The foaming-mouth contingent has been flogging their latest self-created scandal: the LA Times ran a story in which Obama made some polite remarks at a reception for Middle-East scholar Rashid Kalidi, whom the right calls a “terrorist” for not hating the Palestineans. They’re convinced that some major bombshell exists on the videotape of that gathering, that will blow this thing wide open if only the public sees it, and the press is colluding in not releasing the tape. As Fox News (!) itself points out, (a) there’s no evidence that there is in fact anything scandalous on the tape – they’re just making this up, and (b) LAT is perfectly correct to withhold the tape because they promised their original source they would do so, when they first carried the story months ago. But of course this is just more evidence of a conspiracy for the wingers, who waited until the weekend before the election to make an issue of it and then claimed that the failure of everybody in the country to take their nonsense seriously is proof of “press bias”.
Now apparently they’re just e-mailing random figures, demanding that they force the Times to burn its own source to satisfy the wingers’ demands. There’s no explanation why they’re contacting anyone on their list – they seem to imagine that anyone they believe is part of the “conspiracy” has an obligation to indulge their fantasies for them.
So, some asshat from the Little Green Footballs insane ward randomly e-mailed somebody from the Columbia Business School (apparently they couldn’t even locate the journalism school), informing that person that “as journalists [sic], you have a moral obligation” to violate the LA Times‘s promise to its confidential source.
Sent: Mon Oct 27 18:28:41 2008
Subject: Please release Khalidi’s 2003 tape
Dear Madam or Sir,
It has come to my attention that the LA Times in in possession of a tape recording a 2003 farewell party for Rashid Khalidi. In an article, the LA Times said:
“The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.”
This event was attended by Senator Barrack Obama. As this is an election period, as journalists, you have the moral obligation to release any and all information you possess about both candidates.
I would be grateful if you can release the videotape. It’s our right as Americans to learn about our candidates.
Now, how this person could possibly do anything about it, or why a letter obviously intended for the LA Times was sent to an obscure professor in an unrelated department at Columbia, is answerable only by way of what would certainly be a thoroughly distasteful psychological study of LGFers’ mental processes. But the hapless prof’s response was perfect:
Subject: Re: Please release Khalidi’s 2003 tape
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 06:02:41 -0400
Director, Marketing and Admissions
Columbia Business School
Executive MBA Programs
Sent via Blackberry wireless
Good goin’, Sid!