I get why the L.A. Times claims they can't release this mystery tape. They say their source gave it to them under the provision that they wouldn't release it to the public. What I don't understand is why you would ever cut a deal like that. Why would you put yourself in a position where you're basically complicit in the suppression of info about a candidate who people already think you're in the tank for?
I don't know, I think if I'm that reporter I don't want that tape in my possession, under those circumstances. I'd rather make a bunch of calls and figure when this took place, who was there, and what was said. Someone will talk. Someone always talks. This business leans too much in favor of anonymous sources and their cowardly demands, and not enough in favor of readers.
UPDATE: A few commenters below correctly note that it actually helps McCain--not Obama--to not have the tape released. It's just another chapter in the "We wuz robbed" narrative. The whole thing empowers the kooks.