Who is Lara Logan?
Who is Lara Logan? The entertainment and news world knows her as Lara Logan a South African television and radio journalist and war correspondent. She is currently the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, a correspondent for 60 Minutes and appears in segments for CBS Evening News.
It was during her studies that Logan began working as a news reporter for the Sunday Tribune in Durban from 1988–89, and found work with the Daily News, another Durban publication, between 1990 and 1992. In 1992 she began working for Reuters Television in Africa, primarily as a senior producer. After four years she branched out into freelance journalism, finding work and assignments as a reporter and editor/producer with ITN and Fox/SKY, CBS News, ABC News (London), NBC, and the European Broadcast Union. She also found work with CNN, reporting on incidents such as the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi and Tanzania, the conflict in Northern Ireland, and the Kosovo war.
Logan was hired by GMTV breakfast television in the UK as a correspondent in 2000, and also worked with CBS News Radio as a freelance correspondent. Days after the attacks on 9/11, Logan begged a clerk at the Russian Embassy in London to give her an expedited visa to travel to Afghanistan. In November 2001, while in Afghanistan working for GMTV, Logan infiltrated the American-and British-backed Northern Alliance and interviewed their commander, General Babajan, at the Bagram Air Base.
Her skill as a reporter persuaded CBS News to offer her an official role within their organisation in 2002. Logan spent much of the next four years reporting from the field, including war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, often as an embedded journalist with the American Armed Forces. Many of her reports were for 60 Minutes II, and she was also a regular contributor to shows such as CBS Evening News, The Early Show and Face The Nation. She was promoted to the position of the Chief Foreign Correspondent for CBS News in February 2006.
Haifa Street fighting
In late January 2007, Logan filed a report about fighting along Haifa Street in Baghdad. When CBS News refused to run the report on the nightly news because the footage was “a bit strong,” Logan tried to win public support to reverse this decision. Logan said, “I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people you know as possible. It should be seen. And people should know about this.” Logan went on to use some of the Haifa Street material during a 60 Minutes report about life in Baghdad under the surge.
Michael Hastings controversy
In June 2010, a Rolling Stone magazine article by Michael Hastings quoted four-star Army General Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff contemptuously criticizing civilian government officials. As a consequence of the article, President Obama fired McCrystal as his top commander in Afghanistan on 23 June 2010.Logan said Hastings’s reporting was “sensational”, and, by relaying “insults and banter”, he had violated an “unspoken agreement” and “element of trust” between reporters and military personnel. ABC News reported that an unnamed source, identified as a “military official”, had noted the lack of written ground rules between Hastings’ staff and Hastings. The official nonetheless was confident that Hastings had published comments from what McChrystal staffers had assumed discussions that were off-the-record. Rolling Stone editor Eric Bates countered that prior to publishing the Hastings article, the magazine had abided by all of the “express requests for off-the-record and background or not-for-attribution” made by the military.
Matt Taibbi wrote a Rolling Stone blog entry titled “Lara Logan You Suck”, in which he said “If there’s a lower form of life on the planet earth than a “reputable” journalist protecting his territory, I haven’t seen it”, and found Logan ignorant of journalistic responsibilities. Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com said Logan had shown herself to be “like the most devoted member of McChyrstal’s P.R. staff or even his family.” CNN’s former chief military correspondent, Jamie McIntyre said Logan’s mention of Hastings’ lack of military service was “clueless and unhelpful”, adding that Logan’s “ill-conceived attack” had “unfortunately reinforced the worst stereotype of reporters who ’embed’ with senior military officers but are actually ‘in bed’ with them”. McIntyre said Logan’s statements on Hastings provided the “smoking gun” to those “looking for evidence combat reporters are too dazzled by the shiny stars on the commander’s epaulets.”
Protests in Egypt
On 3 February 2011, Time magazine reported that while covering the Egyptian Revolution, Logan and her crew were arrested by the Egyptian army in Cairo. Logan said the government wanted to prevent further film coverage. She said that prior to the arrest: “We were heavily heavily intimidated and bullied” and “accused of being agents and spies for Israel.” Logan later said of the arrest: “We were not attacked by crazy people in Tahrir Square. We were detained by the Egyptian army. Arrested, detained, and interrogated. Blindfolded, handcuffed, taken at gunpoint, our driver beaten. It’s the regime that arrested us. They arrested [our producer] just outside of his hotel, and they took him off the road at gunpoint, threw him against the wall, handcuffed him, blindfolded him. Took him into custody like that.”
On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement revealing that some four days earlier, Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following the resignation of then President Hosni Mubarak. CBS News indicated that she was overwhelmed along with her camera crew and security staff before being saved by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers. Logan returned to her hotel after the assault and was flown out of the country within hours on a chartered network jet.
Logan’s husband, Joseph Burkett, is a U.S. Federal Government defense contractor from Texas, whom she met in Afghanistan. They live in Washington, D.C., with their two-year-old son and Burkett’s daughter. Her first husband, Jason Siemon, was a professional basketball player in the United Kingdom.