Lara Logan, the Fox ‘Investigative Journalist’ Who Keeps Falling for Antifa Hoaxes

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Justin Baragona, Will Sommer
·8 min read
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Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

The key “investigative journalist” lending credibility to Fox News’ incessant coverage of an alleged “antifa” insurgency has frequently promoted obvious hoaxes about her supposed area of expertise.

Lara Logan, an award-winning former CBS News correspondent who joined Fox News as a host on their online-streaming service Fox Nation last year and has been billed an “investigative journalist” by herself and in promos, has become a fixture of the network’s coverage of the loosely organized anti-fascist movement.

President Donald Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed antifa is a shadowy group behind nationwide protests and the violence that occurred during some of them—even though the FBI found “no intelligence indicating antifa involvement” in the May 31 protests in Washington, D.C., and antifa is literally never mentioned in the DOJ’s first round of prosecutions. Nevertheless, Logan has been utilized by Fox to lend journalistic cachet to such allegations.

But a review of Logan’s reporting—both online and on Fox News—shows a clear pattern of repeatedly falling for obvious hoaxes and passing along eye-popping but completely unsubstantiated claims.

On May 31, for example, Logan tweeted out an image of a document she alleged to be an antifa battle plan, claiming they had infiltrated law enforcement and provided a “riot” manual for protesters.

“For those of you still in denial about who is directing & controlling the protests - take a close look at this,” Logan tweeted.

That document, however, was merely a recirculated version of a hoax first peddled during the April 2015 Baltimore riots over Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. There’s no proof that the overwrought document, which urges antifa activists to communicate with “agitorg” leaders and rendezvous at a mystery location called “GAMMA PRIME,” is real.

Fox News and Logan didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The following day, Logan posted a picture of a tweet purporting to come from a national antifa group threatening to terrorize majority-white neighborhoods. The tweet she cited read: “Tonight’s the night, Comrades...Tonight we say ‘Fuck The City’ and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what’s ours,” along with a black raised-fist emoji.

That tweet turned out to have come from a fake account linked to white-nationalist group Identity Europa posing as antifa while calling for violence. The fake antifa account even included the acronym “I.E.” in its logo, a clear reference to its ties to Identity Europa.

After being called out for credulously passing along two hoaxes, Logan did not correct, update, or delete either tweet, instead lashing out at critics as waging a smear campaign to “destroy” her. There can be “no doubt,” she wrote, that liberal media-monitoring group Media Matters for America had “marshaled their army & all their resources” against her. (In 2013, Media Matters exposed Logan’s false 60 Minutes reporting on Benghazi, which resulted in a retraction, an on-air apology from Logan, and a leave of absence.)

Several days after posting the fake antifa tweets, Logan would again fall for another hoax—this time taking an obvious joke about rap-loving clowns as serious proof of an antifa conspiracy.

As a joke, one Twitter user wrote a thread connecting antifa to costume-wearing furries, Korean pop listeners, and the rowdy, soda-chugging fans of horrorcore rap duo Insane Clown Posse, who call themselves “juggalos” and dress up in clown makeup.

At one point, the account wrote that “for those confused as to the antifa clown hierarchy, there isn't one juggalos are regulars jokers are auxiliaries outside the traditional command structure.”

Logan reposted that June 5 tweet, holding it up as proof of the clandestine antifa hierarchy she has long claimed exists. “Exposing the lie: Anarchists hide behind the idea that there is no organization or structure - but here you have it in their own words: ‘traditional command structure,’” tweeted the Fox reporter. Her tweet still remains live.

The Fox star kept up her conspiracy theorizing early Wednesday morning, speculating that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) won her office because of some unspecified plot operated by the same unknown forces Logan believes control antifa activists.

“My question: who turned a bartender from NY into a mouthpiece for a radical agenda?” Logan tweeted. “Same people pulling the strings/behind Antifa & on the streets?”

Logan’s unsubstantiated antifa tweets, many of them remarkably inaccurate, have prompted questions about why she was peddling hoaxes in the first place. Logan was a well-respected reporter while at CBS, becoming one of the leading reporters on 60 Minutes thanks to her bracing, often dangerous war reporting. Logan’s stories for CBS won an Emmy Award and other major reporting prizes. (In 2011, Logan was the victim of a violent mob sexual assault while covering the Egyptian Revolution).

Since 2019, Logan has re-emerged as a right-wing journalist and pundit, who now claims her reporting has been unfairly targeted by fellow reporters and Media Matters.

“She used to be a distinguished correspondent for ‘60 Minutes,’” CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter lamented on Twitter after Logan’s suggestion that Ocasio-Cortez is a puppet for sinister forces.

Even as Logan struggles to discern disinformation and parody from verifiable evidence, Fox News has repeatedly touted Logan’s expertise on antifa during her on-air appearances.

“Lara Logan has been covering antifa for years and explains their track record of instigating violence,” reporter Griff Jenkins declared before her June 5 appearance on Fox & Friends, citing a Fox Nation webisode she did on the movement earlier this year, which the network has frequently promoted.

In a June 2 hit on Fox & Friends, Logan claimed antifa is a “massive network” whose main goal is to make “us believe that we are divided” because they “want it to be about Republican and Democrat, but it is not.”

She also went on to allege that The New York Times and other media outlets push antifa propaganda, while calling for the Trump administration to designate antifa a terrorist organization.

Lara Logan Returns to TV as a Right-Wing Heroine at Sinclair, Condemning ‘Moral Cowards’ at CBS

“They are literally collecting data and dismissing all of this. What you are seeing in front of your eyes, they are saying is a conspiracy theory,” she said. “I mean, they have used conspiracy theory, that's an information warfare term that’s meant to shut down any conversation and to silence and to intimidate and to get us to self-censor because we don’t want to be accused of being crazy right-wing conspiracy theorists.”

During a June 4 appearance on Hannity, Logan first touted claims from right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas that the organization had “infiltrated antifa”—the supposed sting operation took place in a bookstore that closed two years ago—before warning that antifa is dropping off “pallets of bricks” at protest sites to provoke violence and vandalism.

“You talked about bricks, Sean,” she said to Fox host Sean Hannity. “It’s not just bricks they’re putting in the streets. I actually saw something that is kind of a pallet.”

Turning to Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, who is reportedly a key figure in getting Trump to focus his attention on antifa, Logan added: “It makes it easy to move a large amount of bricks very quickly where they can just literally put it on the back of a truck and the truck tilts and it slides right off and it stays intact. This is a form of logistical support that the U.S. military uses.”

Fact-checkers, however, have found no validity for suggestions that large piles of bricks have been deliberately left near sites of protests in an effort to incite violence. Nor have there been any sightings of antifa-led cargo trucks dropping off pallets of bricks in cities for demonstrators to chuck at buildings or police.

Logan also warned viewers that antifa was holding “webinars” to train people how to encrypt communications and scrub social media accounts, pointing to a flyer from the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

The following morning on Fox & Friends, Logan called the George Floyd protests antifa’s “Super Bowl” before suggesting that The New York Times’ “1619 Project” and #BlackoutTuesday were all part of a concerted effort “designed to get you one step closer to a Marxist state.”

This past Monday evening, meanwhile, Logan told primetime host Laura Ingraham that the “political agenda” being pushed by the movement was “all over the internet” but that “many of those sites are blocking me now.”

It is unclear which websites are specifically blocking her.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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