- - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Remember Lara Logan? The foreign war correspondent with the smoldering good looks who had risen to the pinnacle of CBS News, covering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and uprisings in Egypt and Libya?


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You’re no doubt not thinking, “Yeah, whatever happened to her?” But to catch you up, here’s the story:

Ms. Logan fell from grace after she produced a completely false report that ran on CBS’ iconic Sunday news program “60 Minutes.” Then, poof, she disappeared.


But she’s back. Sort of. New York magazine last week ran a piece on her stumble titled “Benghazi and the Bombshell — Is Lara Logan too toxic to return to '60 Minutes'?” The lengthy article was filled with praise for the hardworking reporter from South Africa, but also plenty of unpleasantness — her penchant for sexy clothing, her (some say unwarranted) rise to the top, her affair that was discovered when her boyfriend walked in on her and her new lover.

But she’s back for a reason, and the magazine wanted to make one point most clear: “As a journalist, Logan is a product of the Bush years, her career defined by America’s Middle East wars and the military personnel and military contractors who were her sources and friends,” wrote reporter Joe Hagan.


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Ms. Logan for years got inside access to the military, partly due to her charm, but also because of her tenacity and sheer fearlessness. Her pieces were almost always flattering to generals and enlisted men alike. CBS execs saw the coverage as useful — an “antidote,” the mag said. Her reports would give the network the appearance of fairness. How could CBS have a liberal bias if it ran Ms. Logan’s patriotic pieces?

Then the whole thing went FUBAR. Ms. Logan was offered a “first look” at a book titled “The Embassy House,” Mr. Hagan wrote. The book’s author was a former military contractor named Dylan Davies who claimed he was an eyewitness to the attack in Benghazi, which left the ambassador and three other Americans dead.

Without much fact-checking, CBS ran the story last October. But it turned out to be wrong — way wrong. Mr. Davies wasn’t there at all, didn’t see anything. In fact, he never mentioned any of the wild claims from his book when the FBI interviewed him.

Still, Ms. Logan wasn’t fired, she was put on indefinite leave, as was a producer. And the magazine piece ends by saying, “Lara Logan may, or may not, return in the fall season” and that “a well-placed source at CBS suggests that [network president Les Moonves] has soured on Logan.”

So a reporter failed at her core job — to gather facts, triple-check them, report the truth — and disappeared. Why the story?

Because the Left doesn’t want her to come back. She was, and is, unabashedly pro-military. But more, she’s toxic — at least to the liberal media. She said in October 2012, just as President Obama was seeking to sweep Benghazi under the rug during the run-up to the November election, that the administration was telling a “major lie” in claiming al Qaeda and the Taliban had been weakened.

“In your arrogance, you think you write the script,” she said of the president.

Media Matters responded to the magazine piece with an article titled “CBS Still Won’t Come Clean About Lara Logan And The Benghazi Debacle.”

“What the feature also does is remind us that, despite these internal critiques, CBS still refuses to be fully transparent about the controversy and the malpractice that was in play,” the website wrote.

Story Continues →