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Lara Logan Rant Results in Newsmax Ban, Statement

Former CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was banned from far-right American cable network Newsmax in October 2022 after a bizarre antisemitic rant on October 19 2022 — the latest in a long string of appearances featuring escalating, fully conspiracist rhetoric.

On October 20 2022, The Daily Beast updated an existing article (“Newsmax Bans Lara Logan After She Goes Full QAnon, Spews Blood Libel on Network”) about Logan’s controversial statements, adding in a statement obtained from the far right cable channel about Logan’s appearance:

Following the publication of this article, Newsmax told The Daily Beast that it will not be bringing her back on the air going forward.

“Newsmax condemns in the strongest terms the reprehensible statements made by Lara Logan and her views do not reflect our network,” the network said in a statement. “We have no plans to interview her again.”

The exact nature of controversy surrounding Logan’s Newsmax segment proved difficult to initially determine. A Google News search for Logan returned a number of news reports, several of which described a similar dispute involving Fox News. based on a similar appearance by Logan there in April 2022):

Former CBS journalist Lara Logan claims she was “pushed out” at Fox News following controversial comments she made late last year [in November 2021] comparing Anthony Fauci to infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

[…]

“What you see on Dr. Fauci, this is what people say to me, that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele … the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps,” Logan said. “And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this …”

A March 2022 Rolling Stone piece addressed an earlier set of antisemitic remarks made by Logan on a right-wing podcast. In May 2022, the New York Times published a lengthy profile, tracing Logan’s protracted slide from mainstream news to fringe podcasts and conspiracy radio:

When Lara Logan reached the heights of American journalism more than a decade ago, as the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, her bosses didn’t think twice about sending her to cover the biggest stories in the world. Producers clamored to work with her as she landed interviews with a Taliban commander, chronicled the Arab Spring and tracked the Ebola outbreak. Former President Barack Obama called her to wish her well after the most traumatic event of what seemed like a limitless career: She was sexually assaulted while covering a demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011.

But today Ms. Logan cuts a far different figure in American media. Instead of on national news broadcasts, she can be found as a guest on right-wing podcasts or speaking at a rally for fringe causes, promoting falsehoods about deaths from Covid vaccines and conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

Recently, she downplayed the seriousness of the Jan. 6 [2021] assault on the Capitol on one of those shows. “This is now the crime of the century?” she asked sarcastically. She has echoed pro-Kremlin attacks on the United States, accusing Americans of “arming the Nazis of Ukraine.” And she has compared Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Hillary Clinton to some of Hitler’s most notorious henchmen.

Her latest project is a forthcoming documentary on voting machines called “Selection Code” that is being financed by Mike Lindell, the chief executive of My Pillow, who has helped spread some of the most outrageous myths about the 2020 presidential election.

Former 60 Minutes producer Ira Rosen was quoted on Logan’s trajectory, saying:

“She was extraordinarily courageous in her war reporting … When I think of Lara […] I want to remember the Lara who put her life on the line reporting for CBS News in Afghanistan and Egypt. The one now I almost don’t even want to know about.”

An October 20 2022 Mediaite article included a transcription of Logan’s remarks during her Newsmax appearance the previous day. In the segment, Newsmax personality Eric Bolling asked Logan if “God” was “okay with a closed border” between the United States and Mexico.

Logan responded, “It’s much bigger than that,” continuing:

God believes in sovereignty, and national identity, and the sanctity of family, and all the things that we’ve lived with from the beginning of time. And he knows that the open border is Satan’s way of taking control of the world through all of these people who are his stooges and his and his servants.

And they may think that they’re going to become gods. That’s what they tell us. you’ve all known [historian Yuval Noah] Harari and all the rest of them at the World Economic Forum. You know, the ones who want us eating insects, cockroaches, and that while they dine on the blood of children? Those are the people, right? They’re not gonna win. They’re not going to win.

In that context, Logan’s comments might not register as explicitly antisemitic. However, the far right thrives on signaling, misdirection, and referencing known canards:

How to Fight Disinformation — Part IV: Signaling and Dog Whistling

In this case, one of the conspiracy theories Logan referenced is often known as blood libel:

The blood libel charge — also known as the ritual murder charge — has falsely accused Jews of killing and using the blood of Christians for ritual purposes since the Middle Ages. Blood libels were commonly spread before the Jewish holiday of Passover, outrageously asserting that Jews “used the blood of Christian children” as an ingredient in ritual breads — an association linked to the ancient accusation that Jews are to blame for the death of Jesus[.]

Logan said “they dine on the blood of children,” adding “those are the people, right?”

QAnon and its adherents lean heavily on “blood libel,” alongside thinly veiled, coded phrasing, to form the basis of their views:

Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish elites, globalists, and bankers are part and parcel of the QAnon belief system, and George Soros and the Rothschilds are consistent targets (see Soros, Rothschild). The use of children in the conspiracy—the need to rescue children from the hands of the powerful globalists—harkens back to medieval blood libel accusations against Jews (see blood libel).

Logan’s references to Satan and open borders also touched on two other popular white supremacist narratives: Jewish people as emissaries of Satan and what has come to be called great replacement theory. They are often deployed together as interlocking narratives, as in her rant about God and the sanctity of family.

According to the American Jewish Committee, the first part comes from a misreading of the Bible:

Referring to Jews as Satan or the devil stems from the interpretation of John 8:41-44 in the Christian Bible. Here Jesus says to his fellow Jews, “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does…. When [the devil] lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

In medieval Christian folklore and artwork, Jews were depicted with grotesque characteristics such as devil’s horns, sharp claws, jagged teeth, pointy ears, and other satanic features to portray the differences between Christianity and Judaism.

Today Jews, and the Jewish State, continue to be cast as Satan, demons, vampires, or other demonic figures.

“Great replacement theory” holds that Jewish people are working to “replace” white Europeans with immigrants of color in an attempt to “destroy” the “white race.” It is also called “white genocide.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, the ideology appears to be gaining traction in various forms in recent years:

You Will Not Replace Us” is a white supremacist slogan that became popular in early 2017, as did its acronym version, YWNRU. The slogan appeared on white supremacist flyers, banners and graffiti in a variety of places in the first six months of 2017, gaining wider attention when white supremacists used the phrase at several rallies held in Charlottesville, Virginia, culminating in the large and violent Unite the Right event in August 2017.

The slogan is a reference to the popular white supremacist belief that the white race is in danger of extinction by a rising tide of non-whites who are controlled and manipulated by Jews (in fact, one variant of “You Will Not Replace Us” is “Jews Will Not Replace Us”).

“You Will Not Replace Us” may have been derived in part from “The Great Replacement,” a theory promoted by French writer Renaud Camus in a 2012 book of the same name. Camus argued that Europe was being overrun by mass migration of black and/or Muslim immigrants from outside Europe, who would replace traditional European culture with their own “alien” culture. Such arguments evolved into “replacement theory,” which became popular with the far right in several European countries, especially among Identitarians. Replacement theory was promoted as early as 2015 by American white supremacist groups such as Generation Identity U.S.A.

The ADL maintains a list of public figures who reference this conspiracy theory.

Logan was far from the only QAnon adherent to openly espouse antisemitic canards. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene so frequently repeated similar claims that the Jewish Daily Forward maintained a running list of all known instances coming from Greene, with the following preface:

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as necessary.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Jewish space laser post shot her into the Jewish press; there was just too much there, comedic and serious, to give it up. While the statement was made before her election, she has refused to apologize for her comments, according to CNN.

Antisemitism is not alone among Greene’s problematic beliefs — as is often the case, it comes along with myriad other conspiracy theories. She has also used anti-Black and anti-Muslim rhetoric, promoted death threats against prominent Democrats and supported the false claim that President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. But to make this list manageable, we’ve limited it to her antisemitic statements.

CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote that “it is notable that, in this case, Logan has effectively been deplatformed by right-wing media outlets such as Fox News and Newsmax, two channels that often fuel complaints about the supposed censorship of conservatives, [which demonstrates] that people like Logan are often exiled from platforms not for holding conservative views, but because they use their platforms in a grossly irresponsible way.”

Lara Logan did not immediately address Newsmax’s statement.