Did Time Magazine Hold Obama College Photos Until After the Election?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Barack Obama — President-elect Obama was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, but never-before-seen college-era photos that accompany the piece are raising some concerns.

Conservatives point to the microscope that Sarah Palin was put under during the campaign, and wonder how these pictures were left uncovered.

Obama was accused of getting a pass from the national media during the campaign, which leaves some wondering if Chicago political scandals could have been discovered earlier.

With us now is the author of "A Slobbering Love Affair: The True and Pathetic Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media."

Video: Watch Sean & Alan's interview

Bernard Goldberg, some title, Bernie.

Bernie's new book hits stories on January 26.


COLMES: Love that title.

GOLDBERG: "Slobbering Love Affair." What do you think it's about, Alan?

COLMES: No, I've never heard — I've never had one of those, so I don't know.

Look, this idea. You want to blame the media for these photos coming out now? This is because the photographer — Lisa Jack...

GOLDBERG: Well, let me...

COLMES: Let me just get this out, give you a chance to respond.


GOLDBERG: I haven't opened my mouth yet.

COLMES: Pardon me? Go ahead.

GOLDBERG: I haven't opened my mouth yet, and you're saying, "You want to blame the media." I haven't said anything.

COLMES: I lost my head. All right. Is it the media's fault?

GOLDBERG: Don't let it happen again.

COLMES: Is it — thank you. Thanks for the warning. Is it the media's fault that it's coming out now?

GOLDBERG: Listen, I don't even see what the issue is over these pictures. I think this is the biggest non-issue I've ever been asked to talk about. There's one shot where he's smoking something that may be a cigarette or may be a joint.

COLMES: It's a cigarette.

GOLDBERG: The photographer says — yes, this photographer says it's a cigarette. Time Magazine — OK — I don't know how much we want to take their word for it. They say it's a cigarette, and I don't care if it's a Marlboro or a Maui Wowie. It is a non-issue.

COLMES: Right. So great, I'm glad — I'm glad we agree. The truth is the photographer, Lisa Jack, who took these pictures, said she — when she discovered them earlier this year, put the negatives in a safe-deposit box. She didn't want to release them or even talk about them publicly until after the election, so it would not be a campaign issue.

So those people, unlike yourself, who are blaming the media surely have nothing to do with the media. It's what the photographer chose to do in terms of her timing in releasing them.

GOLDBERG: Right. Now, let's add just one little thing to this, Alan. If there were a picture of John McCain at the naval academy smoking something that might have been a cigarette or might have been a joint...


GOLDBERG: ... why do I have this funny feeling that the mainstream media would have found that picture, and that would have been...

COLMES: Here comes the conspiracy theory now. This doesn't relate to this. This was purely a series of pictures held by one photographer who nobody knew about them except this one person, and then she waited until after the election.

GOLDBERG: I don't have a problem with that.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Bernie, look, for me it's the principle. I'll tell you why I think it's important, and — but I don't think it's the defining issue. I think it's important because it's just the principle.

I know, you know, Alan probably doesn't get it, that if there was a negative picture of John McCain or let's say a picture that's not flattering, we would have seen it. And I think...

GOLDBERG: Absolutely.

HANNITY: ... this is only one — it's one small piece of the puzzle. I use the term and have used this year "journalism died in 2008," and I call it the Obama mania media.

I kind of like the title of your book. Why don't you go into some explanation of what it means?

GOLDBERG: "A Slobbering Love Affair"?


GOLDBERG: Well, let me pick up on what you said, and I'll tie it into the title of the book, "A Slobbering Love Affair," due out January 26, right after the inauguration.

Do you remember when the mainstream media sent — sent brigades of reporters out to tiny Wasilla, Alaska, because the ex-mayor of that town was running for vice president?

HANNITY: A mini army.

GOLDBERG: A mini army, right? Yet there was no mini army sent to Chicago, where Barack Obama came from a — and I'm willing to accept that he's clean. I'm willing to accept that. But he came from a cesspool of political corruption. And he endorsed, by the way, Mr. Blago...

HANNITY: Blagojevich.

GOLDBERG: ... Blagovevich [SIC], Blagojevich. He endorsed Blagojevich in 2006, even though he knew he was under investigation.

Now, this is not about Barack Obama. This is about the media. The media that was willing to fly all the way across the continent to tiny Wasilla, Alaska, because they had to find out what was going on up there with the former mayor.

But the man running for president, who comes from a culture of corruption — I'm not saying he's corrupt, but certainly even Barack Obama would agree that Chicago politics is a cesspool...

HANNITY: Bernie...

GOLDBERG: ... and yet no investigation of that.

HANNITY: Look, I — I've come under enormous attack. I first interviewed Reverend Wright right here on this program in a little box like you're in right now, and that was back in March of 2007.

I stay — I can't imagine that any presidential candidate that's a Republican, that's friends with a guy that blew up the Pentagon and the Capital — that that wouldn't be a bigger story in the left-wing media. And then Tony Rezko, Pfleger, and others. Why did people ignore it?

GOLDBERG: That's why I call the book "A Slobbering Love Affair," because they were madly in love with him.

Listen, if John McCain had an association, however flimsy, with a man who blew up a black church or an abortion clinic instead of the Pentagon or a police station in New York or the Capitol, if he set bombs in the abortion clinic of the black church, I don't care if he did it a hundred years ago, the media would not let John McCain off the hook over that.

Yet with Barack Obama, it was supposedly guilt by association.

HANNITY: I'm going to say this. Your book comes out the week after Inauguration. And I want to save some of it here, because I've had a discussion with you. And there's a lot more to come and some great insights. And you really lay out a case like a great prosecuting attorney here.

But I think journalism died in 2008, so you're going to come on that week when your book comes out. And I've got to tell you something: we need a thorough examination of what happened in this election season, because we need to examine who these presidents are, who these people who want to be president are. And if we're going to send a mini army to Wasilla, we need to send a mini army to Chicago.

GOLDBERG: I think that's what the book is about, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Bernie Goldberg.

GOLDBERG: What happened in 2008.

HANNITY: We're looking for the book January 26. Appreciate you being with us. Thanks, Bernie.

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