The media’s slavish devotion to Obama hardly deserves comment, but the LA Times has truly distinguished itself in its eagerness to sacrifice principle for political expediency. These stalwart defenders of “the public’s right to know” when it comes to disclosing sensitive national security information, steadfastly refuse to release even a transcript of a video tape of a party honoring radical Palestinian academic Rashid Khalidi which Obama attended, and at which he delivered a testimonial to Khalidi.
The LAT has offered a menu of explanations/excuses–always a tip off to a lie. The first was “well, we reported on it, so we’ve fulfilled our obligation.” In their own words: “It sounds as if you don’t find ‘mere reporting’ to be enough, but The Times is not suppressing anything.” So in other words, the paper’s motto is: “All the news that we deign to give you.” The lame-o, blow off response begs several questions, the most important of which is: “You’ve reported something, but have you reported completely?” And, how can the Times not be suppressing “anything” if it refuses to release the entire tape? In their twisted logic, a piece is the whole: If we report on a part of something, but leave out something, we haven’t suppressed anything! We’ve told you the whole story! By analogy, if an LA Times editor gives give a beggar a bone, he’s actually given the poor mendicant a steak dinner. Maybe the LAT should get a clue from Paul Harvey, and tell us “the rest of the story.” My guess that that will happen, either (a) when Hell freezes over, or (b) next Wednesday.
That certainly wouldn’t fly in a court. The oath says, “Tell the whole truth.” The LAT is giving us part of the truth, and telling us to pound sand about the rest. The partial truth is often worse than a total lie.
It appears that that risible “defense” is no longer operative, so the Times has switched gears. It now wraps itself in sacred bargains struck with confidential sources: The 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.”
This violates the “you can’t be a little bit pregnant” principle, and completely contradicts the original justification. The Times already reported on, and quoted from, the tape–they admitted that in their original defense (not that they could deny it). So, they’ve already violated their sacred trust with Mr. LA Confidential. Maybe you guys haven’t heard yet, but you can’t get back your virginity. You lost that when the article on the event first ran.
Since the serial explanations are clearly bogus, the only possible conclusion is that the LA Times has no justification for its actions, other than that the tape would damage Obama’s prospects, and that the Times cannot abide that.
Once the phrase “military intelligence” was the standard joking illustration of an oxymoron. That phrase should be replaced by “journalistic ethics.” Sadly, that’s no joke.