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Thursday, October 30, 2008

LA Times reporter who 'saw' Obama - Khalidi tape is legally blind?

LA Times reporter Peter Wallsten, who 'saw' the videotape of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama speaking at a going away party for PLO terrorist Rashid al-Khalidi is apparently legally blind (Hat Tip: Heroyalwhyness). Here's a video from 2006 of President Bush accidentally insulting Wallsten at a press conference. The President was not aware of Wallsten's condition as you will see in the story below the screen. Let's go to the videotape.

ABC News confirmed at the time that Wallsten - the man with the dark glasses in the video - is legally blind.
Wallsten has Stargardt's Disease, a degeneration of the central area of the retina called the macula, where cells sensitive to light send visual signals to the brain.

It turns out Wallsten wasn't trying to be hip or cool or cop a 'tude -- he was wearing the pricey sunglasses because recent studies indicate that the progression of Stargardt's disease can be slowed by wearing sunglasses that protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays.

Wallsten suspects the president was informed of his gaffe by White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace, who knows Wallsten and been aware of his vision problem for years, dating back to when both were in Tallahassee, where he worked for the Miami Herald and she for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Midwest Jim talked to Wallsten last Wednesday and wrote about it on Friday.
On Wednesday I talked with Peter Wallsten from the Los Angeles Times about the article on Obama and Khalidi:
Wallston was one of the few mainstream media reporters to report on this radical Obama associate.

Wallston said that the article was written after he watched video taken at the Khalidi going away party. When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.

I asked him if he was planning on releasing this video of Obama toasting the radical Khalidi at this Jew-bash. He told me he was not releasing the video. He also would not comment on his source for the video. Wallston also said he did not know if Khalidi's good friend Bill Ayers was at the event or not.
So, there you have it.
There are a few things that need to be pointed out here. First, 'legally blind' is not the same as 'totally blind.' 'Legally blind' means 20/200 vision. So it is possible that Wallsten could have seen the video. Second, even without 'seeing' the video, Wallsten could have heard the dialogue and recognized Obama's voice. Even I recognize Obama's voice already, and I've probably heard it less than any of you who live in the US. Third, Wallsten has a degenerative disease. He doesn't say when he saw the video. He may have seen it in 2003 for all we know, and his vision may have been much better than it was in 2006 or 2008. So I would not take this story as discredting the existence of the video (sorry nutroots). It's just a curiousity.

I also find it curious that someone with a disease like that would work in Florida and California. If - God forbid - I were in that position, I'd find a job in the Northeast or the Midwest.


At 4:48 PM, Blogger Concerned UCI Student said...

When I moved from NY to CA 10 years ago, I myself was astounded how different things were out here for people with disabilities.

In NY I rarely saw someone in public in a wheelchair - and if I did, a chaperone was pushing them. Never did I see someone who was disabled taking care of themselves, going to work, etc.

In CA, it was completely different. People tooling around on motorized wheelchairs. Intersections with tweeters so blind people could navigate by themselves. Ramps at practically all intersections with truncated domes (very small bumps) clearly identifying where it was safe to enter the street. Etc.


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