New York University fired my media colleague Nir Rosen today for repeatedly using Twitter to mock CBS correspondent Lara Logan after she was sexually assaulted by a mob in Cairo. Karen Greenberg, Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security, accepted his resignation.
I’m not sure why it took so long for his career to crash. Not only did he link approvingly to Taliban propaganda on last year’s anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, he once used his American identification to sneak Taliban commanders past a checkpoint in Afghanistan. Even though he’s an Israeli citizen, somehow he managed to embed with Hezbollah when its fighters invaded and shot up my old West Beirut neighborhood in 2008. He told a Lebanese journalist friend of mine to his face that Hezbollah’s coup was “necessary.” He has said that he hopes for a Third Intifada and that he wants to see Tel Aviv bombed. He openly pines for the destruction of Israel.
I think it’s safe to say that upwards of 90 percent of Americans would find behavior and opinions like his repulsive and would rather get their news about the Middle East from somebody else. His career may well recover, but if it doesn’t, he’ll still have his First Amendment rights. Even if every editor in the country decides he’s too toxic to publish, no one will stop him from writing a blog or yelling at people on street corners.
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