Former CBS journalist Lara Logan has claimed that most of the world’s media is unfairly biased against President Donald Trump in a move that she has branded “professional suicide”.
Speaking with Mike Ritland of the Mike Drop podcast, Logan said that the media in the US and elsewhere is “mostly liberal” and that coverage of the Trump administration “all the time, is negative”.
“I’ve been part of this for all my life, I’m 47 now and I’ve been a journalist since I was 17 and the media everywhere is mostly liberal not just in the US but in this country 85 percent of journalists are registered Democrats so that’s just a fact,” she told Ritland.
“For example, the coverage on Trump, all the time, is negative. There’s no mitigating policy, or event or anything that has happened since he was elected that is out there in the media that you can read about, right? Well, that tells you, that’s distortion of the way things go in real life,” she added.
She admitted that the interview may result in “professional suicide”. However, this is not the first time that Logan has spoken up for what she believes in.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Logan Began Her Career on a Local Newspaper in Her Native South Africa
Despite spending the past three decades reporting agenda-setting stories from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Logan’s career began as a beat reporter on Durban’s Sunday Tribune at just 17-years-old. From there she graduated to the city’s Daily News newspaper before becoming a senior producer for the Reuters news agency.
In 1996, she decided to become a freelancer for a range of international outlets including ITN News, Fox, NBC, and the European Broadcast Union.
It was in 1998 that she began to work with CNN, during which time she covered major international events in Kenya, Tanzania, Northern Ireland, and Kosovo. She later served as a correspondent for UK outlet GMTV.
Logan finally reached CBS in 2002 where she was assigned the role of 60 MINUTES II correspondent before becoming Chief Foreign Correspondent in 2006.
Outside of the newsroom, Logan is married to US government contractor Joseph Burkett, who whom she has two children, Lola and Joseph. They live together with Burkett’s daughter, Ashley. She was previously married to basketball player Jason Siemon but the pair divorced in 2008.
2. Logan Fought Tooth and Nail with CBS Bosses to Broadcast Controversial Iraq War Footage
Logan sparked controversy during her time at CBS. The seasoned reporter was on assignment in Baghdad in 2007 when she captured the bloody reality of life on the city’s streets with a segment featuring a gruesome street fight known as The Battle of Haifa Street.
CBS execs refused to air the clip, which included ordinary Iraqis criticizing the US invasion on the grounds that it was “a bit strong“.
During the clip, one civilian can be heard telling Logan: “They told us they would bring democracy, they promised life would be better than it was under Saddam,” one told Logan. “But they brought us nothing but death and killing. They brought mass destruction to Baghdad.”
Logan launched a campaign involving colleagues, friends, and the wider public to have the clip aired on US prime time TV. Some footage from the clip was later used in a 60 Minutes report about life in Baghdad.
3. She Survived a Brutal Sexual Assault During the Egyptian Revolution in 2011
One of the most harrowing incidents of Logan’s career happened in Tahrir Square in the midst of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
While filming from the square, Logan was separated from her bodyguards and crew by a mob of men who repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
She later described the incident in horrific detail to 60 Minutes.
“I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things because the sexual assault was all I could feel,” she said.
“They were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp…not trying to pull out my hair, holding big wads of it literally trying to tear my scalp off my skull. I was in no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying.”
She was rescued from her attackers by a group of Egyptian women.
4. She Sparked Controversy by Criticizing US Actions in Afghanistan and Libya
In 2012, Logan strongly criticized the Obama administration for claiming that the Taliban had been weakened by the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Speaking at a Better Government Association luncheon, she said: “I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated…the lie is that the U.S. military has tamed the Taliban.”
“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” she said.
“It’s such nonsense,” she added.
Meanwhile, Logan also spoke out following an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
“When I look at what’s happening in Libya, there’s a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest,” she said.
“And you just want to scream, ‘For God’s sake, are you kidding me?’ … I hope to God that you are sending in your best clandestine warriors who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked,” she added.
5. Logan was Forced to Apologize Following a Botched Report About the Benghazi Incident
Logan’s dazzling media career landed in turmoil in 2013 after a report she carried out about the Benghazi attack turned out to be false. The controversial dispatch featured a British security contractor Dylan Davies, known by the pseudonym Morgan Jones.
In the report, Davies said that he had taken down an attacker using the butt of a rifle on the night of the 2012 attack. This claim later turned out to be false.
Logan apologized to 60 Minutes viewers after the truth emerged. “We realized we had been misled and it was a mistake to include him in our report. For that, we are very sorry,” Logan told 60 Minutes viewers.
“The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth, and the truth is: we made a mistake,” she added.
She was then ordered to take a leave of absence by CBS bosses before returning to the network in June 2014.
A CBS probe into the matter highlighted issues with her team’s failure to ensure the credibility of the source and also with Logan’s earlier personal comments regarding the Benghazi attack.
In February 2019, Variety Magazine reported that Logan no longer worked with the network. Her last assignment was a piece on poaching in South Africa, which aired in May 2018.