Thursday, February 17, 2011

Five Things to Know About Lara Logan

The latest on Lara Logan is that she's home, "in remarkably good spirits" and receiving well wishes from President Barack Obama.
Here's some background on the 60 Minutes reporter thrust into the spotlight with word she'd been sexually assaulted amid rioting in Egypt:
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1. 9/11 Changed Her Life: The South African-born journalist, who'd gotten her start in newspapers and freelancing in war-torn Kosovo, was ensconced on the set of a morning news show in Britain when the 2001 terror attacks occurred. As soon as she could arrange it, she was on a plane to Afghanistan. Since then, she's reported from battle zones in Iraq and Pakistan, and is CBS' chief foreign-affairs correspondent. Last month, when anti-government protests erupted in Egypt, Logan was off to another hot spot.
2. It Was "in [Her] Blood to Be There:" About two weeks into her Egypt coverage, Logan was arrested at gunpoint by forces loyal to President Hosni Mubarak. After her release, Logan returned to the United States, where she lives in the Washington, D.C. area, but she remained fixed on Egypt. As she told PBS' Charlie Rose on Feb. 7, "I feel like I failed because I didn't deliver, and I take that responsibility very seriously." A week later, she was back—and assaulted.
3. She Didn't Go for Laughs on Jon Stewart: In 2008, Logan made headlines when she unloaded on what she saw as the forgotten wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "If I were to watch the news that you hear in the United States," she said on The Daily Show.  "I'd just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts."
4. She Didn't Get Laughs Out of Sean Penn: In a 2010 interview, Logan asked the Oscar-winner if it angered him when cynics dismissed his relief work on behalf of Haitian earthquake survivors. "Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer?" Penn responded. "Yeah, you know, but I'm not going to spend a lot of energy on it." Some of Logan's other big "gets" include the then-Sen. Obama and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
5. Her Personal Life Has Not Been Without Drama: For years, Logan, who turns 40 next month, was dogged by stories that ID'd her as a "former swimsuit model." ("I did some modeling when I was in college to earn extra money," she once complained to the New York Daily News. "I also worked in an ice cream parlor at 14. Does that make me a former ice cream parlor attendant?")
In 2008, she became a tabloid target when, while in the midst of a divorce from husband Jason Siemon, and reportedly romancing CNN reporter Michael Ware, she became pregnant by Joe Burkett, a U.S. government contractor in Iraq, who, at the time, was himself married, but separated. "Homewrecker" headlines ensued. Logan and Burkett wed later that same year. The couple has two children.

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