I don’t know Nir Rosen. Apparently, he’s an NYU fellow, a liberal journalist, and a fan of Twitter. Around 4:00PM EST yesterday, he was also a wise ass, sending this cynical tweet regarding the physical and sexual assault on Lara Logan of CBS:
“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.”
That particular message is no longer up on his stream, but a sequence of responses remain that document his increasing alarm at the response he generated. Thanks to their time stamps, the path of Mr. Rosen’s rapidly unravelling day is all too easy to reconstruct.
Apparently, someone named Joshus Foust was first to take umbrage with the crass joke. Mr. Rosen responded to him with a few tweets:
@joshuafoust look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than i’m sorry
When that didn’t work, he got a bit huffy.
@joshuafoust my wife didnt dedicate her career to promoting america’s wars
After that, it’s obvious that the direct messages must have really picked up. Fully on the defensive, Mr. Rosen felt compelled to clarify his position–clarifications he hoped would cool down the response to an insensitive crack he forgot to remember he said, not to a few like-minded friends, but to any of the 106 million US Twitter accounts.
jesus christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger
ah fuck it, i apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, thats obvious, but i’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get
and as a result of that i hope people remember her role glorifying war and condemning rolling stone’s hastings while defending mcchrystal
All too soon, he must have felt the unbearable scale of the world wide web’s disdain. And all of it must have felt squarely focused on him. Within fifteen minutes, he was in full fall-back mode, and the apologies started in earnest.
i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private
As someone who’s devoted his career to defending victims and supporting justice, I’m very ashamed for my insensitive and offensive comments
Oddly, his new found fame led to a rash of new found followers, and one apology clearly wouldn’t do. He went on to post five or six more, ultimately giving up any defense of his initial joke. He posted this last one at what must have been a bleary-eyed and deeply depressing 2:45 AM this morning.
but there is no point following me, i am done tweeting. too ashamed of how i have hurt others and the false impression i gave of who i am
He was up, not four hours later and posted this:
I feel I should make one last statement. I offer my deepest apologies to Ms. Logan, her friends and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone
I love comedy. I even enjoy off-color, inappropriate comedy. I can’t pretend to have excised all the insensitive references from my synapses and still find myself occasionally laughing at something that in mixed company would horrify me.
But I do that in small, familiar groups or the privacy of my own home. Mr. Rosen didn’t. He has since resigned NYU. When I screw up and make an offensive comment, it echoes in my mind for years. I can’t imagine the repercussions this extraordinarily public mistake will have in his mind. Still, it’s hard to feel sorry for him.
When everyone’s connected, everyone’s listening. Your online self must represent your better self. Unless you’re ready to become the latest pariah.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79