Hayward: Rape Survivor Lara Logan Gets Cold Shoulder from Media
Television journalist Lara Logan poked the mainstream media beehive last week in a no-holds-barred interview where she bluntly accused many reporters of becoming “political activists” and even “propagandists” for the Left and said journalism has descended into “absolute horses**t.” The response has been furious, personal, and devoid of the respect normally demanded for rape survivors.
Lara Logan is a rape survivor in the most literal no-horsesh**t sense of the term. She was assaulted by a mob in Cairo while covering the Arab Spring uprising in February 2011 for CBS News and could easily have been killed. She has made it clear in numerous interviews that she feared for her life and found the strength to survive by thinking about her children.
Logan described the assault in her interview with Mike Ritland of the Mike Drop podcast, beginning with the story of how she insisted on covering the Tahrir Square protests despite 18 grueling hours in Egyptian custody, during which members of her team were beaten by security forces and Logan herself became sick from dehydration.
Nevertheless, she persisted, and found herself surrounded by a throng of two or three hundred predatory men who were not so much angry as jubilant at the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. They waited until the camera covering Logan died to make their move:
There was just one moment, like that, when someone said something, and someone else said something else. I was oblivious because I didn’t understand those sentences and phrases in Arabic. Our young Egyptian fixed turned around and looked at me with terror – he was literally white as a sheet – and he said, “We’ve got to run.”
I don’t argue with local guys, right? There’s a time to argue, and that is not it. So I started running. I thought that people in the crowd were trying to help us, and later realized that they weren’t – that those locked onto me, and some of the people I thought were trying to help me were among those people trying to tear my clothes off, grabbing my breasts, and all of that.
I got separated from the rest, because the crowd, the mob forced us to do that. They forced people away from me. They wanted to separate me – that was the whole purpose. The only person that I was holding onto was Ray Jackson, our security guy, who hadn’t been with us the week before when we were arrested. He had come with us, we did that to sort of keep CBS happy and make them think that we were taking extra security precautions and all that.
I had Ray, he screamed at me to hold onto him, and I grabbed the front of his shirt, the collar. I didn’t let go until they tore him off me.
The whole time in the beginning, for at least the first 20 minutes, Ray was able to tell me what was happening. I guess he saw more than anybody, but it was very hard to see anything because I was buried under a sea of men. I could feel their hands between my legs and all this.
Logan said it took her some time to process exactly what was happening to her, since she was not unaccustomed to getting shoved around in large crowds. The reality soon became overwhelming.
“Piece by piece, they tore all my clothing off, and really tore my body almost to pieces, tore my insides apart,” she said.
When Ritland asked if she lost consciousness at any point during the ordeal, Logan replied, “Sadly, no.”
“I was conscious of everything, every little thing,” she said. “I don’t relive all of it. There are kind of gaps in my memory. I don’t really see them as gaps, just things that are not there in all the detail, but I still remember them happening.”
Logan recounted the details of the nearly hour-long assault that remain clear in her mind:
I saw people taking pictures. I remember the one guy’s face I bit. I was conscious of the feeling of the air on my skin, because the night air was kind of cool, and I could feel that. I remember the sound of my bra strap snapping. I remember the sound of my necklace breaking.
I remember fighting being raped, and being able to sometimes push people away, and then I remember just realizing there were too many of them, and that it was over, and over, and over, and over again. There was always someone else. You could fight one person, and then there was always somebody else.
I felt no pain. I will tell you that. I felt no pain. Ray was saying, “They’re beating us with sticks, they’re beating us with flagpoles, they’re doing this to us, they’re doing that to us.”
I do remember thinking, “Wow, they’re literally going to tear the skin from my skull.” It’s not someone trying to pull your hair. I remember thinking, “They’re trying to tear my scalp away. They’re trying to scalp me.”
“I remember being very humiliated,” Logan said, describing the experience as “psychologically and emotionally painful,” and being raped as “very painful,” culminating with the combined weight of her assailants crushing the air from her lungs.
“I’d like to tell you you’re spared from the nastiness of it all, but I wasn’t,” she said. “I was very aware of how filthy it was. I knew that this was a filthy, meaningless death on a dirty street in the worst possible way.”
Logan said she nearly abandoned hope when she lost contact with her security man but survived by giving her attempt to fend off rapists and focusing on staying alive to see her children again. Failing that, she was determined for her children to know that she died fighting.
“I really was, in a way, fighting for my dignity and fighting to prevent that from happening. I faced the fact that I had no dignity left. You’re naked and a crowd of people have your body. You’re being raped and sodomized. There’s no dignity left in that,” she said.
It is important to recount the horrific details of Lara Logan’s gang rape because the media establishment she used to work for refuses to dwell on them. If she were a liberal in good standing attacked by a less politically incorrect group of assailants, she would be treated as a national hero, her incredible courage celebrated for years to come.
We are only a few months removed from such hero treatment being lavished on women who suddenly came forward with implausible and unproven allegations of decades-old misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Those women were universally described as “survivors,” but Lara Logan never is. Criticism of those women – even polite questions about the inconsistencies in their claims – was denounced as “attacking” them, but Lara Logan enjoys no such courtesy. The left long ago decided Logan is a “right-wing shill,” and that political identity trumps everything else about her.
Logan did not receive much deference from CBS News after suffering horribly on their behalf. She evidently parted company with the network months ago, a parting so low-key that both supporters and detractors assumed she still worked there and might have been sacked for her interview with Ritland. CBS representatives this week were vague about exactly when she left.
That’s not the departure one would expect for a journalist who doggedly stuck with a major story despite clear threats to her safety and went on to survive a brutal mass rape. No company is obliged to employ anyone in perpetuity, of course, but Logan’s treatment has been paid scant attention by the people who would normally erupt in outrage if a woman with her background was disrespected.
Logan talked about “information warfare” in her interview with Ritland, an intriguing observation because the narrative of her assault was so clearly bent to accommodate the prevailing media narrative of the Arab Spring and the Obama administration’s political needs. The fall of Hosni Mubarak was supposed to be a lovely flowering of democracy. The view Lara Logan got of the proceedings from that filthy street in Cairo did not fit the narrative, so her story does not loom large in the media’s collective memory.
Take it from another female reporter who found herself swimming against the partisan tides of the media and paid a career price for it:
Yes, the media should listen to Lara Logan’s critique, but it won’t, no matter how much horror she endured in the pursuit of truth.