CBS correspondent Lara Logan is reportedly in the hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during a sexual assault by a mob of Egyptian men in Tahrir Square in 2011. That kind of medical complication is not unheard-of, but the news broke on Breitbart.com, which is not generally known for positive reporting on members of the mainstream media — or the problems of women, for that matter. Matthew Boyle gives a clue to his true purpose at the very end of his “exclusive,” which is sourced to Logan family friend and billionaire investor Ed Butowsky:
Logan, when she came back to the U.S., has continued her reporting for CBS News. She was forced to take a leave of absence after an error she made in reporting on the Benghazi terrorist attack, where she attributed details to a government contractor who had misrepresented facts to her and others—something that eventually led to her appearing on air to apologize for the facts mistaken facts the contractor stated to her.
Several elements of the institutional left, including Salon, tried to get Logan fired over her Benghazi mistake. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s media hatchet man, David Brock, launched a what amounts to a campaign against her via his leftist group Media Matters for America. While she did end up taking a forced leave of absence, she has since restarted her reporting for CBS News, and just this weekend—as Butowsky noted—60 Minutes aired her piece on Christianity in Iraq.
That “error” was in fact a complete fabrication, one which Logan credulously reported with abysmal fact-checking. Boyle is trying to minimize the glaring political hackery at work in her breathless stenography:
(O)ne way of looking at Lara Logan’s rise at CBS is as an antidote to the network’s perceived bias. 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. For 60 Minutes, she delivered the kind of muscular reports that inoculated CBS against charges of a leftist agenda following the Rather incident, especially valuable in the patriotic climate after 9/11. She was part of the military culture, taking some of the same risks, imbibing its worldview. She also happened to have a telegenic sexual charisma, a highly useful attribute for a woman who wants to succeed in TV journalism. After Fager became chairman of the news division in 2011, he made Logan a permanent member of 60 Minutes, partly on the merit of her profiles of Navy seals and war generals, and partly out of corporate deference to Moonves’s enthusiasm for her.
As Logan rose, however, [CBS News Chairman Jeff] Fager was left to manage the risk inherent in [CBS President and CEO Leslie] Moonves’s asset. Logan had a zealousness that could cross the line into recklessness, a confidence that could come off as arrogance. A common view among current and former colleagues (keeping in mind that not-for-attribution backbiting and Schadenfreude are a stock-in-trade of TV news) is that Logan’s star power blinded her superiors to her flaws. “She got everything she wanted, always, even when she was wrong, and that’s been going on since the beginning,” says a former CBS News producer who worked with her.
And, with the wars finally winding down, the 2012 attack in Benghazi became the biggest journalistic prize, with the potential to bring down presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. It was the kind of story a reporter like Lara Logan would take risks to get.
“It’s not an accident that Lara Logan fucked up,” says a colleague at CBS News. “It was inevitable. Everybody saw this coming.”
In burnishing Logan’s career, Matthew Boyle is actually trying to rehabilitate the discredited conspiracy theories surrounding the Benghazi attack. Of course, Boyle was also a participant in Groundswell, the conservative organizing effort which propelled all those discredited Benghazi conspiracy theories into Congress, from whence they were forced into the mainstream media as a constant drumbeat of speculative nonsense. For Boyle and Butowski, Logan is a martyr to the Benghazi cause, and they want her firmly nailed to an Islamophobic cross:
“It was amazing that on Sunday we watched her report—and do an amazing job on a piece on Christianity in Iraq—and she did the story while ISIS was just four to six miles from where she was reporting,” Butowsky said. “She did the story over the last four to six months on location in the face of ISIS all while suffering from the brutal sexual assault she suffered at the hands of evil forces at play during the Arab Spring. She has not only a mental but a physical tattoo of what these savages do to people…”
This is how right wing fairy tales refuse to die.