Now the McCain campaign is really reaching. The latest whipping boy in its attempt to frame up a liberal media conspiracy is the Los Angeles Times. Why? Well, because it has possessed a potentially damaging bit of video of Barack Obama and won’t release it to the public.
This is one of those political flashpoints that gets recycled over the course of a long campaign. Back in April, Los Angeles Times published an account of a 2003 dinner that Obama attended for Rashid Khalidi, a scholar who is far to the left of the American political establishment on Israel. Obama, according to the piece, spoke at the dinner:
A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking. His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me 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.”
So, the point here for the McCain campaign is that you can’t trust Obama because he’s had all these discussions with a guy who sympathizes with Palestinian resistance to Israel. It’s a fine campaign tactic, for sure.
But now John McCain and Sarah Palin are going around the country buzzing about the Los Angeles Times participation in the old liberal media thing. Here’s Palin, courtesy of the New York Times:
“What we don’t know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support, and the reason we don’t know is the newspaper that has this tape, The Los Angeles Times, refuses to release it. It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking out for their best interests like that.”
Yeah, looking out for their interests. Hey, who published the damn story in the first place? Yeah, the very same outlet that’s supposedly in cahoots with Obama!
And here’s the point that renders all of this absurd: While McCain and Palin would love to see that video go up, no one would like to see it air more than the Los Angeles Times itself. It would light up the paper’s Web site for weeks, or, well, at least five days.