While John McCain is still searching for a reason he should be president, he has a new reason Barack Obama shouldn’t be: The Illinois senator once had dinner with a Palestinian. Or, as McCain sees it, he attended a terrorist convention with a PLO spokesman and William Ayers.
Though most of that isn’t true, McCain and his running mate are miffed at the Los Angeles Times for not releasing a video of the dinner in question.
“It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking after his best interests like that,” said Sarah Palin, who has limited most of her interviews to the rugged journalists at Fox News and the chortlers of right-wing talk radio. “Maybe some politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own.” Like the New York Post?
Los Angeles Times:
The video was mentioned in a Times story in April 2008 on Obama’s friendships with Palestinian Americans in Chicago. The story said that Obama attended a farewell dinner for the Palestinian scholar, at which some speakers spoke angrily of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and of U.S. policy toward Israel. It said that Obama spoke warmly at the dinner of the scholar, Rashid Khalidi, but that his comments focused on finding common ground.
[...] “We should know about their relationship including, apparently, information that is held by the Los Angeles Times concerning an event that Mr. Ayers attended with a PLO spokesman,” McCain said. “The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public. I’m not in the business about talking about media bias, but what if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet? I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”
The Times’ April story said that the 2003 dinner was videotaped and that it had obtained a copy. But the story did not say that Ayers attended the event. The story described Khalidi as someone who had spoken to reporters on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1970s, rather than as a PLO spokesman.