If All Your Friends Were Like The LA Times

The Los Angeles Times is concealing a video showing Barack Obama at a going away party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, attended by radical Palestinian activists and former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.. Both Little Green Footballs and Gateway Pundit are all over the story, asking for readers to demand the LA Times release the video after the writer, Peter Wallsten said he won’t release the video or reveal his sources.

The fact that the MSM is withholding possible game-changing material in the days before a presidential election is unconscionable. But enough is known about the video that we can possibly put to rest the fiction that Bill Ayers was “just a guy in Obama’s neighborhood.” He was, and is, a political ally with a radical agenda which incorporates the destruction of the United States as we know it. Whether or not Obama’s supporters actually agree with that agenda should be left up to them to decide – not the LAT.

The question has uncomfortable parallels to the comments by some European socialist in 2002 that it was fine if Swedes or Dutch or whoever vote themselves into Sharia law; that’s what a democracy is all about. Is it fine if Americans vote themselves into socialism?

I think not, since socialism is at odds with the Founding Fathers’ values of rugged individualism. The Constitution doesn’t outline an economic system but it seems logical that free-markets, which give the greatest amount of freedom and opportunity to the greatest number of people, is preferable to socialism in any degree, which gives the power to government. It makes us all supplicants to the state.

If that is our fate, shouldn’t we at least have the ability to know it? Shouldn’t we know what we’re getting with any presidential candidate?

This newest weasel move by a so-called reputable paper got me thinking about what would happen if we all had friends like the Los Angeles Times. I have to admit, it would be pretty awesome to have someone who forgot every time you hung out with unsavory characters, someone who endorsed you no matter what, someone who remembered every bad, embarrassing thing about your enemies – and when there was nothing to remember, just made crap up.

Barack Obama has not made any comment on the tape, and since his buddies at the big coastal dailies are not about to cooperate in any investigation into the matter, it will come down to each individual to try and get the story for himself and every other voter. In that sense, we are all bloggers today.

Let us not elect a terrorist into the White House in 2008. We can do better. And the LA Times should be ashamed.

UPDATED
The LAT is running a story this morning about the video and reports:

The Times on Tuesday issued a statement about its decision not to post the tape.

“The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it,” said the newspaper’s editor, Russ Stanton. “The Times keeps its promises to sources.”

That’s noble. I keep my promises to sources too, but if one of them was hanging out with an FBI Most Wanted criminal, they’d be in custody faster than you could say “First Amendment.”

Why is this subject a source of so much angst to reporters? Why are they so beholden to sources that they’re willing to compromise their personal and professional integrity to protect them? The argument is that without confidential sources, nobody would come forward to report on corporate malfeasance or political shenanigans. Whistleblowers would be left out in the cold. But the opposite is not true – those who are doing devious things, socializing with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers who would blow up the LA Times building and everyone inside if they got a chance to do so are deemed so worthy of our protections and confidence that that the reporters happily turn a blind eye. The bad guys are given infinite protections.

I think the fact that this is a presidential candidate and not, say, some CEO is also relevant. This is the future of our country. We have the right to know who his supporters, friends, allies, and lobbyists are. I wonder, if the tape showed him palling around with Osama bin Laden, would the journalist in question still be as reticent to reveal the tape? My instinct says yes.

It seems to me that just because you put on your reporter hat, you don’t abandon your integrity. But the LA Times has done just that. By keeping a promise to a source, they are betraying everyone else.

UPDATE 2

Debbie Schlussel spoke to Wallsten, and then he immediately plagiarized her work. Again: Integrity, anyone?

UPDATE 3

Drudge remembers that the LAT had no problem releasing a controversial Arnold tape. Perhaps the Arnold source didn’t require the promise of confidentiality. That promise, it would seem, is rock solid. It’s the law.

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Comments

  1. “It seems to me that just because you put on your reporter hat, you don’t abandon your integrity.”..but too often, that seems to be what happens. Remember the hiding of Saddam Hussein’s atrocities that was perpetrated by CNN and other media?

    See Journalism’s Nuremberg.

  2. caraellison says:

    David,

    Absolutely. There are thousands of these sorts of incidents. Remember how 10 days before the 2000, reporters ran with the Bush DUI story? Or the AP’s fauxtography revealed by LGF in the Hezbollah skirmish in 2006? One needn’t dig deep to find examples of egregious journalism.

  3. caraellison says:

    oh, remember how the papers wouldn’t use the word “terrorist” after 9/11?

    or report on the raping of innocent civilians by the UN? or Kofi Annan’s kickbacks? the oil for food ripoff?

    or even the victories in Iraq?

    or in the case of Enron, anything at all positive about the company or its executives?

    how about the 12,000 killed in katrina who were not actually killed? the sharks swimming through the french quarter? rapes at the superdome? none of it happened.

  4. caraellison says:

    also, obvy, the TANG story that brought down Brokaw.

  5. The rapes at the superdome happened. I worked for my firm at Reliant Hall on the Redcross debit card crap for three weeks. I was there helping to oversee 900 temp employes – yes. A total clusterfuck. But I also was in contact with HPD, NPD, the FBI, CIA and the army national guard. I saw the reports on the rapes, (happened in Houston too), the trafficking of drugs (hey, we’re flooding, we have to save the pictures and this 100 lbs of weed), and we reported cases of fraud to the HPD to throw in the makeshift jail.

  6. caraellison says:

    Not to doubt your honesty, Deb, but CIA? Really? That’s a violation of posse commitatus and people can be sent to prison for life for that.

    I have seen numerous reports that indicated not a single rape victim could be found. One scandal was when the report of a rape was traced back to a journalist – in other words, he just made crap up to sell papers.

    I don’t doubt there were drugs. : )

  7. Hmm. I was there. My firm dealt with all the agencies because they are located in Baton Rouge and we got some of those no bid gov’t contracts. We also built Cheney’s helicopter pad at his home. We have contracts overseas helping to rebuild after the war. (a few articles compare my former firm to Halliburton)

    I sat in on the HPD briefings where they went over the morning reports. Mostly illness reports – one cop got tuberculosis or something like that. But I remember the rape reports because after that, we made all of our employees have a police escort to their cars at night.

    Si. Drugs. And we had a bunch of undercover cops who I kept stopping from coming in the “jail” because they totally were thugged out. I’ve never been called “White Bitch” so many times in my life and used to have my own national guardsman with his rifle right behind me.

    It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. For ever 1 thug type stereotype, there were way more that lost everything, were so uneducated, some stories that made me cry (the pregnant woman separated from her husband as he and her mom and child were at another shelter; she got all of her old and new belongings stolen while she slept. The children and the elderly that had to wait in line is a sight I’ll never forget.

    It was also so exhausting working 14-18 hour days, as I had leukemia then and had no idea I was really that sick.

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