NEW YORK – Lara Logan is a veteran war correspondent who made headlines recently by calling out the mainstream media for its liberal bias.
In a career that's spanned three decades, Logan has reported for a number of news networks and programs including, most recently, 60 Minutes on CBS.
When You Are the News
In an interview with CBN News she said it's "strange" when, instead of reporting the news, she is the news.
"I think that because I'm on television that people think that's a place that I like to be, but actually I'm much more comfortable being the light for someone else's story," Logan said.
We caught up with Logan in New York City, one of America's major news hubs and a place where Logan says the vast majority of journalists are doing their readers, listeners, and viewers a grave injustice.
"The truth is, most of my career I never even noticed there was a liberal bias because I was part of it and I just mean that in a sense that I grew up very liberal and it wasn't noticeable to me, and you know when most of the people around you share your opinions you're not so aware of all the people who don't," she said.
In fact, for much of her 30-year career, Logan says she often argued with people who repeatedly asked her why the media is so liberal, but she vividly remembers the moment she realized she'd been wrong.
"When I was attacked for the Benghazi story, that's when it really hit me, because suddenly I was accused of being conservative," she recalled.
She's talking about a story she reported for 60 Minutes. After it aired she realized her main source wasn't credible. She was forced to go on air and apologize.
Her report raised serious questions about the Obama administration's response to the attack on the American consulate and came as Republicans demanded answers.
Logan says it's fair to say she was naïve about wading into a political firestorm but insists her approach was objective. The media tore into her.
"People tried to say that it was politically motivated or the fact that we even did that story was a political decision and that was a shock to me," she said.
Now she's speaking out, not as an activist, but as a journalist. Telling the story of liberal media bias.
"This battlefield is in some ways more frightening than any battlefield I've ever been on – out in some distant far away land," she said soberly.
While the mainstream media dismisses conservative outlets as biased, she says, liberal outlets get a free pass and anyone who dares to challenge them is quickly shamed.
"Why are people trying to undermine me that so that my voice won't be heard? So that I can be sidelined and dismissed as some right-wing lunatic, conspiracy theorist so nobody has to pay attention to what I'm saying? Are they trying to take the credibility that comes from all the years of work, decades of work from being out there on the field in the middle of the story?" she asked.
Speaking out, she says, comes with tremendous professional risk.
"It's very, very hard because it costs a lot you know, personally. They'll try to destroy their career so that you can never work again. So that you can't feed your children. So that's very difficult to survive – I mean, this is not a small thing."
Like it or not, she has become a conservative darling.
"For the moment. I'm a conservative darling for the moment. Am I still a conservative darling if the facts lead me somewhere else?" she mused.
"If the conservative side dominated the political spectrum I suspect you'd see a lot of the same things that you're seeing on the left right now because dominating the information space, dominating the political space, dominating anything in my experience doesn't typically bring out the best in us."
We asked Logan if it's hard for her to watch and read the news.
"You're going to get me into all kinds of trouble here," she said shaking her head, "Yes. I mean, I don't. I rarely watch it. It's painful. It's so annoying - I try channel surfing, I flip between all the different channels just like a lot of people do."
And what about fake news? What does she think about that?
"Well, when something sticks it's usually because there's a degree of truth to it. Right?" she said.
It's not always about reporting misinformation, rather, she says it's the way pieces of the truth get pieced together in news stories.
"Sometimes you can take little pieces of the truth and you can stitch them together in a way that creates a whole that is very dishonest and very deceptive," she said.
"I see that happening all the time. Every time I pick up a newspaper, every time I read something online, every time I turn on the television – I see that happening and that, to me, is the real source of fake news."
Finding a Solution
Logan says she's not sure why the truth is threatening, but she's certain the news business can turn itself around.
"If we accept that it's un-winnable, if we accept that nothing can be done then nothing will be done, but everything can be changed. Nothing is permanent, and it starts by standing up and being honest about it and encouraging other people to do the same."