Reporter Lara Logan gave an interview to retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland last Friday (h/t Breitbart) in which she talked at length about her career covering conflicts overseas. Just over two hours into the conversation, Ritland asked Logan about the issue of media bias. She had a lot to say about it. In fact, her answer goes on for at least 10 minutes.
“This is a very important thing to talk about, to me, and also one that I feel very painfully because it makes my life hell,” Logan said. She added that she hated stereotypes about people from certain parts of the country, such as California or Texas, having certain views. She said those stereotypes are “ridiculous” and “get wielded like weapons to silence people.”
Logan agreed with Ritland’s suggestion that the media is overwhelmingly liberal. “Why can I say that with certainty? Well, first of all, I’ve been part of this for all my life,” Logan said. She continued, “I’m 47 now and I’ve been a journalist since I was 17 and the media everywhere is mostly liberal not just in the U.S. But in this country, 85% of journalists are registered Democrats. So that’s just a fact, right? No one’s registering Democrat when they’re really a Republican…I always joked that the other 14% were too lazy to register and there’s maybe one percent that’s on the right.
“Visually, anyone who’s ever been to Israel and been to the Wailing Wall has seen that the women have this tiny little spot in front of the wall to pray, and the rest of the wall is for the men. To me, that’s a great representation of the American media, is that in this tiny little corner, where the women pray, you’ve got Breitbart and Fox News and a few others, and from there on, you have CBS, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico, whatever, right? All of them.
“And that’s a problem for me because even if it was reversed if it was vastly mostly on the right, that would also be a problem for me. My experience has been that the more opinions you have, the more ways that you look at everything in life—everything in life is complicated, everything is gray, right? Nothing is black and white. You never have a fight, even the ones where you really think that you’re in the right where you’re right about everything.
“So someone very smart taught me a long time ago. How do you know you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage? When they simplify it all and there’s no grey. It’s all one way. Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it’s probably not—something’s wrong. For example, all the coverage on Trump all the time is negative.”
Logan goes on to say that she doesn’t want to talk about whether she likes Trump or believes him but says she finds that’s not a popular approach to things today. “Although the media has always been, historically, left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense or at least the effort to be objective today,” she said. She then cited Jill Abramson’s statement about the NY Times being the “anti-Trump paper of record.” “That’s not our job. That’s a political position,” Logan said adding, “That means we’ve become political activists in a sense and some could argue propagandists. And there’s some merit to that.”
“It’s bad enough that in the media we lean towards one side of the political spectrum or we favor one ideology,” Logan said. “You could argue that that’s just a function of the way it is and that there’s enough good journalism out there that there’s enough accountability that we at least get a decent representation of the truth a lot of the time. I don’t even see that happening today,” she said.
When Ritland pointed out that networks like MSNBC could be counted on to slant the news against Trump as much as possible, Logan replied, “And people would counter that by saying ‘Well, Fox is going to do all the positive stuff.'” She continued, “But this is the problem that I have. There’s one Fox [News] and there’s many, many more organizations on the left.”
“Both sides do terrible things. Both sides lie. Both sides manipulate. Both sides push their point of view. But the problem is that the weight of all of these organizations on one side of the political spectrum when you turn on your computer or you walk past the TV or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store—if they’re all saying the same thing the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it because everyone is saying it. And unless you seek out Breitbart on your computer you’re probably not going to even know what the other side is saying.”
Logan references the controversy over her Benghazi report for 60 Minutes saying she was accused of bias over a stray phrase but by contrast there are now reporters arguing on air that Trump “is a danger to all of us” and someone everyone must take a position against. She says despite the obvious bias, those journalists are often seen as “independent and objective.”
“No one is going to argue with that, with what they’re saying, because they want that. And they control or have influence over or effect or have sympathetic ideological beliefs as people across the vast majority of the media,” Logan said. She continued, “That’s the problem is that you get targeted. I was targeted by Media Matter for America who was an organization that was established by David Brock who has dedicated himself to the Clintons because he lied about them during the Whitewater investigation and the rest of his life has been dedicated to them. And…they’re a known propaganda organization who said that their stated intent was to destroy anyone who they saw as a threat to Hillary Clinton’s bid for power.”
After some criticism of how the media (including 60 Minutes) sometimes operates to give people the wrong impression, Logan goes on to say, “This idea that we’re just the innocent bearers of the truth today and we’re being unfairly attacked and we’re under siege like never before, unprecedented times and all those hyperboles, breathless hyperbole that I hear all the time they make me crazy.”
Here’s the clip. I have this queued up to the question about the media but the two hours preceding that is also interesting. Later in this clip, Logan says “this is the kind of interview that is like professional suicide for me…this is exactly what they target you for.” We’ll see if that turns out to be the case. My guess is that most journalists would rather not talk about this at all but if this were to “go viral” you can bet the usual suspects would be doing their best to destroy Logan for these opinions.