Skip to main content

Cross-posted by Will Bunch at my Philadelphia Daily News blog, Attytood. Like most newspaper blogs, sadly, a lot of right-wingers camp out there, so I urge you come to come over and join the battle.

Lara Logan used to cover Baghdad for CBS News at the peak of the fighting in Iraq, then became the natwork's chief foreign correspondent, and just a few days ago it was announced that she'll be coming to Washington with a new title as chief foreign affairs correspondent. She has clearly been an up-and-coming star on CBS, where she sometimes appears on the flagship show "60 Minutes." She's been described in profiles as resourceful, certainly ambitious and seemingly fearless.

She has also been passionate about something that's been sorely lacking: Trying to get stories about the reality on the ground in Iraq and more recently Afghanistan onto American TV, where citizens can see for themselves what is happening in the wars that we pay for with our tax dollars and the blood of our citizens.

In 2007, she sent out an email begging for help because her CBS producers wouldn't air a graphic story, that included critical remarks about the U.S. occupation from Iraqi civilians, called "The Battle for Haifa Street."

Logan’s email, with the one-word subject line of ‘help’, was sent to friends and colleagues imploring them to lobby CBS to highlight that people are interested in seeing the piece. In it, Logan argues that the story is "not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore... It should be seen. And people should know about this."

In fact, the story never appeared on CBS as filmed, although it did appear on its Web site and some footage made it into other stories. But Logan has remained a critic of the way that the war is portrayed on the American media, and when she appeared on the popular "Daily Show" with Jon Stewart this month her outspoken words were hard to ignore.

Five years into the war in Iraq and nearly seven years into the war in Afghanistan, getting news of the conflicts onto television is harder than ever.

"If I were to watch the news that you hear here in the United States, I would just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts," Ms. Logan said.

Logan told the New York Times later that CBS's bureau in Baghdad had been drastically downsized:

Ms. Logan said she begged for months to be embedded with a group of Navy Seals, and when she came back with the story, a CBS producer said to her, "One guy in uniform looks like any other guy in a uniform." In the follow-up phone interview, Ms. Logan said the producer no longer worked at CBS. And in both interviews, she emphasized that many journalists at CBS News are pushing for war coverage, specifically citing Jeff Fager, the executive producer of "60 Minutes." CBS News won a Peabody Award last week for a "60 Minutes" report about a Marine charged in the killings at Haditha.

On "The Daily Show," Ms. Logan echoed the comments of other journalists when she said that many Americans seem uninterested in the wars now.

A number of bloggers picked up Logan's comments on "The Daily Show" and to the Times, and the video was a huge hit on the Internet. She was on with Stewart last week and was featured in the Times article on Monday. Later this week, a story appeared about Logan -- not exactly your normal A-list celebrity -- in the pages of the National Enquirer, which of couse had nothing to do with Logan's actual news coverage of Iraq or her pointed criticism of the U.S. media.

The story was strictly about allegations involving Logan's personal life. It was quickly picked up by some other outlets, some surprising, like the Huffington Post, and some not surprising at all. In fact, the story was splashed across the front page of this morning's New York Post, the tabloid that is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is also owner of (among many things) the Fox News Channel, the leading producer of braindead pro-war journalism that is the exact opposite of Logan's groundbreaking work. You'd also be shocked, I'm sure, to learn that the Post article is linked on the highly popular, conservative leaning Drudge Report. I'm not going to link to the articles -- use "the Google" if you must -- but to give you a flavor of this important news story, the Post cover shows a smiling Logan over the large headline, "Sexty Minutes."

If you do read the stories, you'd be hard-pressed to see why these allegations are suddenly rushing out now. One traces back to a court matter filed back in January. The second part of the article is old news, too -- dating back at least to last year. As the Post notes in the one part of the article that I will mention, it's a saga that "first broke on the in December."

The As in, the ultraconservative Web site where reporters and photojournalists who report truthfully from Iraq are frequently attacked or smeared. Indeed, it seems that attacks on Logan in the right-wing blogopshere are nothing new -- last year, conservative Michelle Malkin falsely charged that "Haifa Street" story contained footage provided by al-Qaeda.

But this is different -- the smearing of Lara Logan is bleeding into the mainstream, more widely read media, and it's getting personal. And of course it's easy to play devil's advocate, because gossip about certain types of TV personalties -- certainly the local news anchors in a market like mine, Philadelphia -- is standard newspaper fare, especually when the personalities are good-looking, as Logan surely is. But she's not an anchorwoman, just a network war correspondent whose not even based around here, and even if these stories about her personal foibles are true, and who knows about that, it's simply not Page 1 news.

But the timing here really stinks. Is this just another low-grade tabloid scandal -- or a message to journalists who dare to criticize big corporate media's growing blackout on news from Iraq?

Consider me highly suspicious.

Footnote: In the short time that it took me to write this post, a link to an article about the "scandal" from a site called Rightpundits was added to her Wikipedia entry -- it just never stops.

Originally posted to attytood on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:35 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, nitpicker, Jett, paradox, Doug in SF, zzyzx, DeminNewJ, vicki, chrississippi, TXdem, Ducktape, jillian, Trix, Mogolori, Irfo, Rayne, slinkerwink, Iddybud, Trendar, Better Days, jneufnyc, DelRPCV, KingOneEye, dbratl, MarkC, Nina Katarina, TrueBlueMajority, Unstable Isotope, saraswati, mattman, mikedallas23, newjeffct, DebtorsPrison, sacrelicious, bosdcla14, Emerson, karlpk, dengre, DR RD, Hummingbird, Debby, Shockwave, Wintermute, bellatrys, lysias, Mnemosyne, xynz, Sandy on Signal, Voodoo, frisco, lawnorder, blogswarm, bumblebums, exNYinTX, Poika, sclminc, RubDMC, fwiffo, fabacube, wonkydonkey, elveta, mbayrob, sfgb, Pithy Cherub, scamp, pattisigh, peraspera, L0kI, bincbom, k2winters, luku, MJB, BruinKid, jalbert, thingamabob, ctsteve, dmsilev, Cedwyn, antirove, Redfire, Ludi, kharma, hhex65, sockpuppet, MA Liberal, mad ramblings of a sane woman, kevin22262, bloomster, laughingriver, NYFM, Jujuree, defluxion10, nika7k, betson08, rockin in the free world, Bluefish, larrybutch, Curt Matlock, The little blogger that could, NapaJulie, Wife of Bath, kmbo, snowbird42, rickroks, maggie sarah, dakrle, BDA in VA, TexMex, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, sxwarren, Dirk McQuigley, chumley, bloomer 101, marina, Tinfoil Hat, ManOnTheBench, PAbluestater, el dorado gal, lilypew, LarisaW, 7rob7, seesdifferent, SherwoodB, Roadbed Guy, Mad Mom, Alice Marshall, PBen, Jersey Girl, KnotIookin, JohnB47, Simplify, DocGonzo, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, grimc, Mahler3, juliesie, EJP in Maine, reflectionsv37, ratzo, lennysfo, dansk47, mojo workin, cfk, Viceroy, Frank Palmer, Sun Tzu, Mr X, EdlinUser, GreyHawk, Gordon20024, podster, Kayakbiker, lotlizard, gerardbellavita, jane123, sunbro, SBandini, Gottayo, dazed in pa, Rogneid, bookwoman, doe, Ekaterin, empathy, danger durden, terjeanderson, noweasels, xaxnar, begone, alrdouglas, Mother Mags, Audio Guy, martini, occams hatchet, Ranchita, BobzCat, Do Tell, iheartbooks, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, GeoGrl, PatsBard, keeplaughing, MeMeMeMeMe, Annilow, BlueInARedState, awkawk, mooshter, The Wizard, rhetoricus, Magnifico, katier, XStryker, poichick, Naniboujou, a gnostic, Albatross, Irishkorean, DarkestHour, TalkieToaster, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, A Siegel, Lashe, gatorcog, Libby Shaw, NC Dem, real world chick, Caoimhin Laochdha, JVolvo, CTLiberal, Preston S, el cid, MarciaJ720, Dinclusin, Andy30tx, istari5th, blitz boy, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, RantNRaven, BoojumSte, AmySmith, kurious, bstotts, Snarcalita, Temmoku, AllanTBG, markthshark, mapman, Aaa T Tudeattack, AntKat, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, DrSteveB, nathguy, masaccio, Polacolor, meowmissy, hockeyrules, byDesign, blue armadillo, california keefer, godislove, bfbenn, ChakraTease, threegoal, Alfonso Nevarez, Sam from Ithaca, Brix, JeremyA, Duccio, la urracca, yowsta, sjtaylor, operculum, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Tenn Wisc Dem, londubh, bnasley, Kyle the Mainer, jedennis, vbdietz, mauro7inf, jnhobbs, Bronx59, millwood, jhop7, uciguy30, Chico David RN, Cliff Schecter, JML9999, TexasTwister, Captain Nimrod, eyesoars, pwrmac5, sable, acliff, alkalinesky, gundyj, Amor Y Risa, mconvente, Port City Moon, RickMassimo, A Simple Man, dotster, Boisepoet, Phil N DeBlanc, Cordwainer, OleHippieChick, Marinesquire, Rick Winrod, Pragmaticus, lineatus, wagdog, Happy Days, Lujane, Wek, daddy4mak, Jeff Y, mofembot, Taget, moneysmith, xango715, JedReport, Jacques, LCA, luckylizard, gaiilonfong, auctor ignotus, BYw, Karl Rover, BlueGenes, allie123, SteamPunkX, Guadalupe59, SpiffPeters, Scubaval, shortgirl, maxcat06, 4km, ryangoesboom, maggiejean, Sun dog, multilee, number nine dream, Leftcenterlibertarian, Texanomaly, drblack, liluli, snackdoodle, Boycott for Peace, deMemedeMedia, not a cent, An Affirming Flame, sunhaws, Shhs, ManahManah, lilsky, CanyonWren, Inky99, futurebird, Partisan Progressive, slaney black, ScientistSteve, VoteAqui, Krissy575, Jentutsy, followyourbliss, such sweet thunder, Ivey476, ZilV, soms, chinchin, rdxtion, sanglug, IngeniousGirl, KenInCO, sea2008, PhotogHog, audiored, Lava20, MrDeadeye2U, Houston Gardener, TriangleNC, CAragaki, azadmanish, mel70, etara, orangeuglad, Jezreel, voila, Tricky, lovelyivy, Colorado Billy, babykos, lh114, Just Bob, Culebrito Blanco, BigVegan, Norbrook, smileycreek, foufou, Junah, That Crazy Mom Over There, winkster, sovery, fedupcitizen, Loli, robertacker13, imamish, jethrock, fidellio, fleisch, Crabby Abbey, Mara Jade, irishcanadian, JohnAdams999, distantThunder, Garfnobl, Klaus, SlackwareGrrl, PvtJarHead, Mike in Denmark, aggie98

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site