If the strongly pro-Obama Los Angeles Times got hold of a video of John McCain attending an extremist pro-life dinner honoring an apologist for anti-abortion bomb-throwers, do you think the paper would release it for public scrutiny -- particularly if the honoree also happened to be a good friend of the McCains?
You bet it would -- and if it didn't, the rest of the in-the-tank-for-Obama media would be all over the newspaper to give it up.
Well, there is no such video of McCain, but there is one of Obama at a hate-filled 2003 pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel party honoring Obama's admittedly good friend, Rashid Khalidi, a former mouthpiece for the late PLO terrorist leader, Yasser Arafat.
The L.A. Times has a tape of the Khalidi bash -- and even published a benign description of it in an April news story -- but has not released it. A spokesman says the newspaper is protecting the source who provided the video. Fair enough; then why not release the tape without naming the source?
The Times' response to that was that the source demanded the tape not be released, which raises the question: Why did the source provide the tape in the first place?
The reason the public might be interested in viewing the tape is that there were reports, barely touched on by the Times , that the event was filled with anti-American, anti-Semitic diatribes. In fairness, Obama's remarks were innocuous -- but not so from a number of other hate-spewing speakers.
Did Obama sit through all that bile without taking offense? Or did he just not hear what was being said like he did through the hundreds of sermons delivered by his erstwhile spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Inquiring minds want to know.
If the Times is telling the truth about the source banning release of the tape, then it should plead with the source to be freed from that commitment. At the very least, release a transcript of the event.
Understandably, there is a strong suspicion among McCain backers and others that the newspaper is sitting on the tape to protect the Obama campaign. If true, it would be an unconscionable breach of objective journalistic standards.
We prefer to think the Times simply made an awful mistake in agreeing to the conditions it made with the source. But it will be an even worse mistake if they can't fix it.