(First published in Urban Times on 17th Feb 2011)
Lara Logan, Emmy-winning war correspondent for CBS, was beaten and sexually assaulted on February 11, 2011, in Cairo, during celebrations over the resignation of Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak. Reports vary as to the exact details of what happened, the gist of it being that while she and her crew were among the crowds, covering the story, she somehow got separated from her colleagues and was subsequently attacked by a group of men for the duration of 20-30 minutes. Some reports say that she was raped repeatedly, others that she was beaten and sexually assaulted, others that she was saved by soldiers, others that she was saved by a group of Egyptian women being helped by soldiers.
Lara, a fearless correspondent of South African descent, had over the years developed a hard-hitting, hands-on approach to war correspondence. She had often found herself in the midst of fighting, in the heat of battle, providing raw footage. Her content was controversial, outspoken, and often too explicit for comfort, attracting criticism from the likes of Dick Cheney, government security agencies, various news shows, and groups, organizations, and individuals who were disturbed by her reports on the rawness of the war. Hate mail and hate-blogs about her were not uncommon.
Lara rejected criticism by arguing that her reporting acted as ballast to the lopsided and sanitized view of the war systematically pushed forth by the media on all fronts, maintaining that she was just doing her duty as a journalist, reporting what was actually happening on the field and around it, providing an accurate and total picture of the reality of armed conflict.
She was released from an undisclosed American hospital on February 15, where she had been duly flown after the attack, and is reported to be in good spirits.
Here are some of the interviews she has given and some of the coverage she has provided over the years.