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Sunday, September 23, 2012

LA Times: Why we won't release the Khalidi video

I have discussed more times than I care to recall the Los Angeles Times' refusal to release the video of Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi's going away party when he left Chicago. Among those present at the affair were 60's radicals Billy Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and a young Senator from Chicago named Barack Hussein Obama. The rumor - indeed the assumption - is that Obama said lots of not very nice things about a small Middle Eastern country whose back he claims to have these days.

The video was reported on during the course of the 2008 campaign, and the Times has refused then and since to release it. Breitbart.com has offered a $100,000 reward for the video, and the LA Times responded in a column by James Rainey this past Friday. This is Breitbart's response to the Times (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
There is nothing fantastical about suggesting that the reason that the Times didn’t originally report Obama’s words at the event, or the more radical words of the evening, was to protect their beloved presidential candidate. Given the Times’ track record of Obama defense, it’s the only rational conclusion to draw.
But Rainey’s condescension continues. “In what will doubtless be a vain attempt to quell the bleating from the political fringe, I offer here a review of the trust history of the ‘Khalidi tape,’” he writes. What was that history that would shed light on the Times’ non-transparency? Not much. He rehashes the original Peter Wallsten story labeling Obama a quasi-moderate, without evidence to support that view. He then states:
In the case of the Khalidi video, the unnamed source agreed to share the illuminating bit of video evidence with Wallsten, but only with the understanding that the reporter could not reproduce or rebroadcast the images. The journalist had to make a decision: Do I agree to that condition and get to see evidence that no other reporter has seen of Obama meeting with Palestinian Americans? Or do I insist on a full public release of the video, with the likely outcome that the source would share nothing?

Well, then, where’s the transcript? Why is it that the source was comfortable divulging the video to the Times, but not to a less Obama-friendly source like Breitbart News for far more money? Asking the Times to hand over a transcript, and asking the source to hand over the tape, is far from “fringe.” It’s an attempt to vet a candidate that the Times clearly had little interest in completely vetting.
Good question. Don't expect the Times to answer,

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