As many of you know by now, the LA Times has video of Barack Obama toasting and praising Jew-hating PLO operative (and Yasser Arafat henchman) Rashid Khalidi at a 2003 event. As many of you also know, the LA Times is refusing to release the video.
Ben Smith at The Politico is puzzled by the Times' decision, saying that Politico would have made it public.
The paper hasn't explained its unwillingness to release the video, and Peter Wallsten, who found the tape and wrote about it, declined to discuss it with me last night. He forwarded an e-mail that the paper has sent readers who have complained as conservative blogs raise the issue.
"Over six months ago the Los Angeles Times published a detailed account of the events shown on the videotape. The Times is not suppressing anything. Just the opposite — the L.A. Times brought the matter to light," wrote the readers' representative, Jamie Gold.
L.A. Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan wouldn't discuss the decision not to release the tape in detail.
"When we reported on the tape six months ago, that was our full report," she said, and asked, "Does Politico release unpublished information?"
The answer to that question is yes — Politico and most news outlets constantly make available videos and documents, after describing them in part, which is why the Times' decision not to release the video is puzzling. My instinct, and many reporters', is to share as much source material as possible.
The Times is now claiming that they can't release the Khalidi tape because they promised their source they wouldn't. Which just raises more questions. What's on that tape that the Times' source doesn't want the public at large to see?
And on top of all of this, who could imagine the Times sitting on a similarly inconvenient video for John McCain? Can anyone imagine the Times letting the wishes of some source get in the way of releasing a video that could damage John McCain? Or Sarah Palin?
Of course not.