Is the Republican party becoming the party that cries victimization?

The more I listen to the talking points coming out of the Republican party, the more it seems that they cry foul at any perceived slight, or sometimes even pre-empt slights.  Usually this is directed at the supposed liberal media and its unfair treatment of conservatives.

You may remember back during the Republican National Convention, that right wing pundits were on message complaining about the sexist critical coverage of who the heck is this new political person on the national scene, Sarah Palin.  I mean I didn’t know much about her, so it makes sense that the news organizations would go looking and let the public know about her.

Not exactly consistent on their opinion of the media’s treatment of female candidates.  But hey, why let consistency stop you from calling foul, crying that the big bad liberal media is being unfair to conservatives when it allows you to intimidate that media to treat you more favorably due to your whining.

More recently we have the conservatives complaining that the LA Times won’t release a videotape of a party for Rashid Khalidi that Obama attended.  As the AP reports,

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel. The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise to the source who provided it.

McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, a characterization Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel.

So that is the situation, this is the whining that is going on,

McCain and Palin cited the paper’s position as evidence of media bias. The Times has endorsed Obama.

“If there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit, I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different,” McCain said in an interview with Hispanic radio stations.

Palin said the Times should win a Pulitzer Prize for “kowtowing.”

It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking out for their best interests like that. Politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own,” she said.

Apparently Republicans are a little forgetful of the withholding of a story that can only have helped their candidate in 2004.  As a blog on Wired pointed out,

The tale is an odd one. There seems to have been at least two meetings between the Times and the White House about the story, but Lichtblau’s Slate excerpt confusingly jumps between the two.

He also doesn’t explain who at the Times was persuaded in 2004, at the tail end of a presidential election, to withhold a bombshell story about the president secretly wiretapping inside the United States in plain contravention of federal law.

His book, Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice, comes out Tuesday, April 1.

Here’s hoping that the book explains much more about the 13-month hold on one of the most important stories of the post-9/11 era, instead of skimming over embarrassing details and relying on passive constructions (“It was a difficult decision for everyone.”).

The sentence “The editors were not persuaded we had enough for a story” is not enlightening nor does it ring true.  Nor does it explain at all how the nation’s most respected newspaper nearly spiked, for eternity, the warrantless wiretapping program story.

Why should the debate at the Times over the NSA’s warrantless targeting of Americans be more of a secret than the spying?

In the world of unintended consequences, the push to find out about Rashid Khalidi shows that McCain may have more extensive ties to the professor as the AP reports.

Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University and a longtime friend of Obama’s. Khalidi has publicly criticized Israel, but he and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues.

McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies received at least $448,000 from an organization McCain chairs.

If Khalidi is so bad, so anti Israeli, why did an organization McCain chairs give him $448,000?  Think Progress has a great write up on this embarassing (well if you weren’t a rampant hypocrite) situation for McCain.

It would be nice if the Republicans didn’t cry foul at every perceived slight in the media, and learned to show a little spine.  Sadly the mainstream media more often than not enables this behavior, as I personally think that the suppression of the warrantless wiretapping demonstrates.  It is as bad as professional athletes taking dives in games to get a foul called.

-Josh

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