As Egyptians mark the one week anniversary of the resignaton of Hasni Mubarak with on-going celebrations in Tahrir Square, violent and deadly protests continue in Bahrain, Libya, Algeria and Iran. And while the protests that brought down Mubarek were largely peaceful, there was at least one unspeakable act of violence committed during the “celebration”. I say “unspeakable” not just because of the horrific nature of the attack, but the fact that it was “not spoken about” by the media for five long days…
I am talking of course about the brutal rape of CBS’s chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.
Five days. That’s how long it took for the real story of what happened to make it’s way into our living rooms.
As reporters from virtually all the cable and major network news organizations continued to report on the “joyous atmosphere” of the people who believed they had taken a major step towards democracy, NO ONE, not even her own employers at “60 Minutes” mentioned Logan’s ordeal: That she had been surrounded by 200 Egyptian men, separated from her security detail & crew and brutally sexually assaulted for 20 to 30 minutes.
Even her own network’s statement said Logan was “covering the jubilation” and was attacked “amidst the celebration”.
Well that’s one party I wouldn’t want any woman I know - or don’t know for that matter - to attend.
And the public “discussion” of Logan’s story has me shaking my head. There are those who say she, “should have pulled her hair back and dressed in fatigues” ( TRANSLATION: She asked for it.) or “she had to know something like that might happen”, implying that a woman should know better than to choose an occupation that might put her in harm’s way.
Well guess what? You don’t have to be reporting from the middle of a protest or celebration to be raped. You can stay home wearing a dowdy fleece robe and slippers and be raped right there in your kitchen. A sexual assault occurs in this country every 2 minutes. It happens to girls younger than eight and women older than eighty. AND IT IS NEVER, EVER their fault.
Rape is a crime. Crimes get reported on the news. Sometimes!
In the initial “non-coverage” and then eventual “full coverage” of the Logan case, here’s another rape story that went largely unreported. This week in Bangladesh, a 14 year old girl named Hena was raped by a member of her family. Having “shamed them by being sexually attacked” she was sentenced to 100 lashes for having “sex out of wedlock”. After enduring 80 lashes, Hena died! But the main reason the story was unreported? Because in many parts of the world, this kind of crazy thing happens all the time!
Those were two of the bad-news stories from this week; now for some good news about next week…
The 24th Annual 16-Hour Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club Radiothon is coming up one week from today, Friday, February 25th. It will be broadcast live from the Oakland Mall from 6am to 10pm - this year on WJR-AM 760.
This is the first time in 24 years that I won’t be hosting the event because of my retirement from radio back in March, (this year the microphones will be manned by the WJR personalities), but I have been actively involved in the planning as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
This is the ONLY fundraiser the Salvation Army has to feed and shelter 5,000 men, women, and children in our area, 365 days a year.
A donation of $120 feeds one person for an entire year; $240 feeds two people for an entire year, but whatever you can afford is welcome and appreciated! And remember - no administrative costs are taken from your donation.
As you know, this cause is near and dear to my heart and your donations over the years have been remarkable to say the least. Last year we raised a total of $2.3 million dollars… and while we never set a goal, we always hope for at least a penny more! I hope that you will continue to support this most important program!
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here Monday…