Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted In Cairo The Day Hosni Mubarak Resigned

Lara Logan’s employer broke this news with her permission. Then it ended with a plea for privacy for Lara and an announcement that Lara and CBS News would have nothing further to say about the story.

But how would Lara Logan and CBS News react to somebody who chose to publicly release a story that most people would want to keep private and then plea for privacy and say they will have no further comment? No self-respecting journalist would have a bar of it.

I guess many journalists such as Lara Logan and CBS News think they are exempt from the scrutiny they deal out to others (particularly those who choose to put themselves on the front page by releasing sensational stories).

Imagine if the White House put out word that Michelle Obama was sexually assaulted for 30 minutes by 200 men in Tahrir Square Feb. 11 and then asked for privacy. Would the press corp respect that? Or would they inquire if she was raped? Would they ask Michelle about it even if she asked for privacy? I think they would.

Lara Logan is as significant a public figure as Michelle Obama.

On his radio show Feb. 16, Dennis Prager said: “This story should be widely reported.”

He read from the the New York Post article.

Dennis: “I think the biggest story here is why CBS did not report it originally. I want to know why CBS didn’t report it. Their chief foreign correspondent is attacked and sexually assaulted by 200 men, God only knows what that means, and sustained serious injuries, and CBS did not report it, that’s a serious story.”

“It is not possible to describe the intensity of anti-Semitism in the Arab world. The Jew-hatred is so great that the worst epithet, worse than dog which is considered a very bad thing in Arab culture, is Jew. The Jew is the scum of the earth throughout the Arab world, particularly east of Morocco. That’s what they’ve been fed since 1948. One can only imagine what the invasion of Israel would entail, the sadism.

“And these are the democracy guys. These are the folks who won. This is after Mubarak resigned.

“We will not rest until we find out why this story stayed quiet.”

“This story is so huge, I can’t get it out of my head… She was attacked sexually by more than 200 men.”

“Tom Friedman is ecstatic about the young people at Tahrir Square. They want liberty.”

“Jew means we can do whatever we want to you because the view of Jews in the Arab world is entirely similar to the view of Jews in Nazi Germany. The media have done an effective job in dehumanizing Jews. Jew means you have lost your humanity, hence you can be treated in a dehumanized manner. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t share any of the mainstream media’s optimism about Egypt. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see the slightest evidence for it.”

The New York Post reports:

“60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan was repeatedly sexually assaulted by thugs yelling, “Jew! Jew!” as she covered the chaotic fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo’s main square Friday, CBS and sources said yesterday.

The TV crew with Logan, who is also the network’s chief foreign correspondent, had its cameras rolling moments before she was dragged off — and caught her on tape looking tense and trying to head away from a crowd of men behind her in Tahrir Square.

…A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, “Jew! Jew!” during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of “being Israeli spies.” Logan is not Jewish.

In Friday’s attack, she was separated from her colleagues and attacked for between 20 to 30 minutes, The Wall Street Journal said.

Her injuries were described to The Post as “serious.”

CBS went public with the incident only after it became clear that other media outlets were on to it, sources said.

“A call came in from The [Associated Press]” seeking information, a TV-industry source told The Post. “They knew she had been attacked, and they had details. CBS decided to get in front of the story.”

Most network higher-ups didn’t even know how brutal the sexual assault was until a few minutes before the statement went out.

… But after she was assaulted, Logan went back to her hotel, and within two hours — sometime late Friday and into early Saturday — was flown out of Cairo on a chartered network jet, sources said.

She wasn’t taken to a hospital in Egypt because the network didn’t trust local security there, sources said.

And neither CBS nor Logan reported the crime to Egyptian authorities because they felt they couldn’t trust them, either, the sources said. “The way things are there now, they would have ended up arresting her again,” one source said.

What is the difference between sexual assault and rape?

Most often when people hear the words “sexual assault” they think of rape. One might automatically picture a stranger jumping out of the bushes to rape a woman walking home from work late at night. While it is true that rape by a stranger is a form of sexual assault, it is vital to include the wide range of unwanted sexual contacts that many people experience in our definition of these words. Sexual assault can include child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, fondling, and sexual harassment.

…Rape is any sexual intercourse with a person without his or her consent.

The Village Voice reports:

Was Lara Logan raped by the insane mob in Cairo last Friday? Most media are shirking their jobs by a careful tiptoe around that key question. Ask women (or men), and they’ll tell you that actual rape is worse than a mauling, even if the beating includes vicious groping. Exactly how much of a sexual assault was it? That matters. If it was actual rape, then the outrage needs to be ratcheted up. Among those not afraid of addressing the question is the New York Post, whose Clemente Lisi reports today:

“The separation and assault lasted for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, said a person familiar with the matter, who added that it was “not a rape.””

Was it or not? If it was, that would take this horrific act way beyond the pale. Despite what CBS and her family and the pusillanimous media say, the need to know trumps privacy.

…Now, was Logan raped last Friday? The Times’s Brian Stelter skirted the question, writing, like almost all the other media, that Logan was “sexually assaulted.” Was it rape, or was the sexual component of the vicious attack considerably less than that? Were there chants of “Jew! Jew” (even though she’s not Jewish) while she was being attacked? It’s also possible that she was sexually assaulted in every which way but rape. Yes, almost as bad, but still not as bad as rape.

The AP says: “The Associated Press does not name victims of a sexual assault unless the victim agrees to it.”

Gawker reports: “The fact that the network didn’t announce this for four days—and the apparent haste with which the statement (all typos in the original) was composed—seem to indicate that someone was ready to break this story today.”

Howard Kurtz reports: “Sources familiar with the situation say Logan has recovered to the point that she was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday night or Wednesday and reunited with her two young children. She is described as being in remarkably good spirits despite her ordeal.”

Why would a news organization put a hot chick former model into such a dangerous situation?

I guess they don’t want to discriminate against hotness even when that hotness will likely get their reporter into trouble.

According to the New York Daily News: “At least 140 reporters have been injured or killed covering Egypt since Jan. 30, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.”

ABC News reports: “On Tuesday, four days after the assault she was still “in the hospital recovering.” She later left the hospital.”

“She is the mother of two young children.”

I wonder if Egypt will develop into a thriving democracy where reporters can operate freely?

The New York Times reports:

When she returned to Cairo on Feb. 10, she told the Web site of Esquire magazine that her team included one security staff member. Equipped with expensive cameras and bright lights, television news crews regularly travel with security experts who assess threats in dangerous locations.

There is little information available about instances of sexual assault affecting journalists. In an article for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2007, the writer, Judith Matloff, wrote that foreign correspondents rarely tell anyone, “even when the abuse is rape.”


On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a “60 Minutes” story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

There will be no further comment from CBS News and correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.

Garance Franke-Ruta writes for The Atlantic:

Most mainstream American news outlets have a policy of not naming the survivors of sexual assault and it is hard to imagine that CBS would have issued this statement, which landed like a thunderbolt in the close-knit media world, without Logan’s permission. That makes her one very brave woman, as news of the attack ricocheted across Twitter and newspapers with lightning speed.

The Columbia Journalism Review in 2007 published a lengthy look at the risk of sexual assault and harassment female foreign correspondents face while on assignment overseas. It’s lede describes a situation that sounds similar to that faced by Logan, though with a quicker intervention from Good Samaritans:

The photographer was a seasoned operator in South Asia. So when she set forth on an assignment in India, she knew how to guard against gropers: dress modestly in jeans secured with a thick belt and take along a male companion. All those preparations failed, however, when an unruly crowd surged and swept away her colleague. She was pushed into a ditch, where several men set upon her, tearing at her clothes and baying for sex. They ripped the buttons off her shirt and set to work on her trousers.

“My first thought was my cameras,” recalls the photographer, who asked to remain anonymous. “Then it was, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be raped.’ ” With her faced pressed into the soil, she couldn’t shout for help, and no one would have heard her anyway above the mob’s taunts. Suddenly a Good Samaritan in the crowd pulled the photographer by the camera straps several yards to the feet of some policemen who had been watching the scene without intervening. They sneered at her exposed chest, but escorted her to safety.

Richard Cohen writes for the Washington Post:

Say what you will about New York’s celebrated tabloids, they know news when they see it. This is why both the New York Daily News and the New York Post devoted their front pages to the sexual assault by a mob in Cairo of CBS correspondent Lara Logan. Say what you will about CBS, it either doesn’t know what news is or felt that the privacy of an employee was more important than its obligation to inform the public. It has it backwards.

Logan was sexually assaulted Feb. 11. CBS did not report the incident until yesterday, which was Feb. 16.

The New York Post reports June 26, 2008:

Sexy CBS siren Lara Logan spent her days covering the heat of the Iraq war – but that was nothing compared to the heat of her nights.

The “60 Minutes” reporter and former swimsuit model apparently courted two beaus while she was in Baghdad, and has been labeled a homewrecker for allegedly destroying the marriage of a civilian contractor there, sources said.

Passions got so hot in the combat zone that one of her lovers, Joe Burkett, brawled in a Baghdad “safe house” with her other paramour, CNN war reporter Michael Ware, a source said.

The wife of Burkett, a US Embassy worker, claims the sultry 37-year-old correspondent seduced him while bullets flew overhead.

Burkett’s wife, Kimberly, also accuses Logan of teaming up with him to take her 3-year-old daughter away, according to the source.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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