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UPDATED with video: Favorite media quotes of the week, surprisingly, from CBS’s Lara Logan

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

June 17th, 2008

I’ve said for a long time that the problems with American corporate media are structural, and that those of us who are media critics and media activists must remember that many good journalists really are trying to do the best they can to produce accurate, critical, important news — even as their employers and the system they’re working within often prevent them from bringing us the information they need.

If you need an example, check out tonight’s The Daily Show interview with CBS’s Lara Logan, who commiserated with Jon Stewart about how frustrating it is as a reporter to have to fight her higher-ups to get crucial stories about Afghanistan onto the news instead of, say, yet another commercial fluff story about Paris Hilton.

Asked whether she pays much attention to the news reports Americans are exposed to when they turn on the tube, Logan replied:

“If I were to watch the news that you hear in the United States I’d just blow my brains out, because it would drive me nuts.”

Later, when Logan talks about a five year old Iraqi girl killed by a bombing raid, Stewart asks about underreporting of civilian war casualties and whether we’ve become numb to the horror of war: “Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation?” To which Logan responds:

“Yeah, we have. You know, I was asked once, ‘do you feel responsible for the American public having a bad view, a negative view, of the war in Iraq?’ And I looked at the reporter and I said, tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier. What does that look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? Cause I know what that looks like. And I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does. You know? That’s what I feel responsible for — that nobody really understands. And the soldiers do feel forgotten, they do. No doubt. From Afghanistan to Iraq.”

“…And more soldiers died in Afghanistan last month than Iraq. Who’s paying attention to that? 33,000. Highest troop levels since the war began. Seven years after we defeated the Taliban.”

With this, Logan lands herself squarely in my “favorite quotes from someone working within corporate media” file. Check her out:

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