The New York Daily News published a new account this morning on CBS’ Lara Logan a year after her sexual assault in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Logan says she is suffering from latent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The profile goes through the painful details and aftermath of what it’s like to be a rape victim. While the publication takes a sympathetic view, some commenters attack Logan, making claims that she is exaggerating, lying or that she was asking to be raped. Some suggest that she’s not a real victim of rape: “Nice try, CBS. Next time ask a REAL victim of rape what it feels like.” Another says Logan has no business covering a story like this because she’s a woman: “Stay home, watch your kids, make sandwiches, and leave work like this to men.” Still another calls her a “liberal beyotch.”
The New York Daily News has no plans to remove the comments. They are fair game as far as the newspaper’s policy goes. A spokesperson for the web desk tells FishbowlDC, “It depends on the nature of the comment. If it gives away personal information or things of that nature, we definitely flag them. If it’s just something mean-spirited, it’s not our policy to delete them.”
Late last year, we reported on The Hill and how they planned to change their comments section for this very reason. Editor-in-chief Hugo Gurdon told us, “We have been testing a new comment system for a few weeks on the Washington Scene and we’ll be introducing it to our main site in the next couple of weeks. Up until now, comment boards have been entirely open access and this has led to some problems. We sometimes do feel the need to take down comments that are offensive and the new system will alert us to those more efficiently. We want our comment boards to be open forums for debate, but obviously there need to be limits.”
They aren’t the only ones. More and more publications such as Politico and Mediaite to name a few are keeping a more watchful eye over comments being left on their pages.