The story from Egypt CBS wouldn’t tell

You’re the national TV network people turn to for news. A million happy protesters are cheering the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. It’s an easy story line to cover. Everybody’s happy. So that’s the story CBS has told last Friday:

But CBS knew there was a more sinister story to tell, and today its public relations department — not its news department — told it. One of its reporters, Lara Logan, was being attacked by more than 200 people who’d been “whipped into a frenzy” by the day’s events, according to an account in the New York Times.

After the mob surrounded her, Ms. Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers,” the network said.

Who attacked her? We don’t really know. Were they arrested? We don’t know. Why did she have to be saved by women? Why didn’t the men in the square do something to stop the awful assault? All fine questions. But we don’t know.

You’re in charge of CBS News. Should you have told the story of what was happening in that square last Friday? Would you have told it if it involved a woman who didn’t work for you?

Here’s Lara Logan’s appearance on Charlie Rose’s show a week ago.

“We have seen Lara’s compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs,” Committee to Protect Journalists chairman Paul Steiger said this afternoon. “She is a brilliant, courageous, and committed reporter. Our thoughts are with Lara as she recovers.”