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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > LA Times, Lies About Khalid-Obama Affair, Then Engages In A Coverup

LA Times, Lies About Khalid-Obama Affair, Then Engages In A Coverup

October 29, 2008

LA Times, Lies About Khalidi-Obama Affair, Then Engages In A Coverup

By William Mayer

October 29, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Anyone reading this piece is now aware that the Los Angeles Times is playing fast and loose with the truth regarding Barack Obama's presence at a controversial "farewell" party for former PLO terrorist Rashid Khalidi, a good friend of his.

A few thoughts.

1. The Times' explanation, that it had an agreement with someone - a leaker - who made available to the Times a tape of the event, doesn't pass the smell test. Why would someone pass a tape to the newspaper upon the assumption that its contents wouldn't be made public? What would be the purpose of that? It makes no logical sense and seems like a concocted dodge on the part of the organization.

2. The standard agreement, as everyone in the and out of the news business is aware, is to shield the identity of the leaker, so that they are not retaliated against. Liberal news organizations have pushed "whistleblower" laws for years with that in mind. Accepting important news information with the intent of suppressing it is not journalism. Distinctly the opposite, it's engaging in a cover-up.

3. Lets run a thought experiment...if Dick Cheney came to the Times with breathless news regarding Abu-Ghraib, and then asked it to bury the information would the Times have agreed? Of course not. To do so would have been a violation of the most basic journalistic standards - indefensible. If the Times had done that, then offered that "agreement with Cheney" up as a defense after the fact, it would have been laughed out of the business.

4. Nowhere in any of the Times' coverage of this story is it mentioned that Rashid Khalidi is a former terrorist, a member of the PLO when it was officially listed as terrorist organization. That information might have been helpful to its readers. The fact that information has been suppressed is further evidence of the Times' extraordinary bias, acting as news sanitizers and censors in this matter; clearly tilting towards one candidate.

5. The Times' statement today says, "The report included a detailed description of the tape." Wrong, there is no mention of the existence of any tape, no reference to it.

6. The original article, unaided by quotes or verifiable references is therefore merely a collage of assertions which can't be verified, because the Times refuses to make the contents of original source public, or even to quote from it.

7. At least in the Rather/CBS "forged but accurate," Bush service record fraud, CBS offered the foundation document for inspection, tainted as they knew it was. In this case the Times doesn't even aspire to such a low standard of journalistic proof.

8. Absent such proof and given the obvious bias demonstrated in the Times twisted explication of the matter, one must assume that it is lying.

9. The way in which this has been handled, is distinctly the opposite of the way the Times treated Arnold Schwarzenegger in '06 just before an election, gleefully reporting in detail, with embarrasing quotes, the contents of a leaked private meeting. That is instructive.

10. One can only conclude that the Times has fraudulently represented this matter and that it has also mischaracterized the nature of the events covered in the initial story of the Khalidi farewell party. The Times has engaged in a coverup, has repeatedly lied about it and is now reaping the rewards of its transparent mendacity. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=latimesid=10.29.08%2Ehtm

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MIM: The LATimes defended their decision not to release the video.

McCain campaign accuses L.A. Times of 'suppressing' Obama video

The Times says its promise to a source prevents the paper from posting the video, which shows Barack Obama praising Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi at a 2003 banquet. The story first appeared in April.

By a Times staff writer

October 29, 2008

John McCain's presidential campaign Tuesday accused the Los Angeles Times of "intentionally suppressing" a videotape it obtained of a 2003 banquet where then-state Sen. Barack Obama spoke of his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian scholar and activist.

The Times first reported on the videotape in an April 2008 story about Obama's ties with Palestinians and Jews as he navigated the politics of Chicago. The report included a detailed description of the tape, but the newspaper did not make the video public.

"A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi," said McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb. " . . . The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job -- make information public."

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."

Jamie Gold, the newspaper's readers' representative, said in a statement: "More than 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."

The original article said that Obama's friendships with Palestinian Americans in Chicago and his presence at Palestinian community events had led some to think he was sympathetic to the Palestinian viewpoint on Middle East politics. Obama publicly expresses a pro-Israel viewpoint that pleases many Jewish leaders.

In reporting on Obama's presence at the dinner for Khalidi, the article noted that some speakers expressed anger at Israel and at U.S. foreign policy, but that Obama in his comments called for finding common ground.

It said that Khalidi in the 1970s often spoke to reporters on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Khalidi later lived near Obama while teaching at the University of Chicago. He is now a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University in New York. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-video29-2008oct29,0,7568849.story

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Report: Obama Praised PLO Activist

Tishrei 30, 5769, 29 October 08 10:39by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNN.com) Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is demanding that the Los Angeles Times release a videotape which could prove embarrassing for his Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama. The tape reportedly shows Obama speaking of his friendship with former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi.

The LA Times reported in April 2008 that Sen. Obama attended a farewell party in 2003 honoring Khalidi. According to the report, Obama gave a speech at the event and spoke warmly of Khalidi. Khalidi was active on behalf of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at a time when the PLO was a U.S.-designated terrorist group with a goal of destroying Israel.

Despite reporting on the event, the Times has refused to allow the public to see the videotape on which the report was based. "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," editor Russ Stanton said in a press release. "The Times keeps its promises to sources." Times staffers also refused to provide a transcript of the tape.

In addition to Obama's speech praising Khalidi, the tape allegedly provides evidence that William Ayers attended the event. Obama has faced criticism for his ties to Ayers, who along with others founded the Weather Underground, a group that carried out bombings and jailbreaks in the US in the 1960s and 70s.

The demands that the LA Times release the tape began circulating in conservative weblogs and quickly reached the McCain campaign. "A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi," said McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb. The refusal to hand over the tape is evidence of a pro-Obama media bias, he said.

McCain criticized the Times in an interview on La Kalle radio, saying, "I guarantee you, if there was a tape with me and Sarah Palin and some neo-Nazi or one of those, you think that that tape wouldn't be made public?" Americans have the right to know about Obama's ties to the PLO and to Ayers, McCain said.

McCain's vice-presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin, accused the Times of "kowtowing" presumably to the Obama campaign. While Obama himself reportedly did not criticize America or Israel during the party, others at the event were critical of both countries, she said. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support," she told Fox News.

Obama's aides attempted to downplay his relationship with Khalidi, saying that Khalidi is not one of Obama's advisers and does not share his political views. Aides accused McCain of focusing on the issue in order to distract the public from financial issues. Obama has been consistent in his support of Israel, aides said.

Khalidi, now a professor in Columbia University in New York, refused to comment on the story or on his friendship with Obama. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/128145

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Demonstration for Release of Obama-Khalidi Videotape

(IsraelNN.com) A demonstration has been called for 10:00 am Pacific time Thursday at the Los Angeles Times building to protest what organizers call supression of a videotape which reportedly shows Democratic presidential Barack Obama speaking of his friendship with former Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesman Rashid Khalidi. The Times reported in April 2008 that Sen. Obama gave a speech at a farewell party in 2003 honoring Khalidi, who was active on behalf of the PLO when it was designated by the United States as terrorist group with a goal of destroying Israel.

Republican vice-presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin, accused the Times of "kowtowing" presumably to the Obama campaign. While Obama himself reportedly did not criticize America or Israel during the party, others at the event were critical of both countries, she said. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support," she told Fox News. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/155040

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