In the past couple of days, Glenn Beck has latched onto a gruesome story about CBS correspondent Lara Logan. While covering protests in Egypt she was the victim of a brutal sexual assault by an unidentified mob.
The story was widely broadcast by many news outlets on TV, radio, and print. But there was only one place where it received a peculiar treatment that served to dehumanize the victim.
Glenn Beck raised the subject on his television program on Wednesday, not to empathize with Logan’s suffering, but to confirm his belief that the worst isn’t over in Egypt:
“While everyone was saying, ‘Oh listen, this is great,’ in this crowd, we found out today, that an American woman was being sexually assaulted – sexually assaulted – by 200 men in this crowd.”
And later he tried to tie Logan’s ordeal to progressives in the U.S. by insinuating that they were all responsible for the repulsive remarks of an individual in New York:
“I told you about a woman who is being raped in that crowd. On Friday, a woman who has sexual assault, an American. How is that tied to the universities? Well a fellow at NYU has stepped down now, after the sexual assault of the American in Egypt that we mentioned earlier.”
Today Beck again referred to “an American woman” who was sexually assaulted in Egypt. That was at least the fifth time that Beck referred to Lara Logan without ever mentioning her name. He would only refer to her as the American, the woman, or the American woman. He never even noted that she was a reporter working on a story, nor her position as Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News.
Beck certainly knows who Lara Logan is. He even identified her and her affiliation with CBS News on his radio program. But she was invisible on his TV show. It wasn’t enough for Beck to merely demonstrate overt disrespect for an accomplished professional journalist, he went further to deny her humanity by refusing to acknowledge her identity. This information was not private. CBS had issued a press release outlining the details of the assault. But Beck decided to wrap Logan in a metaphorical burka and ignore her suffering and the risk she took on for her work.
Why would he do this? Why would he repeatedly refer to her cryptically as “the American” when he knew her name and used it on the radio earlier the same day? Was he hesitant to give her publicity because she was on a competing network? I don’t know. I just know that it was curious and jarring to hear him struggle so mightily to hide Logan’s face from his viewers.