The Biz: Person of Interest Lara Logan
Ask CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan how she's doing and her one-word answer is "Busy." She's finishing a profile of Aerosmith for 60 Minutes. She's working on a story about drug-money laundering in Colombia and the Pacific Rim. She has an upcoming piece on a Botswana couple living in the African Bush for the last 30 years. She's been back to Afghanistan.
Take the list as a sign that she has healed from the brutal sexual assault by a mob after the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt last February. Logan, who believes the attack was instigated by secret police intent on discrediting the revolution, thought she was going to die in Tahrir Square that night. But the outpouring of support she received upon her return home compelled her to go back to work less than three months later.
"I have very big responsibilities to live up to," she says. "That may sound like an odd thing, but when you're sitting at home after something like Egypt and everybody's supporting you — it was such a big part of putting me back together. I didn't expect such kindness and generosity from so many people. That and of course the love of family and friends."
Logan is especially grateful to CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, who supported her decision to immediately go public about what happened. "The critical thing is that Jeff and CBS said in a statement that I was violently sexually assaulted," she says. "If they just said I was attacked, it would have hidden the truth and made it my dirty secret to carry in shame."
The story shed light on the issue of sexual violence and harassment of journalists around the world. It became a cause for the Committee to Protect Journalists. But many of the thousands of letters Logan has received came from victims outside of her profession.
"One woman said to me that she was raped 20 years ago and she never told anyone," Logan says. "And after my story came out, she told her mother first and then her husband."
On February 8, Logan will join Charlie Rose as cohost of Person to Person, a revival of a classic CBS News program that profiled newsmakers in their homes. As a globe-trotting correspondent, Logan has often projected an action-hero image on screen. After her harrowing experience, she believes interview subjects will now see her as a more empathetic figure. "They have seen me down in my lowest moment, and they'll have their own sense of how I dealt with that," she says. "Hopefully that gives people a better sense of who they're sitting down with. Because I think you're always more comfortable when you feel you know someone. I hope that helps.
I really want this [show] not to be superficial, because I hate superficial. I really do hate it."
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