What to do with that secret Obama video

As that great paragon of virtue, County Commissioner Lance Malone, once said, "All an elected official has sometimes is his word — and this time, I'll have to back off my word."

After being hit by a talk radio firestorm of criticism, I can’t help but wonder if the editor of the Los Angeles Times might be tempted to take back the paper’s promise to an anonymous source to not release a videotape of presidential candidate Barack Obama praising a university professor who once was a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Reportedly, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was in attendance at the same gathering. (AP story on the flap.)

The Times wrote a story based on the contents of the video back in April. The headline was: “Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama; They consider him receptive despite his clear support of Israel.”

I was a guest on local radio station KXNT-AM, 840 this morning when that topic came up. I said I could not understand why the paper would make such a promise, and why it continues to keep that promise.

A reporter who does not keep his word will soon be without many sources, but …

I don’t know that I would have made such a promise in the first place. Why take a videotape and promise to never allow others to see it? In this day and age newspapers have Web sites where a tape could be streamed, adding an extra dimension to the paper’s reporting.

Now that it has become a bone of political contention, is that promise worth the opprobrium being heaped on the paper for being in the tank for Obama. I don’t know what their rationale is at the Times, but it better be good.

Sometimes you have to come down on the side of your reader.

If I promised to keep a source confidential and later discovered he or she had committed a criminal act that I was supposed to conceal as a part of my promise, that deal is broken. The source did not act in good faith.

The Times has a decision to make.


Comment section guidelines

The below comment section contains thoughts and opinions from users that in no way represent the views of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This public platform is intended to provide a forum for users of reviewjournal.com to share ideas, express thoughtful opinions and carry the conversation beyond the article. Users must follow the guidelines under our Commenting Policy and are encouraged to use the moderation tools to help maintain civility and keep discussions on topic.

View Comments