Release the Khalidi tape! (Part 2 -- Nixon stonewalling continues...)

I can't believe it's been over a year since I wrote a post about the refusal of the LA Times to release a much-sought video tape which showed Barack Obama at a dinner honoring the notorious former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi.

At the time I speculated that it was probably because Ayers was there -- and maybe too chummy with the people he tried to say he barely knew:

I'd be willing to bet that Ayers is at least part of the reason for withholding the tape. Maybe he and his wife were a little too chummy with people who didn't mind being chummy in 2003, but would find it immensely embarrassing right now.

Not being able to see it, no one will know.

That was then. A year and a half later, it has still not been released, and the LA Times has dug in its heels, in a classic display of what Richard Nixon used to call "stonewalling it."

The reason for this second post is that via Glenn Reynolds, I now see that Roger L. Simon is trying to start a movement to get the LA Times to release it:

Given the extraordinary sudden turnabout in US policy toward Israel under the Obama Administration, I have become obsessed by the repressed 2003 videotape of Rashid Khalidi and Barack Obama. That tape -- or so we are told -- is ensconced in a safe at the Los Angeles Times building. In the current situation, its release by the paper is more important and newsworthy than ever.

The Khalidi tape could be of tremendous significance in revealing the provenance of Obama's views on the Middle East and the degree to which the public was misled on those views during the presidential campaign.

I am writing to solicit the help and ideas of Pajamas Media readers for seeking the release of the tape to the public.

Well good for Roger. I'm glad to at least chime in, even though I can't do much more than that.

Like Roger, when I read about such stubborn insistence on covering up important stories by those charged with reporting them, I also want to yell and scream:

Sometimes I want to yell and scream. What is wrong with the Los Angeles Times? Are they a news organization or the propaganda wing of some leftover unit of the IWW? No wonder subscribers are deserting them in droves.

But I won't yell and scream. I want to be polite. I have old friends at the Times. And what I seek is the release of the tape. Even if there is a legitimate promise to the source, the public interest now overwhelms this. Few stopped to criticize when the Pentagon Papers were published by the New York Times. And they were stolen from the Department of Defense. Let's get this done. If the tape exonerates Obama, they should be anxious to publish it. If it doesn't, the Times has done a public service. That's their job.

But failing that, I turn to you, dear reader. What is to be done? We can't send a FOIA request to the Los Angeles Times. They're a private company -- or owned by one. There must be other means.

[...]

the time to reveal the tape is now. Please make your suggestions for what to do. It will be an interesting experiment in citizen journalism to try to do it together. And, unlike the current administration, to do it transparently.

I remember when there was such a thing as investigative reporting. No more. Now that that the "reporters" have become Nixonian stonewallers, the only thing left to do is for citizen journalists to do the investigative reporting.

They might start by sending in the citizen journalists with video cameras, and hound the officials with questions.

(You know, the way 60 Minutes used to do in the old days?)

posted by Eric on 04.24.10 at 01:55 PM










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