LA Times Still Stonewalling on Khalidi-Obama Video

At the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz takes notice of the Los Angeles Times’ refusal to release a videotape of Barack Obama at a party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi (Kurtz calls him a “Palestinian rights advocate and Israel critic”). And the McCain campaign has noticed this too.

The L.A. Times ran a story last April about a 2003 party at which Obama said nice things about Palestinian rights advocate and Israel critic Rashid Khalidi, who he said reminds him “of my own blind spots and my own biases… . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table [but around] this entire world.”

The McCain camp tells me the paper refused to release a videotape of the remarks that it had obtained. Little Green Footballs calls that “media malfeasance of an almost astounding degree. They have a video that could change the stakes in this election and they’re hiding it.”

“We’re not a video service,” Doyle McManus, the Times Washington bureau chief, tells me. “We’re not suppressing anything. We were the first to report on these facts.” He declines to say whether the paper considered posting the video.

The Los Angeles Times is currently hemorrhaging readers, laying off employees, and losing advertisers. Releasing this video would be very good for their bottom line; a lot of people are interested in it. Does this mean they’re more invested in seeing Barack Obama win the election than in being profitable? Shouldn’t the remaining shareholders in the company be concerned about this attitude?

Newsbusters has video of the Bill O’Reilly show; the Times told him there’s an “ethical problem” with releasing the tape. Right.

Newsbusters has the email address of the owner of the LA Times, Sam Zell, if you’d like to add your voice to the many who are demanding a release of the video.

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