Neocon Blogosphere Changes Tune on Lara Logan
When you’re playing reporter while fronting for one of the war cheerleader networks like CBS, you can’t get too far from reality, or you will lose all credibility. For those assigned to stir up the bellicose right wing, that’s enough for them to tar you as some kind of an anti-American pro-terrorist spokesperson. That may be how some of them painted Lara Logan before, but after the big Cairo “incident,” paraphrasing an old cigarette commercial, she’s come a long way, baby.
First, here’s one of that sleazy Fox-news sort, Rightpundits.com, lighting into her back in 2008 when her personal life became, shall we say, a little messy:
Just when you can’t quite figure out why CBS war correspondent Lara Logan (aka Laura Logan) seems to always find the most negative stories to report about our military from Iraq, we find out she’s sleeping with half of them. Well, maybe not half of them, but the current rumors surrounding her do give a better understanding of why she enjoys spending her career in Baghdad. The fact that she’s so critical of American military takes on a whole new meaning now that we understand the vantage point from which she may be reporting. We have wanted for so long to have reporters in Baghdad get behind our troops, but not UNDER them!
It’s much more understandable now why she couldn’t quite relate to our ‘boots on the ground’ as hers obviously weren’t. It gives an entirely new meaning to journalists being embedded with the troops.
According to an article in the New York Post, the sultry ‘60-minutes’ reporter and former swimsuit model is in the middle of a naughty sex scandal involving herself and two of her war zone lovers, CNN war reporter Michael Ware and a American civilian contractor Joe Burkett. Burkett’s wife is a US Embassy worker and has accused Logan of destroying the Burkett’s marriage.
The two men were reported to have gotten into a fight in Baghdad. This could explain why Lara never reported on the progress towards peace there, apparently, in her world, there was still plenty of fighting going on. One can only surmise that ‘incoming’ had a very different meaning for her.
And here is how a poster on the fake conservative Free Republic, who describes himself as a “semi-retired conservative former TV Network newsie,” weighed in on the scandal:
According to reports circulating at CBS HQ and the network assignment desk in NY, the Always Lovely Lara Logan and her boyfriend, Michael Ware of CNN, had a huge blowup last week (December 2007) in Baghdad. It seems that just when the fighting outside the Green Zone is dying down, a huge lovers’ spat there made things a bit more spicy and dicey inside the Zone.
According to reports, Ms Logan was “entertaining” a male US embassy employee in CBS’s rented residence when Ware arrived unexpectedly. Reportedly the State Department employee was doing to Ms Logan what the entire State Department has been doing to the US taxpayers for years.
Ware's "uncovering" the torid [sic] tryst led to a very loud and public fight. It reportedly lasted for hours and even spilled over to the CNN safehouse next door…
Just to make it more interesting, this titillating triangle is really a ribald rectangle.
It seems there is yet another man involved, Laura Logan’s HUSBAND, professional basketball player Jason Siemon! His whereabouts are unknown, but he is certainly not in Iraq!
Now, the latest from July 2008:
It now seems that Ms Logan is pregnant... not by her husband, nor by Ware or the stuffed shirt from the State Department... but by a man hiding behind (or slyly being admitted through) Door Number 4!!!!
A certain Mr. Joseph Burket [sic] is Contestant, (or should we say "Consumator") Number 4!
He is a DOD civilian contractor in Iraq whose wife is suing him for divorce in Texas. I guess when others in Baghdad were filling sandbags for their protection, Mr. Burkett was filling other things and not worrying about protection.
At that point, Ms. Logan hardly seemed a likely candidate to turn into a sort of neocon heroine. Neither did she come across to them—or anyone—as exactly the most believable person in the world, especially when the subject at hand is sexual. Certainly, from what we are told by these “conservative” bloggers, Mr. Siemon or Mr. Ware would have a hard time putting any faith in her word, one would think.
The New Tune
After 18 days of sustained, peaceful popular uprising, the hated autocrat and close ally of the United States government, Hosni Mubarak, was brought down. Covering the demonstrations had been hazardous for journalists. Anderson Cooper of CNN informed us that he and his crew had been roughed up by some of Mubarak’s thugs. Then, on Friday, February 11, Mubarak stepped down, euphoria reigned, and the crowds and journalists of all stripes, including American network reporters, engaged in one big love-in.
NBC’s Richard Engel began his poignant report that day, “The people have risen up and toppled a police state,” and he ended it, “The Egyptian People Are Free.” Near rapture was also the mood captured by a team of CBS reporters. Lara Logan, we are told, was gathering information independently for 60 Minutes.
In the midst of all the joy, though, something dark was going on behind the scenes. The big question is whether the scene of that action was among the reveling crowds of Cairo or in the back rooms of those who hatched up the pretext for America’s wars in the Middle East. After years of being demonized by the great American propaganda machine, in a few short days in full view of American television cameras, the Muslims and the Arabs had been humanized as never before.
Then, four days later, on Tuesday, February 15, the humanization engine went into full throttle reverse. CBS News announced that in the midst of the celebration Lara Logan had become separated from her crew, had become surrounded, and had “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”
Up to now, that is all that we have been told by CBS or by anyone else for attribution. Not one of the rescuing women or soldiers has been heard from. How they materialized upon the scene and overcame the attackers has not been elaborated upon. Logan’s certain screams would have contrasted sharply with the noise of the revelers, but if that is what attracted the rescuers, no one is saying. We don’t even know if the crew heard screams or if they even knew that she was no longer among them. Their lips are sealed.
Rightpundits.com, like the rest of the American news media, had heard all it wanted to hear, and Lara Logan was no longer their whipping girl; she was the love of their life, the second coming of Joan of Arc, or at least, maybe, of Jessica Lynch. Thanks to the incident, their obvious Arab and Muslim demonization agenda was back on track. Here are excerpts from their take on the cryptic CBS release:
Lara Logan, a top foreign correspondent for CBS news, is currently hospitalized in the U.S.A. after a barbaric, sustained sexual assault last week in Cairo, Egypt.
She and her crew were covering the joy and relief in Tahrir Square, the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president when the brutal attack occurred.
Read more and see the video of Lara Logan explaining her job, in a question and answering session below. The video is from October, 2010.
Citing a 2005 report on the dangers faced by journalists under the oppressive Mubarak regime, they suggest that CBS and Logan might have known the dangers of operating among Muslims and Arabs generally:
I want to blame Logan, I want to blame CBS and I want to blame us; yet the fault belongs to the perpetrators of this barbaric, sadistic and violent act.
They wanted democracy yet chose mob rule. How very cowardly…
I doubt these men will ever be caught or punished. Savaging women seems to be okay with the general population of those peace loving folks. Obviously the peace they seek is in the ruination of women.
From watching this young woman over the years, she appears strong and determined.
We can only hope and pray she remains that way and comes away from this brutal, “sustained sexual assault” with her head held high.
Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid New York Post poured more fuel on the anti-Muslim flames by reporting, “A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, ‘Jew! Jew!’ during the assault.” The Post also conflated the Logan news with the attempts of the Mubarak regime to put a lid on media reporting of the uprising. “As part of the anti-media backlash, CNN's Anderson Cooper had also been roughed up, and ABC correspondent Brian Hartman had been threatened with beheading.”
That there are people in Egypt who suspect that CBS News is fronting for the Zionists is quite believable and understandable, but what are we to make of that report from an anonymous “network source?” Does that mean that we do have a witness besides the silent Egyptian women and soldiers and the perpetrators? Did this witness’s sensitive ears pick up the ethnic epithet but fail to hear the screams? What else did this witness hear and see and what actions did he or she take?
As the story now stands, the Lara Logan mass sexual assault is a skeleton with no meat, and the wrong people are recklessly distorting known facts as they capitalize upon it. It is possible that every word of the sketchy release from CBS is true, even though it contrasts rather sharply with an earlier CBS report that would have placed her far away from Cairo on February 11. In the overall context, we need a lot more than the most recent story from CBS News. Those with an agenda of pitting America against the Muslim world obviously don’t.
February 18, 2011
*I have discovered this interview of Logan by PBS’s Charlie Rose on Monday, February 7, after she had been expelled from Egypt. She was in Washington. In that interview she indicated that it was unlikely that she would be going back to Egypt unless circumstances changed such as if she were promised an interview with Hosni Mubarak. Maybe she changed her mind…and maybe she didn’t. (Added Feb. 21, 2011)