Patterico's Pontifications

11/1/2008

I Can’t Defend the L.A. Times’s Utter Failure to Release Any More Information About the Khalidi Tape

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:57 pm

I have defended the L.A. Times on the Khalidi tape controversy, saying that if they made a promise to a source not to release the tape, they need to honor that promise.

The paper brought suspicion down on itself by failing initially to cite the promise to the source as the justification for refusing to release the tape. But I don’t believe they’re lying about it.

However, I’m at a loss as to why editors can’t take simple steps that (as far as we know) are not precluded by the promise to the source. They could:

  • Prepare and release a transcript.
  • Go back to the source and ask permission to release the tape now.
  • View the tape again to see if Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were present (as has been rumored) — and if they were, publish a story setting forth the details of their interaction, if any, with Senator Obama.
  • View the tape again to see whether Senator Obama is shown on tape during any of the more controversial statements — and if he was, describe his reaction.

Promises to withhold source material, while they may be necessary for a story, should be disfavored. If they’re given, editors should give them the narrowest possible reasonable interpretation.

Instead, editors seem determined to construe their promises more broadly than even their source contemplated. They haven’t said they promised not to release a transcript, for example. So why haven’t they?

They may be concerned about taking actions that could be construed as a waiver of privilege. But it shouldn’t violate privilege to release information they didn’t promise not to release. And phantom future arguments about possible waiver of privilege shouldn’t trump the need to disseminate information relevant to a presidential race just before an election.

83 Comments

  1. I just turned on comments. Sorry; they were turned off by accident.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:31 pm

  2. Patterico, I believe that they are lying or grossly exaggerating their “promise”. The analogy to a belatedly proffered alibi couldn’t be clearer.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:33 pm

  3. Thanks Patterico.

    Here’s what prominent Democrat Pat Caddell who said on Friday:

    Let’s assume for a moment that they claim that they had an agreement in their source not to release the tape. Why not the transcript? …. I’m just saying why not release the transcript…. Well, the point is why don’t you just release the transcript? That’s — that would be the end of this…. If somebody gives you a tape and it allows to you write a story on it you have the right to run the transcript. That’s all I’m saying, the — the issue here is journalism and it’s the right of the people to know.

    And the following video illustrates another outrageous reason why Obama may win the election, by its secret and illegal fundraising shenanigans.

    And Michael Patrick Leahy explains yet another way that Obama has been treating us all like mushrooms (Obama ought to release his original long-form birth certificate just like McCain has done). Grrr.

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:33 pm

  4. Oops, here’s a link to the aforementioned video which evidently will not embed here….

    http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videolandingpage&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=3170855&referralPlaylistId=undefined

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:35 pm

  5. Haha. And I screwed up the Leahy link too.

    http://michaelpatrickleahy.blogspot.com/2008/11/more-questions-about-october-31-state.html

    Sorry. :-)

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:36 pm

  6. Well, both Ryans begged not to have their divorce records unsealed, but the LA Times argued it was in the public’s best interest to do so.

    Doing what the involved parties want seems to be a bit….flexible…for the LA Times. It all comes down to whether it benefits Obama.

    (also, remember the Edwards!)

    Comment by MayBee (3114aa) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:46 pm

  7. If you’re going to defend their decision to honor their promise, defend their making of the promise to begin with.

    News organizations aren’t supposed to bargain with sources over what news they’ll report.

    They’re not supposed to agree to maintain a source’s confidentiality merely because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed, either.

    One can’t be furthering journalistic ethics by keeping a promise that was unethical to begin with.

    Comment by Beldar (b37b3f) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:47 pm

  8. And by the way, the privilege isn’t theirs to waive. They can’t possibly — in good faith — be “concerned about taking actions that could be construed as a waiver of privilege.”

    Comment by Beldar (b37b3f) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:50 pm

  9. Beldar, you’re doing a great job over at Hewitt’s site. :-)

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:51 pm

  10. Waiver of privilege? Where’s the risk of legal action?

    Comment by cboldt (3d73dd) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:55 pm

  11. Journalists who want to break the news will find a way to break the news while honoring promises to their source.

    (That’s one reason why you should be very careful about the promises you get from journalists.)

    Journalists who don’t want to break the news . . . don’t break it.

    Comment by Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:57 pm

  12. How about if folk offer to subscribe for a year if they release the tape?

    Comment by jim2 (a99123) — 11/1/2008 @ 1:58 pm

  13. Gee, the Right was sooooooo supportive of the Times when they released evidence of Bush’s unconstitutional hijinx I can’t imagine why a newspaper won’t do you guys a solid this time.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:00 pm

  14. snuffles, your analogy generator is still quite defective.

    The tape in question does not reveal operational details of an ongoing, highly classified and highly sensitive intelligence program.

    But other than that, it is dead on analogy you got there … sheesh.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:05 pm

  15. And by the way, the privilege isn’t theirs to waive.
    .
    I don’t think the question of privilege exists in this fact pattern. But if it did, the privilege does belong to the reporter and not to the source. That’s quite counterintuitive at a glance, and I was rather surprised upon looking into the legal theory in the context of Judy Miller in the Libby case. There are reasons for the press to maintain source confidentiality, even when the source waives it.
    .
    Of course, the source can always come out an independently reveal what it knows, and that it was the source. “Waiver of confidentiality to the press” is irrelevant when the source independently goes public. Sure, the LA Times can continue to sit on the story (in this hypothetical of the source outing him/herself), but at that point, “so what?”

    Comment by cboldt (3d73dd) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:09 pm

  16. Hopefully more LAT staffers will be fired in the near future.

    Anyone who stays with that paper is not a real journalist, so who cares what happens to them?

    Get fired and go on Obamawelfare, you dogs.

    Comment by Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:11 pm

  17. Hopefully more LAT staffers will be fired in the near future.
    .
    Rumor has it the LA Times will close its Washington DC bureau about 10 days after the election. The function of covering Washington, DC will be combined with other Tribune organs. 8 LAT reporter layoffs in that consolidation.

    Comment by cboldt (3d73dd) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:17 pm

  18. What if it turns out to make no difference now?

    Those of us with a certain tendency say “Well, if they didn’t have something to hide, they wouldn’t. So I will assume the worst, or worse, and whatever they disclose now will be taken as an attempt to cover something up.”

    The rest of us would not understand a slap on the side of the head anyway, so what difference does it make?

    Comment by Larry Sheldon (86b2e1) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:17 pm

  19. I never want reporters to lose their jobs.
    I just want them to do better jobs.

    Comment by MayBee (3114aa) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:35 pm

  20. So SPQR,

    You’re saying news outlets should:

    1. Spike stories that make Republicans looks bad.
    2. Trumpet stories that make Democrats look bad.

    I’m shocked, shocked!

    Not even Fox News can pull that off anymore.

    See Shep Smith’s reaming of “Joe” the “Plumber” for proof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTymPsuedQU

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:39 pm

  21. Can you see Shep Smith through all of that makeup he wears?

    [And this is the same Shep Smith that Jon Stewart made fun of for the way he acted, right?]

    Comment by Icy Truth (2295c7) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:42 pm

  22. cboldt: Rumor has it the LA Times will close its Washington DC bureau… 8 LAT reporter layoffs

    If true, sweet. I just posted in another thread “75 gone, 660 to go.” From your keys to God’s eyes… 652 to go?

    Let’s all help the LAT get to zero. Buy and sell on craigslist, read the news online and off their site, tell merchants you found them online and not in the Times because you don’t read it any more. Make that point to every single merchant you deal with in SoCal, even if you don’t think they advertise (they talk to people who do. Grow the meme, kill the Times, make the world a better place).

    Hers’s hoping for a nice 100 more right before Christmas.

    Comment by Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:47 pm

  23. Yeah,

    Be great if the billionaire Republican donor who bought the Times looses his shirt on the deal.

    Where did all the Republican 527s go this election?

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:49 pm

  24. snuffles, I see you are lying again. Stupidly so.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 2:58 pm

  25. And where’s the follow up reporting from the rest of the MSM? Where’s the interviews with the employees who worked at the event in question? Just imagine if this was Palin, they’d be all over it, digging, digging, digging. And if they were unsuccessful, a few “journalists” would just make up their own color and quotes. In which case, we might even find a few comments from Greg Packer.

    Comment by PC14 (82e46c) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:06 pm

  26. PC,

    Sarah Palin’s preacher said every terrorist attack against Israel is god’s will to punish the non-believers who live there.

    Where’s the press followup there?

    Maybe the press is just too busy to cover every single thing?

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:10 pm

  27. Zell could give a rat’s arse what ultimately happens to the LAT – he’s made his billions by operating as a vulture real estate investor, he scoops up undervalued properties and waits out the current economic climate, then cashes in later during a recovery. The real estate and other broadcasting properties included in the Tribco portfolio dwarf the value of the papers themselves. Would he prefer the paper to perform better? No doubt, but just like the Tribune here, he doesn’t ultimately care about their long – term prospects (which may be the reason why he’s put so little money into either paper at this point) – he bought them for their other assets. BTW, he has little of his personal wealth tied up in the deal, so if things don’t work out in the end, he’s on the hook for miniscule amounts.

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:11 pm

  28. Snuffles,

    Republican donor or not, Zell took a risk on his investment.
    If it turns out to be a loser, so be it.

    That said, the risks people like Zell take should be rewarded by not taxing the hell out of them when that risk does pay off.

    Comment by SteveG (71dc6f) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:11 pm

  29. The real estate and other broadcasting properties included in the Tribco portfolio dwarf the value of the papers themselves.

    Yeah. This is true across the board. The market cap of the NYT is less than the market value of their Manhattan properties. The Times itself and the regional newspapers (Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram) have a steeply negative value and are probably technically insolvent, but investor forebearance (and divided voting rights) props them up for now.
    Likewise, the Washington Post lost vast sums on its flagging papers. They get over half their cash flow now from the Kaplan cram-course division, a smart purchase that subsidizes the failing papers.

    Die, die, die. Someone will do something productive with the buildings, and as far as the people are concerned, someone needs to welcome us to Wal-Mart, and an LA Times or Washington Post reporter can probably be taught that. Die already, the whole stinking lot of you.

    Comment by Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:19 pm

  30. Steve,

    The important thing is you guys realize that the L.A. Times is a Republican-owned paper.

    A+

    Carry on shooting yourselves in the foot.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:21 pm

  31. FYI – some links for that post:

    http://businessreed.blogspot.com/2008/08/tribcos-core-asset-is-local-tv.html

    http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/zell_if_he_knows_1.php

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:25 pm

  32. Kevin – the worst part of those properties is how badly the investors are getting screwed by the continual subsidizing of terrible properties by profitable divisions. The Time’s case is probably the worst of the lot, with their investor share class with restricted voting rights, etc.

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:28 pm

  33. FYI – links for sources for that earlier post:
    http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/zell_if_he_knows_1.php

    http://businessreed.blogspot.com/2008/08/tribcos-core-asset-is-local-tv.html

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:30 pm

  34. Comment by snuffles — 11/1/2008 @ 3:21 pm

    The LAT has not been a Republican owned paper since Norman Chandler died.

    I challenge you to find registered Republicans that are on the staff/management of the Los Angeles Times, or at their TV station KTLA-5.

    Comment by Another Drew (7e8922) — 11/1/2008 @ 3:51 pm

  35. #26

    Sarah Palin’s preacher said every terrorist attack against Israel is god’s will to punish the non-believers who live there.

    Have you got a link for that? Moveon.org does not count.

    Comment by Stu707 (7fb2e7) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:06 pm

  36. Patterico–

    As a lawyer, if you were defending against an LA Times request to unseal some court information, would you use the Times’ stonewall here as a refutation of “the public’s right to know”?

    Comment by Kevin (0b2493) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:07 pm

  37. So owning a paper doesn’t imply control of it to you, AD?

    What are you, a Socialist?

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:08 pm

  38. Can we put a quota on snuffles? The signal/noise ratio here is getting low.

    Comment by Kevin (0b2493) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:09 pm

  39. “snuffles” must be the Obama campaign’s designated troll for this thread today.

    snuffles, if you’re going to “overwhelm” a thread it helps a little bit to a) have some facts on your side and b) work as part of a team.

    Otherwise, you just look like an frothy-mouthed idiot.

    Comment by MarkJ (7fa185) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:12 pm

  40. Stu:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/sep/26/sarah.palin.religion.jews

    If Muthee’s comments were the only time Palin appeared to condone anti-Jewish language, it would probably be fair to overlook it.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:13 pm

  41. Norman Chandler was at the paper every day.
    He made all of the decisions. If one of his editors did something that ran against his grain, he fired him.

    Do we even know if Zell (wasn’t that the name of the Nazi character in Marathon Man played by Olivier?) has ever been to the LAT? He appointed a new Publisher, and even a new Managing Editor (who would never be found at a GOP gathering), but he doesn’t make the day-to-day decisions at the paper the way Norman Chandler did, or his father Harry – now there was a Republican.

    Comment by Another Drew (7e8922) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:32 pm

  42. and another thing, sniffles…
    You seem to blithely fall into the trap of assuming that all men of wealth are Republicans.
    Where are Zell’s bona fides as a Republican?
    I would imagine he shares more in common with Warren Buffett than he does with a John McCain.
    Most of the big money from Wall Street this election cycle has gone to Obama and the DNC, not McCain and the RNC, which only confirms that the Dems are the Party of Wall Street; whereas, the best you can say for the Republicans is that they are the Party of Main Street.

    Comment by Another Drew (7e8922) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:37 pm

  43. Zell gave buckets of money to McCain-Palin and he hates the Democratic Party with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Republican enough for you? Do some research before you shoot off your mouth.

    Comment by Laid off by Zell (67af13) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:52 pm

  44. “Laid off by Zell”, so show us the link.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:56 pm

  45. I fail to understand the purpose of holding something and failing to release it. The only think they can do with it is go around saying “I’ve got a secret and I’m not telling” like a 4th grader on a playground.

    Why would a newspaper accept such information with a promise not to release it? Their ENTIRE PURPOSE is to release information. You don’t give a newspaper something to keep it quiet, for goodness sake. It is given to a newspaper to get it out there.

    George Orwell was a prophet.

    Comment by crosspatch (58c0de) — 11/1/2008 @ 4:58 pm

  46. No, their purpose is to make money. (Long ago it might have been to release information, but that was long, long ago.) They think that “freedom of the press” belongs to them, not to their readers.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:11 pm

  47. Snuffles Bunny— I thought that Zell did some financial hocus pocus with folks at the Chicago Tribune and at the Los Angeles Times where the employees in essence bought their own paper with the money in their 401Ks and pension accounts.

    Now I’ll challenge you to find a registered Republican in the LA Times newsroom or editorial headquarters! Doubt that you can do it–but otherwise you sound like my liberal sister in San Francisco who believes that corporate ownership = evil incarnate = Republican. I’m not saying she’s one taco shy of a combination plate on most topics–but on politics she is.

    And as for the employee’s “investment” in their employer? Doesn’t look so good. Each section of today’s Saturday edition of the L. A. Times was noticeably far thinner than it had been even just a year ago. It takes editorial employees to find words to fill the “news hole” on those pages, and they’re not filling much.

    Comment by Mike Myers (31af82) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:12 pm

  48. “. . .one taco shy of a combination plate. . “

    +1!

    Comment by Official Internet Data Office (184273) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:18 pm

  49. Zell has given $40,000 to McCain-Palin but there’s no indication that he’s let his personal opinions influence the LA Times. Instead, he’s apparently willing to let the LA Times’ editors run the newspaper — right into the ground.

    Comment by DRJ (cb68f2) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:20 pm

  50. DRJ, you are doing the trolls work for them. ** sigh ***

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:29 pm

  51. LOBZ, is Zell making the call on this? No? I didn’t think so.

    Comment by Pablo (99243e) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:00 pm

  52. snuffles snorting wrote:


    So SPQR,

    You’re saying news outlets should:

    1. Spike stories that make Republicans looks bad.
    2. Trumpet stories that make Democrats look bad.

    If John McCain was at a tribute to a spokesman for terrorists, and stood by as unrepentent terrorist pals of his toasted that spokesman, I would want to know. After all, McCain is running for President.

    Why don’t you want to know what’s on that video, snorting? Let’s see if you can answer that question straight up. I’ll bet you can’t. Prove me wrong. Don’t chicken out.

    Comment by L.N. Smithee (2e7b60) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:26 pm

  53. L.N., you gave his comment far more credence than he deserves. He was just flat out lying. Nothing I said could be represented as he did.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:28 pm

  54. SPQR, My point wasn’t to suggest he knew spit from Spinola, it was to expose the fact that 1) he doesn’t care to know what Obama believes as long as he has a “D” next to his name, and 2) has no problem with the censoring of news for purely partisan purposes

    Comment by L.N. Smithee (2e7b60) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:15 pm

  55. As I hear it they are saying the video would give up who the source might be from the angle of the camera or whatever.

    As mentioned a transcript would remove that but also just a release of the audio to give tone and tenor in context would be helpful.

    Comment by daytrader (ea6549) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:16 pm

  56. The Middle East bores me to no end, L.N.

    Don’t really care what’s on the tape, only that the right is wasting a few of the remaining hours of this campaign flapping about it.

    I did buy a few of Khalid’s books to see what all the fuss is about. Looks like tame stuff.

    I hear his book sales are going through the roof because of this phony kerfuffle.

    Nice for him, I guess.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:31 pm

  57. Hey, Laid of by Zell….
    Republican enough for you? Do some research before you shoot off your mouth.
    I never said he wasn’t a Republican, I just asked for something more than an accusation.
    It has been my experience that people in his position work both sides of the street with equal fervor.
    You should try reading, and comprehending, before shooting off your mouth.
    Comprende?

    Comment by Another Drew (7e8922) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:07 pm

  58. You’re a sucker for believing these guys.

    These folks put party before journalism .. and party before telling the truth.

    They’re lying to you. The end of electing Obama justifies the means of lying to you.

    It’s right in the pages of Saul Alinsky — the bible of the Obamacons in politics, which is to say, “journalism”.

    Comment by PrestoPundit (ff5e16) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:12 pm

  59. I think one reason snuffles haunts this site and is obsessed with John McCain’s adultery from 30 years ago is that she desperately wants to have hot Republican sex with a real American hero. Yes, our whiny snuffles wants John McCain to commit adultery with her. There’s no other explaination from snuffles rehashing something that’s been endlessly covered in the media.

    snuffles, buy a vibrator.

    Comment by daleyrocks (83b6c5) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:43 pm

  60. L.N. Smithee:

    If John McCain was at a tribute to a spokesman for terrorists, and stood by as unrepentent terrorist pals of his toasted that spokesman, I would want to know. After all, McCain is running for President.

    Why don’t you want to know what’s on that video, snorting? Let’s see if you can answer that question straight up. I’ll bet you can’t. Prove me wrong. Don’t chicken out.

    Snuffles:

    The Middle East bores me to no end, L.N.

    Don’t really care what’s on the tape, only that the right is wasting a few of the remaining hours of this campaign flapping about it.

    I did buy a few of Khalid’s books to see what all the fuss is about. Looks like tame stuff.

    I hear his book sales are going through the roof because of this phony kerfuffle.

    Nice for him, I guess.

    So, lemme get this straight, snuffilm:

    1. You say you don’t want to know what’s on the tape because “The Middle East bores [you] to no end.” Yet, you care what Joe the Plumber thinks about it.

    2. You further say you “don’t really care what’s on the tape, only that the right is wasting a few of the remaining hours of this campaign flapping about it,” which proves my point in post #54 that you don’t care to know what Obama believes as long as there is a “D” next to his name.

    3. You bought “a few of Khalid’s (sic) books to see what all the fuss is about.” Uh huh. So you bought “Khalid’s” books to “see what all the fuss was about,” which makes perfect sense for someone who is “bore[d] to no end by The Middle East.” Guess you must have drank some Red Bull to stay awake. And of course, someone who wanted to know “what the fuss was all about” would have NO interest in what’s on the tape. Yeah, that makes perfect nonsense.

    Try that compost on someone gullible to buy Baracko Marx’s propaganda.

    Thanks for proving me right.

    Comment by L.N. Smithee (2e7b60) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:04 pm

  61. daley,

    I think you have posted your little fantasy in the wrong thread.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:04 pm

  62. snuffles @61 – My comment is right where it belongs. Don’t try to deny you get steamy under the silk when you think about John McCain. He’s your obsession, your reason for living. Why else do you spend so much time commenting about him?

    Comment by daleyrocks (83b6c5) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:11 pm

  63. I hear his book sales are going through the roof because of this phony kerfuffle.

    Ha! you know why? Because left-wing blogs are encouraging the sales of his books as a way of getting back at his detractors.
    And the left-wing blog followers just follow suit. That’s what they do. Remember when Osama Bin Laden mentioned that book (what was it???) and it soared to the Amazon best-sellers list?
    Then the lefty bloggers post video of Dick Cheney endorsing McCain, as if that is somehow worse.
    In the meantime, they have no idea what is on the Obama-Khalidi tape. It is ok with them, whatever it might be.

    Comment by MayBee (3114aa) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:12 pm

  64. LN – Nicely done. snuffles/Sybill exposed.

    Comment by daleyrocks (83b6c5) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:13 pm

  65. snuffles – A legitimate candidate for President would demand to have the tape released in order to clear his name and prove that nothing out of the ordinary was said.

    Clearly Obama is not a legitimate candidate for President with all the dark clouds of his past hanging over him and his unwillingness to discuss them.

    Comment by daleyrocks (83b6c5) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:16 pm

  66. “…I did buy a few of Khalid’s books to see what all the fuss is about. Looks like tame stuff.

    I hear his book sales are going through the roof because of this phony kerfuffle.”

    Oh, puh-leeze. I have very seldom seem trolldom defined so thoroughly as in those few sentences. The part that is so freaking amusing is the conceit that this twenty-something faux-warrior-intellectual has ever read a single word regarding Palestine, let alone Khalid’s version of events.

    It’s just an effort to play a silly game with other posters.

    What a prat, twit, whatever. Troll du Jour, personified.

    Time for another “Ridicule the Troll with Haiku” contest…and maybe TdJ can keep from Bidenizing famous writers this time?

    Comment by Eric Blair (a723e0) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:20 pm

  67. MayBee wrote: In the meantime, they have no idea what is on the Obama-Khalidi tape. It is ok with them, whatever it might be.

    And those are the people that genuinely scare me — people who don’t give a rat’s what could possibly have been said. They have NO reason to believe that what Obama may have said, done, or concurred with or tolerated is in harmony with their fawning image of him, and they don’t want to spoil the illusion.

    Imagine if in 2000, there was no audio or video of George W. Bush’s campaign appearance at Bob Jones University, Bush himself refused to address what he might have said, and everyone who was there was counseled not to talk about what they saw and heard him say or do. That would be … just like what happened at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago!

    I never would have imagined there were so many dupes in America. Somewhere, H.L. Mencken is laughing so hard he’s wetting his pants.

    Comment by L.N. Smithee (2e7b60) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:35 pm

  68. Not really a troll thing, Eric.

    Whenever the right tries to ban a book or silence an author like Mr. Khalidi, many normal American pitch in and throw a few bucks their way in the name of freedom.

    Do keep up the good work, though.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/1/2008 @ 10:08 pm

  69. There’s another explanation: the Times never had the tape, and it may never have existed. Just a Billary-planted story with little basis in fact. The Times finds itself embarrassed by the fraud and has finally settled on the “protect the source” story.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy (0b2493) — 11/1/2008 @ 10:53 pm

  70. Kevin Murphy wrote: There’s another explanation: the Times never had the tape, and it may never have existed.

    Why make reference to a video in the story? Why not just suggest an anonymous source provided an eyewitness account?

    Comment by L.N. Smithee (2e7b60) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:15 pm

  71. Well, snickerdoodles, you do have a point, but not in the way you intend. Your own overheated rhetoric during the past few weeks has surely driven up sales of books by folks like Coulter, Limbaugh, Ingraham, and absolutely the recent anti-Obama books such as the ones by Corsi and Freddoso.

    All of which continue to sell MUCH better than Khalidi’s stuff, which unlike you, I have actually read. The pro-Palestinian stuff is very academic and reliant on jargon. But since I am an academic, it doesn’t read that differently than minutes from some faculty committee meetings. Pass the Anacin.

    Nope. Your entire history here at Mr. Frey’s blog has been to “score points” and pick fights, rather than discuss things civilly. There are Obama supporters here who post politely, and surprise, are treated politely.

    You just like to fight. It makes you feel like a powerful person, I suppose. I don’t know much about your “real” life, but how you post here makes me have some suspicions.

    On the other hand, you could begin to post in a civil, considered, and rational fashion. We might then learn from you, and God forbid, you might learn something from one of us.

    Back to work for me. I have to grade some student essays that sound an awful lot like you. But I could be wrong…

    Comment by Eric Blair (a723e0) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:32 pm

  72. #40 Snuffles

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/sep/26/sarah.palin.religion.jews

    If Muthee’s comments were the only time Palin appeared to condone anti-Jewish language, it would probably be fair to overlook it.

    The Guardian article that you linked quotes visiting ministers to Palin’s church. The article does not quote Palin condoning or appearing to condone these remarks. Nor does it quote the Pastor of her church as saying anything at all let alone anything that could be construed as anti-Semitic.

    Here is what an Anchorage Rabbi said of Palin: “Sarah Palin has established a great relationship with the Jewish community over recent years, and has attended several of our Jewish cultural gala events,” said Rabbi Yossel Greenberg.

    Comment by Stu707 (7fb2e7) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:49 pm

  73. [...] I Can’t Defend the L.A. Times’s Utter Failure to Release Any… …possible waiver of privilege shouldn’t trump the need to disseminate information relevant to a presidential race just before an election. [...]

    Pingback by Presidential Race On Best Political Blogs » Blog Archive » I Can’t Defend the L.A. Times’s Utter Failure to Release Any… (c4fdbb) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:51 pm

  74. What a prat, twit, whatever. Troll du Jour, personified.

    Eric, based on your posts here, I assume when you claim to be an “academic” you really mean you’re an elementary school teacher.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Comment by snuffles (677ec2) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:57 am

  75. Snuff film,

    Nobody’s trying to silence Khalidi, his own words and actions indict him worst than any of us could.

    It’s kind of hard to treat Khalidi as some kind of martyr for the cause of free speech. Tenured at the University of Chicago, he now holds an endowed chair named to honor Edward Said at Columbia so for decades now he’s had a pulpit in the church of the left. As you already mentioned, he’s published a number of books and they are currently available since you claim to have bought them. Khalidi is hardly being silenced and nobody’s censoring him.

    It’s not surprising that Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers are close friends. Rich, upper class, elitist revolutionaries who now are taking Gramsci’s long march through the institutions, with academic sinecures gained, in part, as a result of their families’ wealth and connections. It should surprise nobody that an ambitious lefty politician like Obama would cultivate such folks.
    Ayers’ dad ran Commonwealth Edison, Chicago’s power utility. The Khalidi family is one of small number of landholding Arab clans that have been powerful since the Turks ruled Palestine. Others are the Husseinis (Arafat’s clan, which included Hitler’s buddy, the Grand Mufti), and Nusseibehs. Throughout that time they’ve exploited the conflict with the Jews.

    Comment by Bozoer Rebbe (6e42d2) — 11/2/2008 @ 1:42 am

  76. Please stop the troll feeding.

    The only interesting thing about their posts these days is that they no longer contain bloviation about how bad a disasater Iraq is.

    Comment by jim2 (667b24) — 11/2/2008 @ 5:56 am

  77. Eric, based on your posts here, I assume when you claim to be an “academic” you really mean you’re an elementary school teacher.

    Wrong – he actually does teach bio/chem classes at a major university in the Northwest. I know this for a fact, having become better acquainted with him years earlier, at another blog.

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/2/2008 @ 9:43 am

  78. Ditto Dmac #75. I would add that EB is one of the most informed and well read people around these parts. He does not express an opinion without substantive thought behind it.

    And snuffles, your slight toward elementary school teachers is duly noted.

    Comment by Dana (658c17) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:03 am

  79. #40 Snuffles

    The spam filter seems to have eaten my detailed response to your post. Hopefully, this shorter version will make it through.

    The Guardian article you referenced cites comments made by visiting preachers and others. There are no quotes attributed to either Palin or the Pastor of her church. She has been praised by Anchorage’s Jewish community. http://www.shturem.org/index.php?section=news&id=29167

    Comment by Stu707 (7fb2e7) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:28 am

  80. Dana, Snuffy likes to call other’s career expertise into question when convenient, but has offered not one scintilla of evidence as to what it actually does for a living.

    So after repeated attempts to find out what the great snarkmeister does that buttresses it’s claims of superior knowledge, time to ask again what it does to pay the bills – or perhaps it’s parents are still involved in those unfortunate responsibilities these days?

    Let’s hear it, Snuffy – all of it.

    Comment by Dmac (e30284) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:30 am

  81. Looking at Sam Zell’s political contributions for this cycle, he does favor Republicans in his contributions, giving $49,875 to Republican candidates or groups, and $12,900 to Democratic candidates or groups.

    He gave $2,300 to the John McCain campaign, but he also gave $2,300 to the Barack Obama campaign.

    That said, it does not mean Zell’s Republican views, to whatever he extent he holds them, necessarily filter down to the newsroom. After all, the Chicago Tribune, after being purchased by Zell in 2007, broke a 23-election streak of endorsing the Republican presidential candidate.

    Comment by Joshua (9ede0e) — 11/2/2008 @ 3:18 pm

  82. Do you think that Obama is going to win because the Republicans have such a bad candidate?
    Why did John McCain make his final argument against Obama… coal?
    That’s his closing argument? William Ayers, Rev. Wright, spreading the wealth, Born Alive, meeting dictators without preconditions, etc. all have to take a back seat so that McCain can go to Colorado and New Mexico to talk about coal? Does this more or less explain why he’s going to get his clock cleaned Tuesday?

    Comment by RoyArtelo (1a8042) — 11/8/2008 @ 8:33 pm

  83. [...] to a source not to release the tape, which made some sense, but it made no sense that the paper wouldn’t release any additional information. Former L.A. Times reporter Evan Maxwell wrote me to argue that the paper should release the tape, [...]

    Pingback by LA Times in 2008 « Something should go here, maybe later. (054690) — 1/5/2009 @ 12:34 am

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