The month of May has seen some extreme news cross the wires. Speaking strictly for me, let me tell you who's the garden-party rose, and who's the skunk in the news.
Hours before the smashing news of Osama bin Laden's end on May 1, the American public heard an extraordinary tale told by one of the brightest voices in Washington. Lara Logan, a newswoman and a force to be reckoned with, gazed straight at her CBS News colleague Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes and told him about being sexually assaulted by a mob in Cairo. This was not a "story" to tell on the evening news budget, but a forced march to the darkest side of Egyptian revolutionary fervor this winter. Doing her job with her team, she was suddenly seized by a throng of hundreds of men who had no mercy on her. Logan felt she would die then and there.
Pelley, as fearless as he is, never faced such a gruesome ordeal on the job. This was a cruel female predicament, and what rage was visited on her! Almost biblically, Logan was rescued from her plight by a group of women near the main square, named Tahrir for freedom. The brutal assault on Logan during the "Arab Spring" gave the world a look at the deplorable state of Arab women's human rights. [See photos of the Egypt protests.]
Logan lived to courageously tell her truth to her family, her colleagues, and then the wider world. I commend her highly for not hiding or silencing the truth. Silence empowers the doers and weakens the victim every time. Most newspapers do not print the names of women who are raped, as a policy. To overcome the shame attached to rape, it would be well for more women to identify themselves if they undergo sexual assault, so they feel less alone and find support in their community. Then society will see they are our students, sisters, wives, daughters, and mothers.
In this case, Logan's community was the world she covers as chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. I loved seeing her speak on the death of bin Laden, live, just a few hours after her 60 Minutes interview aired and 24 hours after she attended the glam White House Correspondents' Dinner. That first day in May was a magnificent victory for her and for those who admire her unbreakable spirit. She's the garden party rose, in fresh bloom.
The skunk is not Donald Trump, but Newt Gingrich, who's running for president. He's never faced more than one Georgia congressional district's worth of voters, and that was a long time ago. He acts the part of a historian, but rashly deploys history purely for his political purposes. A scholar he is not; his rough sirenesque voice shakes the darling buds of May. Most brazenly, he conducted an affair while waging political war on the president of the United States over a dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. The Clintons stayed together, by the way, but not the Gingriches. You'd think a hypocrite like that would have the decency to stay at home. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.]
Remember the Greek drama of President Clinton's impeachment and trial? A different end was a damn near thing. That's what Gingrich hoped for, worked for, lived for in those days.
Last we come to this: Seldom does Gingrich make sense, if you parse his high-falutin' words. Sorry to say, but he's so last century, and surely the skunk at the garden party.