Lara Logan Was Right to Put Her Career Before Her Kids


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 NekoLaw

Wow. Absolutely disgusting. Lara Logan just suffered a brutal assault at the hands of a mob, and this site has the nerve to ask if she's "stupid."???! Look at yourselves.

Are you stupid because you chose to put your lives on hold to have children? Are you stupid because you equate being a mother with being a saint? Are you stupid because your safe little suburban lives won't even allow you to think about the possibility of contributing to a greater cause than just breeding for the sake of it?

Leave this brave woman alone, and examine your own small lives. There's a whole wide world out there, and Logan has set an example to her children by being a vital part of it. What are you teaching your kids??

Alana Crafts Miller

wow to the comment by erica wellman could be killed on your way to work tomorrow, just keep that in mind.  i can't even believe that there are articles about this right now! Way to show compassion for human life. atleast let her heal from her injuries. and ya know, after all this, i wouldn't be surprised if she had a change of heart about going places like this to report. but if she doesn't, that's her decision to make. not yours, not mine.

Jennifer Ives O'Meara

Not stupid, but I think foolish. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, WORK will always be made available, even the really important stuff. Work will always be there, maybe not at the same company, maybe not in the same field, but just look hard enough and your blood, sweat & tears can make a difference. Your children & their childhood will not always be there. The memories they create can not be recreated, their impressions on what it means to be a child or adult are being formed the minute you give birth to them. So why the rush to hand them off to daycare, or hire a nanny. This isnt a feminism thing, its a COMMON SENSE thing, mom & dad need to figure out a better system, business as usual for both working parents makes for a sad childhood. Especially given the current working class way, long hours, fewer benefits, more competition, maternity leave is freaking JOKE!

Janet Lynn

she could have had the same experience working in the states, too; This answer will depend on your age/family situatin/gender...Both sexes go out and risk their lives for private citizens....and call it a regular day...
She was brave to report it; lets give her room to heal now, give her space to adjust to her 'new normalcy' whatever that is...
You are a brave lady, Lara...I've been through this before 3 times; Understand some of it, anyhow...Be well, and heal in your own time, space, emotional status...
Your son's love, as well as the rest of your family; will help you sorry this happened to you...a fan...

nonmember avatar AshleyA

If a parent...yes parent, man or a woman...puts his or her life on the line for the sake of a story they have no business procreating. As ur about to take ur last breath you'll seriously think about what a great job u did & not ur children. How dreadful.

nonmember avatar Mel

Yes, I'd call her stupid. As a former US Soldier, I cant recall the number of times I've seen journalist do foolish things for a story, they have this, "I'm gonna do something to be the next big superstar." They all do it, and then expect us to come in and rescue them. I'm sorry she got raped but they are warned before hand not to go into dangerous places and environment. They know when to pack up and leave. She did not do so and was raped. I feel bad for her kids because there's no reason for her to leave them. I can guarantee when she returns to the US, she'll be on all the talk shows and have a show 6 months later. Sad to say but mission accomplished.

Ashley Castillo

We know absolutely nothing about her personal life. Her husband (or whatever) could fill the role traditionally held by the mother while she goes out and makes the living. Having grown up in a somewhat different living arrangement, it always gets me when people just assume. I came out normalish, thank you very much. I'm sure her kids will too. Its tragic what happened to her, but I wouldn't mind having her for a role model.

Ashley Castillo

And thanks NekoLaw I'm thinking some of these comments are getting dangerously close to blaming the victim, something which I will never approve of no matter what the crime.

autod... autodidact

so author, what about the rest of her crew? were they fathers, or does that not matter? 

Playi... Playitagain

She is a mother, she chose to have those babies and those babies need to come first. I understand she loves her job, but I myself changed my profession from a highly dangerous one to a more stable position when I had my kids. Was it a hard choice, nope, kids come first end of the story. There is a difference between Bob and her, she is the mother... how often am I in a court room and hear the words, "you cant take that baby from her, shes its mother" be she a horrid one or not. How many women go around crying and tricking people by saying "My little girl was wrongly taken from me" and people without question believe them because they are the biological mother, or people assume when a mother loses a child be it custody to the father or terminiation of rights by the state "well she has to be on drugs, what is she addicted to".  If we are going to give women the notion mothers are more importent then perhaps we should also require them to accept perhaps not quitting a career but finding one more in line with a safe family life.

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