Lara Logan Was Right to Put Her Career Before Her Kids

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Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, was sexually assaulted in Cairo after the news of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation broke. The joy and excitement turned to violence in Tahrir Square when Logan, who was working on a story for 60 Minutes, was surrounded by a mob and assaulted. Logan survived the attack and is in the hospital recovering, but the news has sent a chilling message to journalists, particularly women, everywhere. 

Logan is no stranger to the peril of working abroad in dangerous places. She has covered floods in Mozambique, land invasions in Zimbabwe, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for CBS over the last decade. Just one week before the attack, Logan and her crew were detained by the Egyptian authorities and treated brutally.

Some might say Logan is very brave. Others might say she is very foolish. As the mother of two children who undoubtedly need their mommy, she puts her life on the line every day in order to get the news to us at their expense. Is it worth it? In an interview a few months ago, Logan said:

But basically it is in my blood to be there and be in the street to listen to people and make the best story I can. But at the same time, I am also aware that I can put my family in a very difficult situation.

She isn't the first female reporter to be in this position. British journalist Christiane Amanpour, who has made a name for herself reporting in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, is also a mother. In 2000, she gave the keynote address at the Murrow Awards Ceremony and she had this to say:

Before my son was born I used to joke about looking for bullet-proof Snugglies and Kevlar diapers. I was planning, I told everybody, to take him on the road with me. At the very least I fully expected to keep up my hectic pace, and my passion as a war correspondent. But now, like every working mother, when I think of my son, and having to leave him, and I imagine him fixing those large innocent eyes on me and asking me, Mummy, why are you going to those terrible places? What if they kill you? I wince. I know that I want to say, that it's because I have to, because it matters, because Mummy's going to tell the world about the bad guys and perhaps do a little good.

In a world where moms are told more times than not that we ought to stay in the kitchen, stick close to home, and keep ourselves safe, Amanpour and Logan are doing the opposite. They are purposely going into harm's way to serve a greater good and they are paying dearly.

Any mom who has had a career has to choose at times between her work and her child. It's the way the world is set up. Obviously, Amanpour and Logan are extremes, but the story is the same. We moms are expected to be super human and to do things that no one expects of fathers. 

Television journalist Bob Woodruff is a father and no one questioned his decision to be in Iraq when he was critically wounded by a roadside bomb. Anderson Cooper was attacked in Egypt and though he isn't a father, no one mentioned the way he looked or suggested it as the reason he was targeted. The fact is, the pressure on moms -- and women in general -- is far greater than that on men. Men are supposed to be the ones reporting the news, while women need to guard their own safety. The judgment has been so severe, that NPR has been forced to remove comments on their site.

So what gives? Was she wrong to be there? As a mother, I cannot imagine being in her position. I am leaving my children for a trip to Europe soon and it's physically painful to do so. It's hard to imagine being able to do it if I knew I was going into something so dangerous. That is because I am scared. Plain and simple. I am too scared to do what she does and most of us are, in fact.

Fear is paralyzing and if someone doesn't have that holding them back, then more power to them. Logan has courage and strength, and in the end, if bad were to befall her, her son and daughter would know their mother was undaunted by fear, that she was willing to stand up to the naysayers and put her life on the line for the greater good. That isn't stupid. That is brave, so amazingly brave. She is so much braver than most of us, and rather than piling on her, we should be thanking god that there are people like her who are so willing to sacrifice in order to get information to us. 

Lara Logan is a hero.

Do you think she was stupid?


Image via Getty

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nonmember avatar Jen

I don't know if I'd say stupid exactly. But she is reporting from incredibly dangerous places becuase she wants to. She doesn't have to do that to put food on the table. She could report from home where there is less chance of being raped by a mob because of a government being overthrown. Dangerous things can happen anywhere but Egypt has been volative for a while now, the situation there didn't just happen last week. To be honest, I don't find her brave or couragous and if she has been murdered, any supposed bravey she might have possessed would have been no comfort to her children. If anything, I'd say her priorities are questionable.

Penel... Penelope08

If you choose to look into it from Christiane Amanpour's perspective, then sure, Lara Logan did what was necessary...(but I can't help but adding that while they are trying to do good in the world, it's at the expense of their children's well being).  What is that worth to a parent? 


On your death bed, will you be satisfied that your legacy is about good journalism versus having children that were heavily influenced by you and knew you very well and loved you and they knew that you loved them because you were there for them?


 

Aubrey Bell Barwick

Stupid? Absolutely not! Courageous? Very! She may not have to go into those situations to put food on the table, but if she doesn't go to those places and inform the rest of us about what is going on in other parts of the world, who will? Certainly not me. Just as I am not brave enough to join the military. But I thank God for all of those (including my mother) who do/did have the courage to fight in my place.

I find it horrible that anyone would judge Ms. Logan for choosing to continue her career. Men are NEVER questioned for doing that! Why are women? A child whose father is killed mourn just as much as a child who loses his mother. And, while knowing their deceased parent was brave won't help ease their pain, it will give them a sense of who their parent was as they grow up.

My prayers are with Lara Logan and her family.

charl... charlottej

I wouldn't call her stupid, but I personally don't think it's a smart career choice.  As much as women want to have the same opportunities, men (for the most part, being the problem) STILL make it impossible for us to do so.  Some women choose dangerous jobs because they have no choice ---others choose it for the satisfaction. But the reality is that plenty of mothers go scuba diving; fly private planes; clean out gorilla cages or become police officers.  Personally, I'd rather stock shelves at the local supermarket than to put myself in danger or cause my family grief .....but I don't stand in judgment of those mothers that need more from life.  I just feel horrible that she was compromised so brutally.  I hope she can put this behind her, and that all reporters (male or female) remember that NO news report that they can provide their station, in the midst of such turmoil, is worth their life.

melly... mellygraham

Aubrey Bell Barwick and charlottej could not have said it better.  I am not that brave to join the military or report in volatile situations either and I am not going to judge those that do. 

Erica Wellman Gallion

Bravery and comendable career choices will be of no comfort to motherless children..........

mommix4 mommix4

I don't think she's stupid. For me I believe mothers should stay at home with their kids, but that's me. Its what works for us. The great thing is that we are all different and God has given us all a different purpose in life. To judge someone cause they live differently is wrong.

nonmember avatar Susan

I don't think I'd go so far as to call her "stupid", but the term "foolhardy" might be closer to the truth. Still, it's a shame that people can't be more compassionate; a terrible crime occurred and some people can only think of bashing the victim, just for doing her job.

rissa... rissa_doll

Kudos to Aubrey Bell Barwick and charlottej, very well said.

nonmember avatar Becky

I personally do not think that she is stupid. I am a Marine. I have a 22 month old daughter. I have had to leave her to go somewhere potentially dangerous for my job. I had to go back to work when my daughter was 6 wks old. 2 months later I had to leave her for a week and then I had to leave her again within the last year. I may not have gone to Afghanistan or Iraq but I had to go to Korea. And if you pay attention to what's going on in the world, you know North and South Korea are forever at odds and it's Lways potentially dangerous because you never know what North Korea is going to do. Did I want to go on these trips? Yes. Did I want to leave my daughter? No,never. Did I have a choice? Sort of. My point is we all choose our career choices, be it stay at home mom, military member, or foreign correspondent. We do whatever our jobs require. Can we change our career choices? Yes, to include the stay at home mom. We all do whatever is right for us and our families. Will knowing your mom was brave be any consolation to losing her? No. But the same goes for all the military men AND women who get killed in the line of fire. Just because you don't agree with her career choice as a mom, doesn't give you the right to judge her and say she is stupid and should have changed her career when she became a mother. I hope that she gets better soon.

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