Just when you thought that irony had reached peaks that would not be revisited for a generation or two, along comes a contender that exceeds all expectations. Sarah Palin is such a contender, and today she demonstrates why the great ones can never be counted out.
The latest fake controversy to be heralded by right-wing media is the so called “discovery” of an article that was actually published six months ago in the Los Angeles Times about Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi. Barack Obama was reported to have attended a party for Khalidi where some Palestinian guests made some incendiary remarks about Israel. Of course there is nothing tying Obama to the statements or the speakers, but that hasn’t stopped the press from latching onto the story and making irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegations.
At the front of the line is Fox News, where Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc., are already barking their patented phony outrage at Obama and the L.A. Times. At the crux of their complaints is their dismay that the Times will not release a video tape they have of the event. The Times issued a statement explaining that they received the tape from a source with an agreement that it would not be released. If Fox and its spokesmodels were actually journalists they would understand the concept of confidentiality and the privilege that exists between reporters and their sources. But we’re talking about Fox here, so an understanding of journalistic ethics may be too much to ask.
It’s not just Fox who is fanning the flames. John McCain and Sarah Palin have taken up the call and are using this affair to further pound on the press. This is where the irony comes in as Palin said this at a rally today:
“It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking after his best interests like that. Maybe some politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own.”
This statement, coming from a woman who has coordinated her entire campaign with Fox News, is really a remarkable exhibition of chutzpah. She is herself a candidate with a major news organization looking after her interests. And she even has pet newspapers in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and Wall Street Journal. She and McCain have a relationship with a media company that is perhaps more intimate than any in history. And yet Palin is implying that Obama is being protected by the liberal L.A. Times who endorsed him for president. Did I mention that the Times has never before endorsed a Democrat for president? That’s right, despite having the words “Los Angeles” in the name, the Times has never been a liberal paper.
And by the way, Khalidi, that subversive professor that Obama was palling around with – he also received funding by a foundation that was chaired by, you guessed it, John McCain.