The New York Times: Safe at Home

February 18th, 2012

The New York Times
February 17, 2012

On a blustery weekend afternoon, I am sitting in the living room of Lara Logan’s house in a leafy neighborhood in Washington, D.C., waiting for the CBS reporter to come home from the office. From my perch on a leather sectional sofa, I can see a plastic children’s fort in the garden; hear the creak of the front porch swing; marvel at the length of wooden train track snaking across the floor; peruse a guide to world armies; sip a cup of Nescafé with Coffee-mate. Also anticipating Logan’s arrival are her husband, Joseph Burkett, a work-at-home Congressional liaison, who is doing what all work-at-home dads do, i.e. strategically skirting past areas populated by children; Joseph and Lola, ages 3 and nearly 2, in pj’s and pacifiers, just up from their naps and on the prowl for snacks; and Ruby, the nanny, installed at the kitchen table from which she can attend to everyone’s needs with minimal motion. Logan, a “60 Minutes” correspondent, is now 90 minutes late, but one gets the sense from Burkett’s periodic updates (“she’s just been held up, leaving soon”) that a long office stint on a weekend is not out of the ordinary. When she eventually arrives — in flat boots and skinny fleece, looking freckled, tousled, sporty — she is greeted by the siege on Mommy, an attack of love and neediness all working mothers know too well. “I don’t think about career ambition,” she tells me later. “I don’t think about access. I think about how fast can I get home. That’s it.”

What it means to come home, for Lara Logan, 40, has changed dramatically in the past year. Last February, it was this house to which she returned after being attacked and sexually violated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square by members of the crowd gathered to celebrate the revolutionary end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime. She is reluctant to discuss the details of that experience again — she gave one interview to CBS last May — but it is clear that she and those close to her are still coming to terms with the ramifications of it for her family and her career. “What happened to Lara is as horrible an event as can happen to a human being,” says Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News.

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