Women Can Be So Troublesome . . .

“I would think that the biggest factor in how much less we’ve had on the air really has to do with (war correspondent) Lara Logan’s pregnancy than it does with anything else.”

– CBS News Executive Vice-President Paul Friedman, on the sharp drop in coverage of the Afghanistan war. (http:www.broadcastingcable.com/article/453933/The War You’re Not Watching)

Oh, for the days when a respected news-gathering organization such as CBS could see fit to adjust to the pregnancy of a single
reporter . . .

Yet once again, the reality of a woman’s fertility has seemingly thrown a monkey wrench into the well-ordered plans of that half of the population that will never bear a child. Prior to legislation protecting women in the workplace, her conceiving a child was often used as a weapon against her, threatening not only her job but, in all likelihood, her career — as well as instilling fear, guilt, and condemnation in the women she works with. That was a tragedy then. It’s still, CBS would have us believe, an insurmountable hassle for them. Poor guys, and darn that woman anyhow.

Pregnancy is a wonderful, life-changing time for a woman, full of anticipation, joy, trepidation and hope. There is nothing more precious to experience. However, I’ve experienced my own. I’ve attended about a dozen births. I joyfully hold my friend’s hand when she confides in me the details of her pregnancy, birth, and blossoming forth as a mother. I wish Lara Logan well, but I don’t expect to have my access to news, particularly news of a war this entire nation is fighting (at least in word), interrupted by the pregnancy of a woman truly known only to her family, friends, and co-workers. I suspect that journalist Lara Logan wouldn’t want that either — if her pregnancy were, in fact, relevant to the coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

The thing is, it’s not. And Friedman knows it.

Shame on CBS for proffering such an inane, sexist, stupid, short-sighted and clumsy excuse for failing to do its job. Logan is owed an apology, and the rest of the nation is owed what only journalists in a free society can provide: A truthful, fact-filled, penetrating examination and fearless reporting of a war that’s not only shredded Afghanistan, but shredded as well the hearts of every woman, Afghan and American, who’s endured the deaths of the sons and daughters she birthed.

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