Sen. John McCain turned up the notch in his media blame game after the Los Angeles Times refused to make public a videotape of Sen. Barack Obama attending a 2003 party for Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel.
McCain and his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin accused the Times of protecting Obama by “intentionally suppressing,” the tape of the Democrat at a tribute for Rashid Khalidi. The newspaper first wrote about the tape and Obama’s ties with Palestinians and Jews as he navigated Chicago politics in April. Yesterday, the paper said it promised a source it would not release the video. But for McCain’s camp, the LA Times’ refusal to comply is another another clear case of “liberal media bias.”
According to the article, the McCain camp says the paper is not upholding its journalistic duties. “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.”
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 article the paper printed in April detailed Obama’s attendance to the dinner for Khalidi. While speakers expressed anger at Israel and at U.S. foreign policy, Obama called for finding common ground.
According to the Associated Press, McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, an accusation Khalidi has denied. On Wednesday, McCain said 1960s radical Bill Ayers had attended the same party in 2003. McCain and Palin have criticized Obama for his ties to Ayers and questioned what else the videotape of the party might show.
One could suppose the tape of McCain and Khalidi schmoozing just got lost in the shuffle. The AP also reports the Republican senator has ties to Khalidi too. McCain chairs an organization that awarded $448,000 to a group Khalidi helped found 15 years ago.
Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University.
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com