Lara Logan sues New York Magazine

Lara Logan has failed in her self-proclaimed attempt to “send a message” to “so-called journalists” by suing New York Magazine and one of its former writers for millions of dollars.

The former CBS correspondent filed at the end of last year a strongly worded lawsuit against New York and its former writer Joe Hagan (now at Vanity Fair), claiming a 6,000 word story covering a retracted “60 Minutes” report she led in 2012 was what derailed her journalism career. She asked for $25 million in damages, blaming the article for hurting her earning potential and for “extreme insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation…” that it allegedly caused.  

But a federal judge in Texas was not sympathetic. On Wednesday, Logan’s lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it was rejected on its merits and that her claims cannot be refiled. 

The judge told Logan at the end of April that she had two weeks to submit an additional argument as to why her case should not be dismissed, but she failed to do so. The case was tossed through a very brief signed order.

An attorney for Logan could not be reached. A spokeswoman for New York declined to comment.

Logan’s lawsuit was built around the idea that Hagan’s May 2014 story, titled “Benghazi and the Bombshell,” rose to the level of libel and slander, as it was, the suit claimed, made up of “disgraceful, click-bait, sensationalist, egregious misstatements simply to sell magazines.” She also claimed that the story was aimed at ousted CBS chief executive officer Les Moonves, because Hagan and New York “had an ax to grind” against him. Logan did not specify what “ax” New York had, but claimed the broad motivation was to “embarrass Moonves” and “raise questions” about his judgment.

Logan told the court that New York and Hagan “should be punished for their unlawful actions and a very strong message needs to be sent to other so-called ‘journalists’ to prevent them from acting in a similar way.”

But it seems the court agreed that Hagan did little but write a feature story on Logan and her missteps in reporting a piece on a 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Although the story covered Logan’s rise as a reporter, her success and ambition, the focus was what it called “a deeply flawed ‘60 Minutes’ report” on the Benghazi attack.

The main issue was the Benghazi report was based on a sourced account that, as Hagan wrote, “was soon revealed to be made up almost of whole cloth” and that the source “had invented the story to sell a book.” The attack later became a lighting rod issue for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as she was U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the attack. It led to numerous right-wing conspiracy theories.

Logan last year signed on to host a series on Fox Nation, a new streaming service from the President Trump-supporting Fox News, where she has recently appeared as a contributor.

Nevertheless, she claimed that the New York piece was to blame for her missing out on career opportunities and increased pay. This despite the fact that CBS formally retracted her Benghazi report not long after it aired due to public questions of its accuracy; that she publicly explained why it had been retracted and that the piece had been “a mistake,” and that she remained employed by CBS until 2018, when her contract was not renewed. She then went on to work for the the conservative-led news and broadcast company Sinclair Broadcast Group before joining Fox.

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