Former CBS News Reporter Lara Logan Recounts Gang Rape Ahead of New Series About Liberal Media Bias

When Lara Logan was in Cairo covering the resignation of Hosni Mubarak for CBS News, she was raped by a mob of men. In the aftermath, she gained intimate insight into what she says is liberal bias in the media, as she contends that New York Magazine downplayed the incident because of political reasons. Now she's set to release a 90-minute special on Fox Nation that explores such biases. But first, she says, she needed to set the record straight about what happened to her nine years ago while covering the so-called "Arab Spring."

"You can't have a #MeToo movement standing up for women and righting the wrongs of the past but say nothing about a female journalist who was gang-raped and almost died," Logan told Newsweek before describing the ordeal.

"People were celebrating. It seemed a pro-American crowd. Suddenly, our translator turned to me with a look of sheer terror and said, 'Run, run!' I felt people grabbing between my legs. I was quite stunned. Our security, Ray Jackson, and the rest of us ran, and others in the crowd were running with us. I thought we were getting away, but some of the men running with us became my rapists.

"Ray told me to stay on my feet and hold onto him," she continued. "If I was knocked down, I'd die. I fought the assault as best I could for 15 minutes, but they tore all my clothes off and raped me with their hands, with flagpoles and with sticks. They sodomized me over and over. They were fighting for my body. I couldn't hold on to Ray any longer. There was a moment I gave up, but I kept thinking about my two babies."

At this point, Logan was holding back tears. But she wanted to finish her story because she believes that some other journalists she has spoken to have skirted details or played down the attack to soothe their own biases.

lara logan media liberal bias fox
Former CBS reporter Lara Logan recounted the details of the gang rape she suffered in Cairo. She is anchoring a documentary for Fox about liberal bias in the news media. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

"It was so hard to breathe; there was so much pressure on my rib cage. They tried to rip my limbs off. I went down and I couldn't get up. It was a mad frenzy for a piece of me. They tried to scalp me with their hands, ripping out clumps of my hair. In that mayhem, I was dragged into an area where women and children had been camped out and protesting. I landed into the lap of a woman. I was naked and hysterical, and some boys stood between the men and this Egyptian woman. People threw clothing at me. It was amazing I could be so humiliated while so close to death. The moment I thought I was lost was when I lost Ray, but I realized later he went to force the Egyptian army to look for me."

In the chaos, Logan recalls being wrapped in a chador, a cloak worn by women in the region, then carried to a Jeep where she was reunited with her crew. A doctor sedated her at her hotel; she was flown back to the U.S. and spent the next four days hospitalized.

"Hillary Clinton acknowledged what happened to me, and President Obama called me personally on the phone to acknowledge it," Logan said. "What happened to me is not in dispute."

Logan contends that a 2014 profile of her in New York magazine titled "Benghazi and the Bombshell," which described the incident in Cairo as "groping," is a biased "hit piece," according to Logan's $25 million lawsuit for defamation against the publication that is still pending. The story was designed to destroy her credibility and protect Obama's legacy over Benghazi, she said.

Newsweek emailed New York magazine to ask for comment on Logan's allegation of having downplayed her gang rape and for the decision to characterize the attack as "groping"; the spokesperson declined to comment. But in a December 2019 article in The Hill about the lawsuit, New York said in a statement, "The New York Magazine article was thoroughly vetted and fact-checked, and we stand by our reporting."

"When someone says I was merely groped, I don't forget. And I don't forgive," said Logan. She told Newsweek that while the lawsuit alleges numerous errors and biases in the article, "nothing mattered more" to her than reducing "rape" to "grope." "I could not believe anyone would do that when the truth was known ... What also concerned me was that the truth would be adjusted and then rewritten over time and eventually lost."

Her reporting on the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, is what eventually led to her downfall at CBS. The gist of Logan's story that aired on 60 Minutes was that Al Qaeda was not as decimated as Obama had claimed, and that the embassy attack was a planned terrorist operation timed for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. and that government officials did little to stop the Benghazi terrorism. She later apologized for "mistakes" and being "wrong."

Logan told Newsweek she stands by her reporting on that story even after her on-air apology, though not by her source, British security expert Dylan Davies, who claimed to be on the scene during the attack though it was revealed later that he was there just prior and just after, the second time to take photographic evidence. (CBS did not respond to a request for comment).

Even in this incident, Logan sees a liberal bias. "The loudest voices were not looking for an apology," Logan said. "They were looking for an execution. They wanted me gone, and the entire piece annihilated. They pretend to care about real journalism, but what they care about is squashing any journalism that doesn't align with their goals."

It's against this backdrop that Logan hosted a documentary on liberal bias in the media for Fox Nation, the online streaming companion to the Fox News Channel.

"I did not enjoy reporting on my colleagues and my profession," Logan said. "It's probably the most stressful story I have done in my life, and difficult in many ways. But as my boss at 60 Minutes would say, 'If it was easy, everyone would do it.' Right?"

Her new show is called Lara Logan Has No Agenda and it comes in four 90-minute installments. The first segment, on immigration, has already dropped; the next one about liberal bias drops this week, though Newsweek was given a sneak peek.

The irony that the show is streaming on a property owned by Fox News does not escape Logan, since the network is routinely criticized as biased by its detractors. (According to a 2018 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 53 percent of Fox viewers are Republicans compared to 23 percent Democrats; 62 percent of MSNBC viewers are Democrats and 17 percent are Republicans, the poll found.) "Journalists make a big deal about looking at stories from all sides, but they don't," Logan said. "There's been how many conversations about the bias at Fox? But we don't talk about the liberal bias. Why can't we have that conversation, as well?"

Logan isn't revisiting Benghazi or what happened to her in Cairo on her new show, but said she got the idea for the special after she was a guest on a February 2019 podcast called Mike Drop, hosted by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland. During the two-hour podcast, Logan casually noted that most journalists lean left, and the clip went viral. "I'm just laughing at the idea," she recalled. "It wasn't revelatory. It was so obvious. I never thought of it as news."

In the special, over images of liberal MSNBC anchors Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow, Logan says: "One of the most significant things I learned over the past three decades is that liberal bias is framed as honest, an imperfect but noble struggle for the truth on one side, not on the other. Then, bias becomes intentional deception. If you're Fox News or talk radio, it's not noble and it's not truth, it's disinformation and propaganda."

MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment, and Logan said she reached out to about two dozen journalists who either declined to participate in her documentary or did not respond to her.
The show is separated into several segments, each examining a different story. Perhaps one of the more compelling examples coming from Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student who was branded a racist after video of him staring face-to-face with a Native American beating a drum went viral 15 months ago.

Logan interviewed Sandmann exactly a year after the incident and at the same spot in the nation's capital, and at one point he is recognized by an onlooker. "Everywhere I go there is someone who will point me out," Sandmann says. "It's a constant threat, and it's a terrible threat. But you can't choose to live your life in fear, or they've won."

The segment not only includes video after video of journalists rushing to the conclusion that Sandmann was the aggressor (CNN settled a defamation lawsuit with Sandmann for an undisclosed sum and other outlets have also been sued) but also images of nasty tweets aimed at the teenager by celebrities like Debra Messing, Kathy Griffin, Jim Carrey and Alyssa Milano.

"He's not this big, macho athlete," Logan said. "He's a skinny kid who is very sweet, respectful and shy, with lovely parents. I wasn't expecting that. There's nothing arrogant and aggressive about Nick, but you didn't get any of that from the news coverage of the video."

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