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Let's have a tweet for the Douchebags

Let's have a tweet for the Douchebags

nir-rosen.jpg

So I have this thing. It’s not really a problem, per se, but it does sometimes get a tad bit annoying. I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m attracted to douchebags.

I know it’s stereotypical and all that jazz, but I can’t help it. I can’t even explain, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

HOWEVER, one douchebag I most certainly am not attracted to is Nir Rosen, the New York University fellow who resigned after tweeting offensively about Lara Logan’s capture and ensuing sexual assault.

As the news broke about Logan, Rosen, like any self-respecting person, took to Twitter, bemoaning, "It’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she’ll get," and later adding, "She’s so bad that I ran out of sympathy for her."

Now, serious face for a second: this is not an OK move, whether it be on Twitter, verbally, or in a satirical article, perhaps like the one you’re reading. Sexual assault is not a joke, and neither is any sort of violence against women. Twitter may seem like a place for fun and games but, especially when you work for a prestigious university, you should be mindful that it does not mean you are free of culpability for what you say. Logan was doing her job in an extremely volatile area where she was at risk for serious injury. In no way should this ever be belittled.

But if I were Nir Rosen, I would totally handle it by writing an even more incendiary column for Salon.com. I would tell the world, “Hey! You think I’m a jerk? Well, what about now? I’ll show you jerk!” That would be a really good PR move. Seriously.

Exhibit A: the article, titled, “How 480 characters unraveled my career": "My tweets about Lara Logan cost me my job and humiliated my family. Here's what I meant to say" began Rosen's article. Rosen obviously decided that since he had already torched his current career, he should probably also ruin any shred of reputation he had left on the Internet.

But, as it has been pointed out to me by certain people in my life, I shouldn’t call people names on the Internet. So instead, I will point out the flaws in his argument and why, as a presumably educated and hard-working man, he should be beyond writing a petty article that doesn’t exactly apologize, and may in fact cause him more harm than the initial offensive tweets.

“It was a disgusting comment born from dark humor I have developed working in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Lebanon -- and a need to provoke people.” Yes, because provoking people will always excuse your actions. Like this one time, last week, when I poked this guy with a stick and he got really angry and I was all like, “It’s OK, dude. I was just trying to provoke you!”

“Now, Twitter is no place for nuance, which is why I should have stuck to long-form journalism.” Yeah. Hindsight is always 20/20.

“Meanwhile, I have not seen any condemnation of the pure hatred, racism and vitriol that I've seen spewed all over the Internet in response to the Logan story.” We all know that shifting the blame absolutely always works. When I do something dumb, like make light of sexual harassment online, I usually just blame someone else for it and no one is the wiser.

“I hope that people will take time to read my work and understand that I have spent my career taking a lot of heat for defending victims of all kinds, not just Arabs and Muslims.” Nir, let’s have a talk. When you apologize, just apologize. Don’t apologize and then continue on saying why you shouldn’t have to apologize. It just seems insincere. And unapologetic. Which I think is the opposite this of what you want. Plus, after you prove yourself as an inconsiderate buffoon on the Internet, I’m really not that likely to read any more of your portfolio.

“And I hope Ms. Logan and other victims of sexual violence will one day forgive me for my terrible mistake.” OK, that one sounded genuine. Maybe you should have left it at that, Nir.

by Emily Ferber

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