating. Personally, I think American (European?) media should realize that, while coverage is desirable for ratings, it is not worth the trauma and pain that results.

    And, remember, Anderson Cooper was attacked, too - another symbolic act for despicable persons in other countries. Selina, simply put, this is not "blame the victim," but I believe that we should all recognize that Amercians are targets and should stay away. Screw a career in journalism - is it worth the pain? I think, likely not.

    Best wishes to Ms. Logan and a speedy and healthy recovery.

    February 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  26. johnny

    From seeing a few reports by her, she seems to be an intelligent person and reporter. There are a lot of celebrity reporters out there, Lara is a real reporter. Hope she gets well soon and continue her job.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  27. Ashley

    Michelle – Check your facts. CNN is an American company, but Ms. Logan is of South African, not American, descent. And as countless others have said, what does Ms. Logan's looks have to do with anything? So a woman who is considered ugly by our ridiculous standards should be just fine doing this kind of reporting as compared to someone who looks like Ms. Logan? Her features are not a detriment to her profession. She was there to do a job. She was paid to be there. She was attacked in the line of duty. She was not the first, she won't be the last. It doesn't excuse the perpetrators' behavior. And it doesn't excuse your ignorance either. Read a book and learn something. I suggest you start with phonics, "are" and "our" would be homophones...and you used the wrong one.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  28. nhuntle

    selina, blame the victum?

    Yes, she put herself in a volatile situation.

    It was a BAD decision, who is to blame for the BAD decision? The victim.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  29. nhuntle

    Sexual assault in American vocabulary could be someone touched her butt.

    Jump into a den of snakes and expect not to be hurt because you are a) A woman b) A journalist c) an American d)an American Journalist Woman.

    She took a stupid risk and we are suppose to feel sorry for her?

    Think not.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  30. jonathan

    i hated when the news use the word sexual assualt, because we the viewers don't always understand the seriousness of the attack. sexual assault has such a variety of meaning, that it might be rape or just a touching. when ever a news report about a women getting sexually assualted i always think its just touching, so i only feel sad for her, but don't really know sever it is. and just brush it off.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  31. Romi

    Dear Lara
    Please let us know that ur are doing better. I am really sorry this happened to u I could not sleep and got so sick last night when I read the news. We only wish u the best . We r waiting to see u on tv soon. Take care of yourself.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  32. Woden

    The arrogance of sending a woman to openly flaunt her nonconformity to local mores and customs is what is responsible for this attack.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  33. Chuck

    Well World observe the religion of peace at work.
    I wish her a speedy recovery. Brave to go into the lions den to let the world know what these people are made of.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  34. Anthony SF

    I think most of the commentators missed it that it' no random act to violence. She was targeted by extremist group that show to the western media to leave Egypt alone. Not just because she was blonde and beatiful but they know who she is and will cause a stir.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  35. bob

    Goodspeed for a quick and complete recovery. Rape and Violence Sucks and anybody who thinks an attack like this could be justified obviously knows no god!

    February 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  36. Archana Chidanandan

    What I don't get is why the news media is stating her name and identifying her in public. Don't most news organizations protect the identity of the victim? Does this reporter not deserve that simple courtesy too?

    February 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  37. rachel

    a mob? you men a group of crazy Muslim men right?

    Any man commenting negatively about her at any media outlet should be FIRED immediately.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  38. jorge washinsen

    If you can flag or refuse to take comments after asking for comments why not just block us from even logging on?You let foul mouthed liberals say things that would embarrass a prison warden yet you shut us out because we refuse to be molded into a little Liberal.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  39. jorge washinsen

    No it is not awaiting anything except the exposure to truth which this news organization is either responsible for hiding, or someone who has taken your news organization over.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  40. jorge washinsen

    This can't possibly have happened in a country with a peaceful religion.This was not suppose to happen at a peaceful protest. It seems the women that rescued her are the heroes,wonder how they fared after intervening?

    February 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  41. esam abdel asim

    that is not true . it can not be done frpm egyptian youth . but if that has been happend (asuming) then it must be done from the criminal persons from the National party of egypt whom destroyed everythind and every person in egypt.that was from the old regim who managed egypt for more than 30 years .

    February 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  42. Melissa

    Michelle - I have an issue with your comment about her being pretty and blonde....with a mob mentality, she could be hideous and decrepit and this still could happen to her. Not only pretty people get raped.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  43. selina

    How absolutely horrifying! I wish Lara a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally! She's amazing! Im so sorry this happened to her...it shouldn't happen to anyone...anywhere...anytime :o(

    February 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  44. selina

    Michelle Cyril? Your "blame the victim" mentality is both disgusting and offensive! You should be ashamed to be a woman!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  45. Dee Langford

    I guess I am confused about what you are saying about beauty, Michelle. So a woman who is black and pretty should be allowed to be near tigers in the zoo. Or maybe an attractive brunette should be allowed to be near tigers. When is the last time you have been to another country? I am a proud American but I am a human being first. I agree with you in part...no person should have to be put through the horror of being beaten or raped no matter their creed, color, hair color, nationality, etc. I was going to type more...but the depth of your ignorance is beyond me. Maybe I just misconstrued what you wrote, so I will just leave it alone.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  46. Michelle Curll

    We are americans and any of are people who get hurt like that on national news,this goes to show you that we are no longer safe in those countries(hello) no woman thats pretty and blonde should be near tigers in the zoo.

    February 16, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  47. Michelle Curll

    I dont think its fair to say someone deserves to be assalted in any way
    She shows the fear in that picture that was last taken before this.I think this is sad and only sick minded people do this to someone ,the news reporter did nothing wrong she was trying to speak out for them instead she was attacked I think something should be done to stop this from happening again.

    February 16, 2011 at 9:27 am |