Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: We Must Give Our Readers All the Information, Even if It Puts the Troops at Risk . . . but Not if It Hurts Our Agenda Our Endangers Our Own Lives

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:23 am

So the editors of the Los Angeles Times decided a few days ago to publish inflammatory photos of American soldiers with dead Afghan suicide bombers, despite the military’s deep concern that publishing the photos would put our soldiers at risk.

The fear among some officials is that the latest trophy photos will be used as an excuse for further unrest in Afghanistan, similar to what happened when previous photographs were made public.

The paper published an article explaining its decision, which linked to an online chat with the paper’s new editor:

“We considered this very carefully,” Maharaj said. “At the end of the day, our job is to publish information that our readers need to make informed decisions.”

Apparently danger to the troops was not a good enough reason not to publish inflammatory material.

What about danger to the editors themselves? Well, you see, that’s different.

Back when there was a controversy over cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, the paper pointedly refused to publish the cartoons that were at the center of the controversy. If the paper ever published those cartoons, I am unaware of it. Indeed, when a cartoonist drew a satirical cartoon that mocked the refusal of newspapers like the Los Angeles Times to publish the Muhammad cartoons — a cartoon that didn’t even depict Muhammad at all! — the editors pulled that cartoon as well.

So apparently, danger to the troops is not a good reason to withhold “information that [their] readers need to make informed decisions” . . . but danger to their own lives? Why, that is an excellent reason.

Indeed, the paper is willing to withhold critical information from its readers even when there is no danger to anyone. Remember the Rashid Khalidi tape, showing Obama paying tribute to a radical advocate for Palestinian rights? An article described some anti-Israel sentiments expressed at the dinner Obama attended:

“During the dinner a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”

One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”

The paper refused to release that tape, saying they had promised their source they wouldn’t. Not only that, they also refused to release a transcript (which they had not promised not to do), or view the tape to tell readers whether Bill Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn appeared at the dinner — or whether the tape showed Obama’s reaction to the extreme statements above.

So don’t give us a line about how you release all important information, Mr. Maharaj. You release information that serves your agenda, whether it puts our troops at risk or not. But you keep quiet if the information would hurt Obama . . . or if it posed a risk to your editors’ precious little hides.

Thanks to dana.

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