“Our profession today is unrecognizable,” says investigative journalist Lara Logan. A former correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes” and now the host of Fox Nation’s “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” Logan has been at the frontlines for years, reporting on everything from war zones to gang warfare to the Benghazi scandal.
And she’s witnessed the transformation of media from what it was meant to be, with many journalists now blurring the lines between fact and opinion, she says.
“They’re not journalists. They’re political assassins, working on behalf of political operatives and propagandists,” Logan argues.
What are the root causes of this shift? And how are a lot of media entities working hand in hand with Big Tech companies to shape narratives and public discourse?
Jan Jekielek: Lara Logan, it’s such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Lara Logan: Thanks for having me,
Mr. Jekielek: Laura, it’s high time that we have you on. You are interested in so many of the things that I’m interested in here on the show. The big topic that I haven’t done enough about is essentially the state of our media today. You’ve been a journalist in a variety of milieus for the better part of 30 years, from what I can tell. Tell me how things have changed from when you started to today.
Mrs. Logan: Dramatically, and unfortunately, in many ways, not for the better. I was thinking about this just the other day and remembering as a young journalist in South Africa, I was probably about 18 or 19 years old, not more than that, going to a big rally and speech by the ruling party in South Africa at the time. I was sitting with all the journalists, everyone much older, more experienced than me.
I’ll never forget that when the president stopped speaking, everyone applauded and none of the journalists clapped. That was where I learned, you don’t show as a journalist your partisanship. You don’t show your bias. You don’t show your personal feelings.
Nobody in the press corps did. That was just a standard. So if you think about that, it’s really a symbol of the separation that journalists tried to put between themselves and the politics of the day.
Think about where we are now. That certainly was not in evidence in the last administration. And it was truly shocking to me during the 2016 campaign, to hear and see journalists and newspapers of record, like The New York Times, really throwing in their lot, giving up any attempt or pretense of trying to be objective, and rallying behind these political operatives and political organizations to ensure that this person doesn’t get into office.
Forget everything that you’ve ever been, that you’re supposed to be.That really was a sign. It wasn’t an aberration; it was a sign of the way forward. Look where we are today.
I know that I’m joined by my former colleagues from 60 Minutes, and CBS and all across the journalism field—by many, many journalists who realize and admit that our profession today is unrecognizable from anything that any of us have ever known.
Mr. Jekielek: So when you were starting out, was this still under apartheid in in South Africa?
Mrs. Logan: Yes, it was. It’s funny, because as a young reporter, I just did everything that no one else wanted to do. I asked the reporters, “What don’t you want to do? And then I volunteered for it.
So every Saturday night at the Sunday newspaper, when I was 17 years old, my job, one of them, was to get the first editions of the newspaper and hand them out. Take them and physically deliver them to the fire stations, the hospitals, and the police stations.
At the time, nobody knew how many people the South African government was murdering on the streets of the townships where most black people live and getting rid of their bodies—some of them murdered by a shadowy third force that was trained and financed by the government, but some of them murdered by government forces.
I would talk to the guys at the morgue. I made friends with them, and I talked them into letting me come in and see the bodies and then count the bodies. That way, I knew firsthand how many people had disappeared by dawn.
That was really the spirit of reporting. You went there and you figured it out and you witnessed it yourself. I hate being in the United States and reporting on things from afar or from a distance, because you can see how easy that is to exploit.
So many of these reporters cite anonymous sources and get calls from the White House and former intelligence officials and blah, blah, blah. People who don’t have the—honestly, I don’t know if you’re allowed to say this on your podcast—don’t have the balls to put their name to what they’re saying, for a very specific reason.
It’s part of a disinformation campaign, because over time you learn to recognize the patterns and see the tactics for what they are. These are people who exploit anonymity in order to conceal their motivation, because motivation in journalism—what does that tell you?
It tells us as journalists, why is someone giving me this information? Why is somebody telling me this? It’s a really important measure for us to evaluate the veracity of the information. And by extension, it’s also that for the audience.
For example, Hunter Biden’s laptop was handed over by Rudy Giuliani. It came from the Trump campaign to The New York Post, a conservative paper. I can see the motivation there. However, I’m going to bear that in mind, and I’m going to evaluate this in its context. I’m going to make up my own mind. That’s why sourcing is so important.
Today that’s just been completely obliterated, for the worst possible reasons—to give cover to political operatives, people with political motives and to spread disinformation.
That harms the profession of journalism. That is a disgrace to every one of us who call ourselves journalists. Most importantly, it’s really harmful to the ability of the American people to understand and know the truth, so they can try to make the best possible decisions.
Mr. Jekielek: This is one of the things that I’ve been thinking about. Journalism is ostensibly supposed to be a truth-seeking profession. You want to actually find out what happened.
But there’s this kind of other brand of journalism. I don’t like even calling it journalism, but there’s this idea that there is a narrative that is the correct narrative, and everything needs to be fit into or shoehorned into that.
Mrs. Logan: That’s not journalism. Yes, that doesn’t even remotely resemble journalism. It is in no way, shape, or form anything related to journalism. It’s propaganda. That’s clear and simple what that is, and it’s an absolute distortion of what journalism is.
To try and pass it off as that—we don’t have colleges today teaching young people how to be real journalists. We have colleges churning out activists and propagandists and political operatives on behalf of one part of the political spectrum, one ideology. That’s all it is.
These are one-party institutions teaching propaganda on behalf of one party in this country, being enforced all across civil society, reinforced by Hollywood, reinforced by late night talk shows, reinforced by publishing houses who only want to publish woke publications, reinforced by the Big Tech across social media, reinforced by companies like Amazon, who are banning any books and thought that interfere with that ideology.
This is very, very important for people to recognize. Journalists know it. Every single real journalist out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. I am not the only one. I am not special by any means.
I’m just the one that was lucky enough that I was targeted early on. I wasn’t given the choice. It opened my eyes and helped me better understand the landscape that we were moving into, really from the beginning.
Mr. Jekielek: Tell me about that, because you did mention the run-up to the 2016 election as a pivotal time. There’s some kind of shift that happened. I agree. I saw some kind of very significant shift at that time as well.
But how were you targeted? What exactly happened? And how did your mind change? Actually, even before that, how are you thinking about the world in journalism prior to this?
Mrs. Logan: Well, I was very happy in my 60 Minutes bubble. A lot of people would call me the face or the future of 60 Minutes. I worked with some of the greatest journalists I have ever been really fortunate enough to work with.
When you’re gang raped and sodomized and almost beaten to death and blown up and repeatedly in firefights and hellholes and you go without food and water and a bed—when you share those experiences with people they become much more than just your colleagues. They are your family. You are a band of brothers.
More than that, we all really and truly believed in what journalism was at its core. I worked for really great people. One of them, my former boss at 60 Minutes actually, is the person who opened my eyes to our own bias.
In fact, when I answered a question about how liberal most of the media is, I didn’t think it was newsworthy. My answer was that most of my colleagues were all liberal. That made news for some inexplicable reason.
My boss reached out to me afterwards. He said that his greatest achievement at 60 Minutes was making us aware of our own bias, and it was underappreciated and undervalued by everybody except the audience. That is word for word. I have never forgotten those words because they are so true. We really weren’t aware of our own bias.
You think that you’re getting all these awards and being recognized. They’re writing glowing profiles of you in The New York Times and The Washington Post because you’re so diligent, and you’re such a great journalist, and you really care about your job, and it’s very noble, and it’s very worthy.
Sincerely, all of that is true. We would kill ourselves to do the very best work that we could. I worked myself to death, and I gave everything I’ve got, just as I do today.
However, it’s like what Gary Webb said. Gary Webb is the San Jose Mercury News journalist who they did the film about, “Kill the Messenger.” He broke the story, “Dark Alliance,” about the CIA and their dubious history with drugs and introducing crack cocaine to the streets of America and really to black communities.
He won the Pulitzer, and then he was discredited. Gary Webb ended up committing suicide by shooting himself twice in the head, which every firearms expert I know says has to be a miracle for anyone to be able to do that.
But he wrote in his book before he died that he was doing the same thing—judging journalism contests and winning awards. He thought it was all because of his great journalism.
Then he said, “Then I wrote Dark Alliance, and I realized how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. It wasn’t because I was such a great journalist. It was that I’d never written anything important enough to suppress.”
That was the lesson that I learned. I didn’t do the story on Benghazi for 60 Minutes because it was political. I didn’t do it because I didn’t like Hillary Clinton. I didn’t do it because of the election. I didn’t do it for any of those reasons. I did a story because I knew that there was a lot that hadn’t been told.
I received information from a really good source that there were two operators on behalf of Delta Force who were in Libya at the time, in Tripoli, who had, on hearing the news that the special mission compound was under attack, went around to everybody in the embassy and collected money. They begged, borrowed, and stole money from everybody they could, and they hired a plane on their own.
They got in that plane, flew to Benghazi, and they were the ones who made contact with the local militia. They were the ones who received Chris Stevens’ body. They were the ones who went with a local militia to the annex and fought their way in and rescued everybody at the annex, took out Ty Woods and Glen Doherty’s bodies and eventually left Benghazi with Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body as well, and brought them home.
I was told that they prevented what could have been the worst hostage crisis in the history of the United States of America, worse than the Iranian hostage crisis, had they not done what they did.
They were never ordered. They were never dispatched. There was no QRF [Quick Reaction Force]. Nobody ever made any attempt to do anything in Benghazi. And Greg Hicks, the former ambassador who became acting ambassador that night, said on our 60 Minutes story that he was told by the defense attache—and for those of you who don’t know, defense attaches are always the top official spy in any foreign country—he said 10 minutes in, he looked at him and said, “So, what are they doing?
And he replied, “I’m sorry, Greg, the cavalry ain’t coming.” Greg said, “I felt sick in the pit of my stomach, because I knew in that moment, every one of us who goes out on the end of the line for our country, we believe our country has our back. In that moment, I knew it didn’t. Then Greg said, “We better tell the boys in the annex.” And two of those boys in the annex died that night.
That was the truth of Benghazi that they wanted to suppress. We named the real suspect, Sufian bin Qumu, who was later more than a year after our story named as the man responsible for Benghazi and an Al-Qaeda terrorist.
We said that in our piece. We broke the story that those Delta operatives were on the ground. We said very little about it, because we could get no one in the Obama administration to give us permission to speak to those operatives, or to tell their story.
That story was suppressed, because of what it said. They found a way to smear us, like raising doubt over the least important person in the story, who was a contractor who was there that night.
Then the smear campaign began. They went around to every journalist in DC. They were offering a document that was published by the Washington Post, which was supposedly an after-action report from that night.
Everyone that we spoke to said that report is fake. It was stamped “U.S. Embassy Benghazi,” which any diplomat knows, that wasn’t an embassy, by law. It was a special mission compound.
Diplomats who are on the ground, people on the ground said they’d never seen that stamp. The guy who was supposed to have written it said he didn’t write it. Now he’s the guy they went after.
But when this guy disappeared, when he wasn’t going to be around to defend his story, an unnamed State Department source went to The New York Times and said they’d been briefed by unnamed sources from the FBI. And when what the guy in our story said didn’t match what he told the FBI, well, he was gone.
Now you’ve got The New York Times saying, “Your guy lied and we have it confirmed from people that we can’t tell you. They are from the State Department who haven’t seen the report, but they’ve been told about it by other people that we can’t tell you who they are.”
Well, that was enough. That was enough to destroy the story, that by the way, they moved very quickly to erase from the digital world. All of these reporters piled on, really grandstanding about how my career should be over and 60 Minutes should be ashamed about this terrible reporting. None of them had seen the story, because otherwise, how could they have written the things that they wrote?
They wrote that we made it up, that the page we got from Chris Stevens’ schedule that day wasn’t lying in the ruins, as we said it was. They disgracefully reported that the compound of Chris Stevens had been renovated and restored, and we made it all up. Well, you know what? There were three buildings, and only one was renovated, and it wasn’t the one where Chris Stevens lived.
We had video of it. We actually had footage of that lying in the ground. We had the GPS coordinates. We had a security person who had filmed it for us, who had mapped that out frame by frame. That was a complete and utter lie. So you had people like that. They’re still around.
They’re not journalists. They’re political assassins working on behalf of political operatives and propagandists who do not care one bit about real journalism or honesty or anything like that. They care about annihilating anyone and everyone that stands in their way in their quest for absolute power, where none of us have a right to exist if we don’t fall in line.
We must either be silenced, intimidated, or terrorized into self-censorship. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll use the criminal justice system as another weapon at their disposal, or we must cease to exist.
Mr. Jekielek: These are really big things to say about the profession of journalism, or how journalism seems to be practiced today. For starters, what is the motivation?
Mrs. Logan: People who craft these narratives, the architects and the masters of them, they are the ones who plant them within the media. They have operatives within that media space who are the ones who sustain and navigate that terrain. Everyone has different motivations, but they’re very good at exploiting existing conditions.
So an existing condition would be, for example, you’ve got a bunch of journalists who believed Adam Schiff, and they believed John Brennan, and all the others about the Russia collusion narrative. And now they’re invested. They’ve done all this reporting, they’ve won journalism prizes, and they don’t know how to get out of it without looking bad and losing ground and credibility.
So they’re invested. They’re complicit. You have others who are just sheep. They’re lazy. They’re ignorant. They’re stupid. They don’t know any better. They aren’t really good journalists. Maybe they’re not really good people, or they’re just a bunch of moral cowards, and they go along with it. They go with the flow. They go with the crowd.
That’s a common thing. We all know that that exists all over the world. Then you have people who can’t afford to lose their job, so they just don’t want to know. They’re going to pick another story. I’m going to go into a story about the beaches of America or the five greatest cities to live in the pandemic, or whatever. They’re going to pick a story that they think is going to stay under the radar, and they’re going to stay out of it.
Because some of them, they really don’t have a choice. They’re the only breadwinner or they’re on thin ice, or they just don’t know. They don’t see a path forward where they can rock the boat and give everything up and take the risks that other people can.
That’s understandable sometimes. It’s not fair to judge everybody as if they’re all worthless, because they’re not doing this or they’re not doing that, not everybody’s built the same way.
It’s the same thing across the media. I really do believe that there are many journalists who would have made different choices and would be making different choices, and would be talking about some of these things if the price wasn’t so high.
That’s the other thing they do. They make sure that the price that you pay is one that is so high. They minimize the number of people who are either willing or able to pay that price. That’s another existing condition that they exploit.
Then they take advantage of young journalists. Let’s face it, when I look back at myself as a young journalist, good lord above, I was an idiot. I really, really was very idealistic and naive about so much. I didn’t think a policeman would ever lie to me. I was shocked the first time my news editor just literally poured distain and scorn over everything I reported.
The police had just told me about a story I was working on. When he said, “Oh, that’s a load of BS!” And I said, “What, you think the police would lie to me?” And he said, “I expect the police to lie to you. Of course, the police would lie to you. Here’s why.” And [then he gave] me 10 reasons.
So over the years, we learn. That’s why it’s so important to take young journalists out of college, young producers, young idealistic minds, who bear in mind they’ve just now been indoctrinated, and not even taught the difference between journalism and activism, and use them as the front line, the front guard for your offense, and then blow the lines.
They don’t even know. Where do they see what real journalism is supposed to be? Ask any psychologist or therapist, and they’ll tell you if you’re not a good father or mother, what’s the measure that you’re basing that on? Who’s your role model that you’re mimicking, or that you’ve learned from?
In The New York Times newsroom today, when young journalists look around, who are the mentors and role models? Where are the people standing up?Look at Bari Weiss. She left, right? How many others have been driven out? How many others have got their heads down, and they’re just hoping it doesn’t come for them?
Like that old poem from the Second World War. When they came for the Jews. I didn’t say anything, because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the communists, I didn’t say anything, because I wasn’t a communist. And then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.
There’s a lot of people in America, not just journalists, who are hiding under their desks or taking refuge behind closed doors, hoping that it doesn’t come for them. Because the price that we all have to pay is so high.
The reality is, we’re way past that point. And there isn’t a good measure for journalists because when you have people eventually like yourselves, The Epoch Times: “Where did they come from? Who are these people?” Look at the attacks on you by Media Matters for America.
Does a young journalist today, when they search The Epoch Times and they see all those attacks and those vicious, vicious, nasty smear articles that are meant to discredit you and everyone working for you, do they look at that? And are they intimidated? Are they put off? How would they know any better?
They’ve made sure that we live in an environment where they have total information dominance. Everyone else is on the fringes. I’m now a lunatic. I can map out the smear for you. It mirrors the death threat letters that were mailed to my home by Antifa.
It says exactly the same thing: you used to be great and now you’re just a right-wing lunatic, yelling from the rooftops on Fox Nation. We know where you are. Such a shame that you’re that you’ve fallen from such heights to such depths.
I’m not intimidated by any of that, because I’ve seen it way too often. People recognize those tactics. They know what is happening. In spite of the fact that they own the universities, they own the credible media institutions, they own the institutions of recognition that we bestow, whether it’s politics or the Nobel Prize or Hollywood or the Emmys—they’ve taken control of all of that.
The same thing is happening to scientists and the same thing in academia. It’s not just in journalism.Yet in spite of all of that, they’re not winning. Because the truth is stronger than they are. It’s stronger than you and me. Will I live to see the end of this? Do I survive all of this? I have no idea. But I know I’m not doing it for me.
I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do. And so are you. And so is every journalist.Your journalist, Sarah Liang, who just took a beating, is back at work. She’s not going to be intimidated. She’s not going to be terrorized into silence. The more people stand up, the more people are encouraged to stand up. It’s a long road, and the price is great. I’ve paid a great price—my health.
Everybody wants front row seats at the Superbowl. We all want the Emmy and the Pulitzer and the duPont Silver Baton, the Television Award, that’s the equivalent of the Pulitzers that myself and my team received at 60 Minutes. We all want that recognition. We all want to be guests of honor in polite society, but they’re not going to allow that.
And as long as you let go of that and you accept that you’re an outlaw in a world that really does matter, then it sets you free. That’s a great place to be because I believe in freedom, freedom over tyranny.
Mr. Jekielek: In fact, we have a really interesting case study looking at how the coronavirus or the CCP virus, as we call it here at The Epoch Times, has been treated by the media and also by social media, which is, as I mentioned before, something that you’ve been thinking a lot about.
There is this recent article by Nicholas Wade, who is a veteran of The New York Times. He’s written about science and nature. He’s charted out a lot of things that we already knew a year ago.Back in April of 2020, we published a documentary tracking the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus, and laid out some of the big questions.
We didn’t draw conclusions, but we simply said that there seems to be significant evidence that this could have come from a lab—not a bioweapon—but could have leaked from a lab. Anybody that talked about this theory, this was the height of conspiracy theories.
There were people even writing in prestigious journals, like Science, that the lab idea is absolute nonsense, it has to be a natural origin, and at a time when they couldn’t possibly have even known that. That much was obvious. So of course, it took a year now for the U.S. intelligence community to start believing that this was a more plausible explanation.
Mrs. Logan: I have to stop you there, Jan. I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think it took the U.S. intelligence community a year to stop believing that this was true. I think we were lied to, and the truth was concealed. This is why I say that you picked the best possible example. It really is a great one, because it is such an important one. It illustrates so many things.
I will tell you what I was told by people within the intelligence community. Some of them retired, some of them active from the very beginning. When the Wuhan lab was built by China, from day one, it was built as a bioweapons facility. That is a fact.
How do we know that? Because U.S. intelligence was monitoring that from the beginning, from the first brick that was laid, literally. So they’ve always known that.
Number two, they’ve always monitored it. There has never been a time where they have not been monitoring a bioweapons facility in China, or anywhere else in the world.
Number three, I was told from the very beginning by people who specialize in bioweapons, that the way you create a bioweapon is inside a bat in a lab. You don’t do it out of the bat, you use the bat as the host. You grow the virus, cultivate the virus, actually, is a better word, inside the bat.
So you heard Dr. Fauci and all these others carefully parsing their words from the very beginning, “This came from a bat.” They were not lying.
They knew precisely that it came from the bat inside a lab, because the science, the biological breakdown of that virus from day one, the way it transmitted from people to people meant that it was not a normal natural coronavirus. It had to have been engineered, and it had certain proteins in it that could only have been inserted into it in a lab by human beings and human intervention.
I’m not saying it was a bioweapon. All I do know for certain is that the lab is a bioweapons facility, and it is monitored by U.S. intelligence, and has always been from day one.
But if I had tried to report that at the time, it would have been the end of my career, even my career as an outlaw journalist which is what I am now living in outlaw country, in the hill country of Texas. It would have been the end of that, not my career at 60 Minutes, my career even as an independent journalist, because my credibility would have been assassinated, for even trying to report that.
I had doctors send me papers on gain of function research at the very, very beginning. Okay, the agency knew this. Intelligence services knew all of this from day one. Steve Hilton from Fox News, he’s a weekend anchor. He was reporting on this for weeks and weeks and weeks and doing some extraordinarily careful and meticulous reporting.
Sharyl Attkisson at Sinclair, she did a big report on this for her show Full Measure. She couldn’t get Sinclair to put it up. She had to publish it externally, because Sinclair knew that they would be absolutely savaged for daring to put it out. How many others are there?
Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who has been doing extraordinary work throughout the pandemic at great cost to himself has been hammered from all sides. He’s been right about everything, speaking up early on about the harm of masks and the uselessness of wearing masks to prevent the spread of this virus.
There have been doctors who are being hunted right now, today, because they dared to prescribe things like hydroxychloroquine. It’s not just about the origins of the virus. It was suppressed for a reason.
You know what the sad part is, Jan, they don’t care that the truth is coming out now. Because if the truth had come out at the time, when the response would have been different, everything would have been different. You know what we wouldn’t have done?
We wouldn’t have allowed thousands and thousands and thousands of drop-in ballot boxes to be placed on streets all over America, and state election laws to be subverted in the name of public safety. We wouldn’t have taken the same actions that we took, because we would have had a very different understanding of this virus.
We would have recognized ambulatory protocols. What is that? It means the treatments that they could use in hospitals and all over America at doctor’s offices to treat people and send them home. The fear that was created about overcrowded hospitals would never have generated the responses.
If we had been able to have real conversation about real effective treatments for COVID that did not involve killing patients by putting them on ventilators, which the medical community now admits was the wrong protocol. Doctors didn’t know it at the time. I’m not saying for one single second that doctors were doing this on purpose. They were lied to.
The information that we really had about this was kept from us. The CDC today still does not advocate for ambulatory protocols. The CDC is putting out false guidance today, rather than real guidance about real drugs that work. I’m not talking from a theoretical academic perspective. I’ve had COVID. I received the ambulatory protocol. I was treated, and I recovered fully.
I’m not not for one single second disrespecting, dishonoring, or dismissing the people who have suffered terribly from this virus and the people who have died and the people who lost those that they love. This is not in any way meant to diminish these people.
In fact, I’m standing by those people and standing up for those people and for the others who are getting the so-called vaccine without being told the truth, all the people out there who think it’s FDA approved. Where are the stories about the vaccine? We’re not allowed to question that. It’s still being censored. You still can’t watch Pandemic One or Pandemic Two.
Why not? People say they overreach, the scientist isn’t good, it’s blah, blah, blah— fine. If that’s true, then let people see it. Let it speak for itself. If it is based on lies, the film will collapse. If it is based on fake science, people will be able to see that. This idea that we have to protect people from harm, that they can’t share information, is not true, because of all the people it will kill.
How many people have been killed from not telling us the truth about the virus and the origins of the virus, the treatments of the virus, the truth about lockdowns, the truth about the efficacy of masks, and the truth about the harm that masks do by reducing oxygen flow to the brain. Why aren’t we hearing about any of this?
Now we want to talk about the rise in suicides, the rise in poverty, the rise in depression, the rise in cancer, the rise in all the other illnesses that haven’t been treated—the homelessness, the depression, the joblessness, the evisceration of the middle class, turning the world into a welfare state, the power that it’s given to people who were not elected like Big Tech who don’t only control the means of communication, don’t only control the public square, they now also are doing things like collecting our health data, who own a perpetual, worldwide royalty free copy of everything we do on their systems, who’ve pushed us further and further into a digital world that they control, where we have less and less and less control.
Everything we do that makes our lives more convenient, we give up more control, more of our rights, not just our privacy, which has been obliterated. The Constitution, which they’re steadily dismantling. Not just those things, but the very things that we hold dear to us—control over our lives, the relationships with our children, the definition of family itself.
Press freedom is the gateway to all of our other freedoms. It is there. The First Amendment is first in order to guarantee all of the other rights and freedoms of the Constitution.
Because without the freedom to report honestly and accurately, there is no accountability. It isn’t about Jimmy Kimmel and all those other horrible late night talk shows that have forgotten what real comedy is and become propagandists in their own right. It isn’t about that.
It is about holding people accountable for real things, not fake things, not a fake Russia-collusion disinformation campaign that is meant to terrorize and silence and disable legally elected, democratically elected government with a denial-of-service attack. That’s what they call it in information warfare, denial-of-service.
Ask yourself out there, have you been subjected to an investigation by the IRS and you’ve never done anything wrong with your taxes, but you keep getting investigated? That is a denial-of-service investigation attack that is meant to prevent you from functioning normally,if you’re under attack for reporting the truth.
As a filmmaker or a journalist, you’re having to answer spurious allegations. You at The Epoch Times are having to defend yourself against Media Matters for America. That is a denial-of-service attack. These are coordinated attacks. They are organized, which means there’s an infrastructure behind them, there’s funding behind them.
There are people providing that funding. There is an organized network of people who are spreading that ideology, perpetuating those tactics, sustaining them, and making sure they reach everybody.
There’s a legal arm to those tactics. There are organizations like the Alliance, the National Lawyers Guild, who are defending people who are arrested for burning down streets in America. They’re also defending people who are accused of voting twice in the elections. Wow, see a connection there?
They’re also providing free legal services to people who have broken U.S. law by crossing the border illegally and perhaps committing other crimes, not just innocent people who are seeking a better life.
They’re defending people with criminal records. They’re teaching people how to subvert U.S. law by evading the FBI and local law enforcement and not just organizations like ICE and Border Patrol and Homeland Security.
These are the same people. They’re pushing their own ideology through a dark network of organizations. The most important thing for people to really recognize and understand—now, oh boy, I’m just putting the target right here on my head, I really and truly am—but this is where the real power lies behind all these charitable foundations that hide behind euphemisms, like social justice and sustainable development, and we’re going to make the world a better place for everybody, except we’re really not.
We really are not. We’re using charitable networks and foundations as a cover to subvert U.S. law, and to go after Americans, and to push our own political agenda on everyone and everything, and strangle and stifle any form of freedom, and any form of free thought that gets in the way of our goals.
Mr. Jekielek: Lara, one thing that just struck me here, as you were talking a little bit earlier, is this idea that, on one hand, you have a very strong ideological difference between these two positions. One is, “There are different points of view, even from the scientific perspective. Let’s have it out in the public square about these and figure out what the best course of action is.”
The other one is, “No, there’s only one way to think about things, and you have to accept it. Otherwise, you’re spreading misinformation or disinformation. Because that’s the settled science.”
Mrs. Logan: Well, there’s no such thing as settled science, and every scientist will tell you that, especially when you have something that’s emerging, and you’re learning about it. More importantly this is what I revert back to, Jan. In your life, when you talk to people about whatever specialty it is that you have, is anything ever absolute?
Things are not absolute. They just aren’t. They never are, except the things that we know in our hearts to be good and to be evil. That’s the one dividing line that we can count on. We know that a baby when it’s born is innocent and good. And people who look at a baby when it’s born, and ascribe anything else to it, other than that, are evil. It’s very simple.
So how we deal with things, the complexity of the virus, its origins, getting to the truth of that, wading through the misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, government-speak, political-speak—those things are full of gray areas and complexity.
The very reason we need to debate them, the very reason we need to question them, challenge them, defend them, reexamine them, look at them for the benefit of more information, discuss them, argue about them if need be—the very reason is so that we can come down in the end to the things we know beyond any shadow of a doubt, we can count on.
People have often asked me, “How can you go back to these places where there is war and all these terrible things happening and subject yourself to that time and time again?” It took me a long time to come up with the answer.
There were lots of answers, but the only one that really counted was this one: because I believe in the good of who we are at our best, as human beings. I believe that good is more powerful than evil.
How do I know it exists? Because I have it in me, and that’s how I know it’s worth fighting for. I don’t have to doubt it. Did the Chinese Communist Party decide to release that virus as a bioweapon in a coordinated attack on America, hand in hand maybe with people within America? I have no idea. Can I prove that? Boy, good luck.
But what I do know is we were lied to. I know information was suppressed. I know that what we don’t know is much more than what we do know. There’s much more we don’t know at this point. And I do know that a lie has no legs. You have to keep telling other lies to keep that lie afloat. My mother told me that. My grandmother told my mother that. They were probably a gazillion people before them, who told their children that.
The things that are passed down to us that survived the ages, from generation to generation, are the things that are real. You don’t have to look any further than that, to find the things that are real. Those are the things that guide us.
That’s why I always tell people about journalism. I never really worked for 60 Minutes. I never did my job any differently for them than I do now for the company I work for now and the show that I create, or when I was a young journalist for a newspaper in South Africa that nobody had ever heard of. I didn’t work for them, because I work for something that we all work for when we do it honestly, and that is the truth.
I’m trying to find out what’s real and what’s not real in all of these things, and trying to find out what’s true, and what’s not true. What can I hold on to? What can I have to let go? What can I hold in the pending basket to be confirmed, and separate those things out? Anonymity doesn’t help me do that. Motivation helps me do that, and evaluating people’s motives and real facts.
When The New York Times does what it does today—in every single thing it puts out, they fuse opinion with fact and present it as fact. They commit one of the original sins of journalism, and it breaks my heart. Because I have so much respect for The New York Times and the work that they have done over the years, and for so many of my colleagues there who are among the best journalists I have ever worked with.
I don’t say that to cover my butt, or to boost people while I take them down. It’s something I mean to say. I mean it with every fiber of my being. Some of the best journalists ever have worked at that paper. But what they do today as a publication and as a whole is disgraceful.
More than that, the best part is people see it. You don’t have to have a PhD from Harvard, to recognize BS, when someone’s pushing opinion to you as fact. You know that meter goes off, that red flag goes off in the back of your brain.
And we don’t have an automatic filter that protects us from propaganda. I don’t have it. I realized that coming out of 60 Minutes and that environment, that bubble that I was in where everyone around me, we all agreed on everything.
We all thought pro-lifers were nutters who blow up abortion clinics. I never thought about it much more than that. I’ve given it a lot of thought since then. When I was challenged by people who were pro-life, I realized that they were right.
We never did any honest stories about them, or any stories that had any degree of respect or regard for their beliefs and opinions. We treated them like nutters, and stood up in defense of Roe vs. Wade, because that was an absolute truth. It was an absolute truth.
Now the same people that tell you, “My body, my choice,” are saying, “Only with abortion, not when it comes to the vaccine.” Well, okay, I can see that that’s nonsense. This is either true, or it’s not true. You can’t have it both ways. So those are the real things I hold on to as a journalist to guide me.
I don’t always get it right. Sometimes you just don’t know enough to get it right. Sometimes you just get used, quite frankly. If I’m honest and look back over my career, I can see where I was used.
But at the end of the day, people recognize when you are honest and sincere, and they care, they hold on to that. Because the world we live in right now, those are the things that are going to carry us through this very, very challenging time that we find ourselves in now.
Mr. Jekielek: Lara, to finish up, I want to pick up on something we were talking about earlier. We touched on the censorship and power and control that Big Tech wields today. This is something that you’re actually looking into in this new series that you’re doing for Fox Nation, Season Two.
Your first season was at the border. You did some really fantastic work there. This next season is going to be about, essentially, privacy. For starters, how does Big Tech play into this question of censorship and free speech?
Mrs. Logan: Big Tech is the linchpin. Everything right now—because for some inexplicable reason we decided to subvert the standards that we have always applied in this country about monopolies. We allowed Big Tech to amass these extraordinary powerful monopolies, where they now really control so many aspects of our lives.
Think about Google, that search engine. They don’t show you just a random selection of results. They show you the results that represent the world that they want you to see. That’s power with no limit, and no accountability.
In fact, there are documents and a video, one in particular, leaked from Google that show that their doctrine is they don’t want the search results to show you the world as it is. They want the search results to reflect the world that they believe should exist, the world that they want to exist. So they’re pushing that agenda on you.
Then they have Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Photos. It just goes on and on and on and on. And if you decline to have Google monitor you in one of those settings, you turn on your privacy settings, they’re still monitoring you with every other app that they have.
Something people don’t realize is these companies are not just recording and monitoring everything you do while you’re in their apps. They’re taking everything from your entire device, and they’re taking your entire history. People say, “Well, I’m not doing anything wrong. So it doesn’t matter. I’ve never had privacy. So I don’t care.”
You don’t understand what it is that you’re giving up. Number one, you’re giving them the copyright to everything that you say and do. So they own it. They can do whatever they want with it anywhere in the world for as long as they like without acknowledging you or asking you for permission or paying you for it or anything else. Which means selling it like “23andme.”
I just interviewed a guy who was working with a health management and HMO and they were buying data from 23andme. Why does a health management organization need your DNA data? Well, it’s obviously not for good reasons, not to help you.
Also [there’s] this presumption that we all have that, well, they’re all going to use this for my benefit. They’re all going to use it to help me, and sure, maybe advertisers are trying to exploit it and get me to buy something that I don’t really need or don’t really want. But so what? I can just say no.
That is literally like planning for the best case scenario. It’s like believing that every dictator and every king that ever lived would only ever use their power for good. History has shown us that the opposite is true. The benevolent great kings are in the minority. They don’t dominate the history of monarchies anywhere, in any country, in any place in the history of the world.
So there’s a real presumption here that is flawed from the very, very, very beginning. Big Tech is exercising that power right now. They have been since the election. They’re doubling down on it. They’re expanding it. They are deciding. These are non-elected people that control the public square.
It’s not that there aren’t right-wing radio stations, or conservative blogs, or conservative pundits out there or conservative TV stations like Fox News. It’s not that they don’t exist.
It’s that they’ve been successfully pushed to the sidelines, to the confines of the crazy media. You don’t have to take them seriously, because they’re just a bunch of propagandists who threaten our democracy. In fact, they should all be silenced. They should be dismantled, and they shouldn’t be allowed to speak.
That’s what you’re looking at. And the people who hold the most power within that are these technology companies. Look at the revolving door between the Facebook company, between their board, their content moderation counsel, and the Justice Department and the Biden administration. You can extend that model, from Twitter, to the government and all through government agencies as well.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Never mind that more than 90 percent of the political donations in these companies went to one party. Look at the amount of money that Mark Zuckerberg poured into these organizations that claim to be civil society organizations, trying to create fairer elections and more free elections and help immigrants with human rights issues and feed poor, starving immigrants who’ve struggled across the border, never mind all of these organizations that also get money from the same people.
When you look at what they’re doing and how effectively they’re able to control the conversation, you see how powerful they really have become. Then when you look at the other things that they’re doing, all of this stuff with neurotransmitters, mapping out the synaptic processes of the brain, figuring out your biorhythms.
When are we as human beings most vulnerable to external influences? When our biorhythms are low, and our blood pressure drops, and our heart rate drops. During the hours when we sleep, we are most receptive to external influences. They love the terms like biohacking and bioengineering.
All that means is influencing the processes inside your body and inside your brain from an outside source. That’s what they all involve. Some of them help us and are good for us, and some of them don’t. But we’re only told about the ones that help us.
We’re only told, “Look at this cell phone, isn’t this awesome? It’s going to change your life. You’re never going to get lost again, because you’ve got GPS.” They don’t tell you it’s a surveillance device that you are willingly going to carry with you day and night on behalf of anyone who wants to spy on you. You are going to provide us with all of your most personal data, and you’re going to make it easy for us to spy on you.
Then at the same time, you’re not going to turn it off, because it’s got this great function called an alarm, and you need it to wake you up in the morning. So while you’re sleeping, they’re going to figure out, are you a good sleeper, are you a bad sleeper, and the hours of REM sleep you get. What wakes you up? Is it peaceful in your house? Is it not peaceful? Are you and your husband vulnerable because your marriage is on the rocks? We can exploit that.
There’s so many things that people can do to exploit this level of personal private information. What else they could do with it is to start forcing us to self-censor. Then when they try to take away your second amendment rights, and limit what you’re able and allowed to do, they know from surveilling you through Google Nest or Alexa whether you have weapons in the home because they know what you’re talking about. They know what they hear.
Now they could pass that information. The NSA collects it already. They put it in a database that the FBI accesses and they can use it to come and knock on your door and arrest you. They look at the records, and under the new rules, insurance for this many weapons, and they know from listening to you that you have more weapons than that.
Now they can raid your house, and they can make you a criminal, because you don’t have the required insurance under the new gun laws for every one of your weapons. That’s the tip of the iceberg, really, of what they can do.
What it’s all about is absolute control. They control the narrative. They control this flow of information. They control what we report, what we don’t report, how we report it, what we do with it, and what people say about it.
They manage perception and they distort perception. They get us convinced that there’s no one left in the military that doesn’t support woke culture. There’s no one left on the agency or the intelligence services that isn’t onboard with the cancel culture train. And it’s not true. But they’ve created a lie so big, and sitting right in front of us.
Without free speech, and with the control of these companies that are working hand in hand with them, it’s meant to break our spirit. We’re meant to believe that we’ve lost, and it’s not true.
Mr. Jekielek: Lara Logan, it’s such a pleasure to have you on.
Mrs. Logan: Thank you, Jan. Thank you so much. Thanks to all of your reporters and staff. There’s been a lot of moments in the last few years where your reporting really gave me strength.
Because I could see that there were other real journalists out there who were doing their jobs honestly, and who had the moral courage to report the truth and had some kind of structure behind them to support them.
You can’t just create a real credible newsroom, it takes a lot to do that, I know. So many people have reached out to me and said, “Hey, have you heard of this? Do you read this paper?” Now I feel like you’re a real fixture of the media landscape.
That is so important, because when there are young journalists looking for somewhere to look to, they can look to your paper to see what real journalism is supposed to be, and to your reporters who’ve had the courage to report on these things, even when you’re under attack, and even when the narrative and the groundswell is against you.
So it means a lot, and I know it’s not easy. I still want my copy of that diagram that you guys made. I should have had my physical Epoch Times paper to hold up for you today, because I get it delivered. I subscribed, because you promised me a free diagram that I don’t have yet. I want to find that thing.
Mr. Jekielek: We’ll be sure to get that to you, Lara. Such a pleasure to have you on again and thank you for the kind words.
Mrs. Logan: Thank you so much. I mean it.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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