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Lara Logan

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Lara Logan
Lara Logan in 2013
Born (1971-03-29) 29 March 1971 (age 44)
Durban, South Africa
Education Degree in commerce, 1992
Alma mater University of Natal, Durban
Occupation Journalist, since 1988
Employer CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent (2006–present)
Spouse(s) Jason Siemon (m. 1998)
Joseph Burkett (m. 2008)
Website CBS webpage

Lara Logan (born 29 March 1971)[4] is a South African television and radio journalist and war correspondent. She is the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News and a correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes.

Personal life

Logan was born in Durban, South Africa,[1] and attended high school at Durban Girls' College.[5] She graduated from the University of Natal in Durban in 1992 with a degree in commerce. She went on to earn a diploma in French language, culture and history at Alliance Française in Paris.[1]

She married Jason Siemon, an Iowan playing professional basketball in the U.K., but the marriage ended in divorce. In 2008 she married Joseph Burkett, a U.S. government defense contractor from Texas, whom she had met years before in Afghanistan.[6][7] They live in Washington, D.C., with their son Joseph (born December 2008) daughter Lola (born March 2010),[8][7] and Burkett's daughter, Ashley, from a previous marriage.[7]


Logan interviewing General Norton A. Schwartz, April 2009

Logan worked as a news reporter for the Sunday Tribune in Durban during her studies (1988–1989), then for the city's Daily News (1990–1992). In 1992 she joined Reuters Television in Africa, primarily as a senior producer. After four years she branched out into freelance journalism, obtaining assignments as a reporter and editor/producer with ITN and Fox/SKY, CBS News, ABC News (in 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.[1]

Logan was hired in 2000 by GMTV Breakfast Television (in the UK) as a correspondent; she also worked with CBS News Radio as a freelance correspondent. Days after the 11 September attacks, she asked a clerk at the Russian Embassy in London to give her a visa to travel to Afghanistan. In November 2001, while in Afghanistan working for GMTV, she infiltrated the American-British-backed Northern Alliance and interviewed their commander, General Babajan, at the Bagram Air Base.[9]

CBS News offered her a full-fledged correspondent position in 2002. She spent much of the next four years reporting from the battlefield, including war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, often embedded with the American Armed Forces. Many of her reports were for 60 Minutes II. She is also a regular contributor to the CBS Evening News, The Early Show and Face The Nation. In February 2006, Logan was promoted to "Chief foreign affairs correspondent" for CBS News.[1]

Haifa Street fighting

In late January 2007, Logan filed a report of fighting along Haifa Street in Baghdad, but the CBS Evening News did not run the report; deeming it "a bit strong".[10][11] To reverse the decision, Logan enlisted public support; requesting them to watch the story and pass the link to as many of their friends and acquaintances as possible, saying "It should be seen".[11][12] Logan later used the Haifa Street material for a 60 Minutes report on Baghdad during the surge.[citation needed]

Criticism of Michael Hastings

Logan was criticized in June 2010 for her remarks about another journalist, Michael Hastings, and her view that reporters who embed with the military ought not to write about the general banter they hear. An article by Hastings in Rolling Stone that month quoted General Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff—comments Hastings overheard while traveling with McChrystal—criticizing U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and other officials, after which President Obama fired McChrystal as his commander in Afghanistan.[13] Logan told CNN that Hastings' reporting had violated an unspoken agreement between reporters who travel with military personnel not to report casual comments that pass between them.[14]

Quoting her statement, "I mean, the question is, really, is what General McChrystal and his aides are doing so egregious, that they deserved to end a career like McChrystal's? I mean, Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has." CNN's former chief military correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, said that what they did was indeed egregious, and that her comments "unfortunately reinforced the worst stereotype of reporters who 'embed' with senior military officers but are actually 'in bed' with them."[15] He went on to quote Admiral Mike Mullen's statement that military personnel must be neutral and should not criticize civilian leaders.

Glenn Greenwald of Salon wrote that she had done courageous reporting over the years, but had come to see herself as part of the government and military.[16]

Reporting from Egypt and sexual assault

Logan and her CBS crew were arrested and detained for one night by the Egyptian Army on 3 February 2011, while covering the Egyptian Revolution. She said the crew was blindfolded and handcuffed at gunpoint, and their driver beaten. They were advised to leave the country, but were later released.[17][18]

On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement that Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted on 11 February, while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak's resignation.[19] CBS 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with her about it on 1 May 2011; she said she was speaking out because of the prevalence of sexual assault in Egypt, and to break the silence about the sexual violence women reporters are reluctant to report in case it prevents them from doing their jobs.[20][21]

She said the incident involved 200–300 men and lasted around 25 minutes. She had been reporting the celebrations for an hour without incident when her camera battery failed. One of the Egyptian CBS crew suggested they leave, telling her later he heard the crowd make inappropriate sexual comments about her. She felt hands touching her, and can be heard shouting "stop", just as the camera died. One of the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew, a claim that CBS said, though false, was a "match to gasoline". She went on to say that they tore off her clothes and, in her words, raped her with their hands, while taking photographs with their cellphones. They began pulling her body in different directions, pulling her hair so hard she said it seemed they were trying to tear off chunks of her scalp. Believing she was dying, she was dragged along the square to where the crowd was stopped by a fence, alongside which a group of women were camping. One woman wearing a chador put her arms around Logan, and the others closed ranks around her, while some men who were with the women threw water at the crowd. A group of soldiers appeared, beat back the crowd with batons, and one of them threw Logan over his shoulder. She was flown back to the U.S. the next day, where she spent four days in the hospital.[20] She was contacted by President Obama when she arrived home.[22] CBS said it remained unclear who the attackers were, and unlikely that any will be prosecuted.[20]

Comments about Afghanistan and Libya

In October 2012, Logan delivered a speech before the annual luncheon of the Better Government Association in which she sharply criticized the Obama Administration's statements about the War in Afghanistan and other conflicts in the Arab world. In particular, Logan criticized the Obama Administration's claims that the Taliban was weakening in Afghanistan, calling such claims "a major lie" made in preparation for ending the U.S. military role in that country. She also stated that she hoped that the United States would "exact revenge" for the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which U.S. diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed in Libya.[23]

Benghazi report apology

On 8 November 2013, Logan went on CBS This Morning to apologize for an inaccurate 60 Minutes report about the Benghazi attack, which had aired on 27 October. She indicated that an investigation uncovered that the source of much of her reporting was inaccurate and blamed it on Dylan Davies, manager of the local guard force at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. Logan said he lied about information but insisted they looked into his credibility and relied on such things as photographs and documents he supplied. In hindsight, Logan said they learned that the story told by Davies didn't match what he told federal investigators. "You know the most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth," she said in the on-air apology on the morning show. "And today the truth is we made a mistake. And that's a ... that's very disappointing for any journalist. That's very disappointing for me." Logan went on to add, "Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake. But if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility – and you have to say you were wrong. And in this case we were wrong."[24] She was criticized for this apology by Jeremy Holden of Media Matters for America and Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post, who saw the apology as inadequate.[25][26]

On 26 November 2013, Logan was forced to take a leave of absence due to the errors in the Benghazi report.[27] Al Ortiz, Executive Director of Standards and Practices CBS News, wrote in a memo, "Logan made a speech in which she took a strong public position arguing that the US Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging actions that the US should take in response to the Benghazi attack. From a CBS News Standards perspective, there is a conflict in taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story."[28][29]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lara Logan". CBS News. 2 December 2002. 
  2. ^ "CBS News' Lara Logan, al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz win John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for 2011". The Sacramento Bee (Washington). PR Newswire. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. The National Press Club has selected CBS News correspondent Lara Logan and al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz as winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for 2011. 
  3. ^ Foster, Stella (17 October 2011). "Stella Foster recognized for journalism career". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Logan, Lara, entry: Current Biography Yearbook 67. H.W. Wilson Company. 2006. p. 344. 
  5. ^ "Lara Logan". NNDb. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  6. ^ "Coverage of messy divorce ensnares CBS reporter with ties to Quad-Cities". The Washington Post via Quad-City Times. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Singer, Sally (17 February 2012). "Safe at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Dornic, Matt (4 March 2010). "Lara Logan Delivers". FishbowlDC/Adweek. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Steinberg, Jacques (23 November 2005). "War Zone "It Girl" Has a Big Future at CBS News". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Logan, Lara (18 January 2007). "Battle for Haifa Street". CBS News. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Helping Lara Logan". Archived from the original on 21 May 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2007. 
  12. ^ David, Bauder (1 February 2007). "CBS Correspondent Makes Plea for Airtime". Casper Star Tribune. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  13. ^ Hastings, Michael (22 June 2010). "The Runaway General". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Kurtz, Howard (27 June 2010). "Interview With Michael Hastings; Interview With Lara Logan". CNN. 
  15. ^ McIntyre, Jamie (30 June 2010). "Lara Logan's Friendly Misfire". Line of Departure. 
  16. ^ Greenwald, Glen (28 June 2010). "The two poles of journalism". Salon. 
  17. ^ Kamer, Foster (February 11, 2011). "Lara Logan's Egypt Interrogation Tell-All". Esquire. 
  18. ^ "TIME Exclusive: CBS's Lara Logan and Crew Detained in Cairo As Violence Escalates". Time. 3 February 2011. 
  19. ^ Stelter, Brian (15 February 2011). "CBS Says Lara Logan Suffered 'Brutal' Attack in Cairo". The New York Times. 
  20. ^ a b c
  21. ^ Stelter, Brian (28 April 2011). "CBS Reporter Recounts a 'Merciless' Assault". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Lara Logan Assaulted During Egypt Protests". CBS News. 15 February 2011. 
  23. ^ Reporter Lara Logan brings ominous news from Middle East, Chicago Sun-Times, 7 October 2012
  24. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (November 8, 2013). "Lara Logan Apologizes For '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report on 'CBS This Morning". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ Holden, Jeremy (10 November 2013). "Will Media Let 60 Minutes Off The Hook After Hollow 'Correction'?". Media Matters For America
  26. ^ Calderone, Michael (11 November 2013). "‘60 Minutes' Benghazi Apology Leaves Key Questions Unanswered". The Huffington Post.
  27. ^ Carter, Bill (26 November 2013). "'Leave of Absence' for Lara Logan After Flawed Benghazi Report". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  28. ^ Calderone, Michael (27 November 2013). "CBS News' Lara Logan Taking Leave Of Absence Over Discredited '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "CBS asks Lara Logan to take leave after flawed Benghazi report". CBS News. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 

External links