Its Not A Smear If Its True
Here is a case of what the guys at Mr. Irrelevant would call media bird doggin.
Over at the Corner, Stanley Kurtz dismantles the New York Times shill piece for the Obama campaign. Yes Virginia, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers had a significant working relationship. Here are some extensive helpings:
The piece serves as a platform for the Obama campaign and Obama’s friends and allies. Obama’s spokesman and supporters’ names are named and their versions of events are presented in detail, with quotes. Yet the article makes no serious attempt to present the views of Obama critics who have worked to uncover the true nature of the relationship…
I think we have all learned by now that just because the New York Times says so doesn’t make it so. They already published a specious article accusing McCain of having an affair with a lobbyist.
Or, as New York Times reporter Scott Shane puts it at the head of his article, since an initial lunchtime meeting in 1995, “their paths have crossed sporadically…at a coffee Mr. Ayers hosted for Mr. Obama’s first run for office, on the schools project (i.e. the Chicago Annenberg Challenge) and a charitable board, and in casual encounters as Hyde Park neighbors…”
There is nothing “sporadic” about Barack Obama delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of many years to fund Bill Ayers’ radical education projects, not to mention many millions more to benefit Ayers’ radical education allies. We are talking about a substantial and lengthy working relationship here… Shane’s article buys the spin on Ayers’ supposed rehabilitation offered by the Obama campaign and Ayers’ supporters in Chicago. In this view, whatever Ayers did in the 1960’s has somehow been redeemed by Ayers’ later turn to education work…
How can he be forgiven when he’s not repentant? Nor does Ayers see his education work as a repudiation of his early radicalism. On the contrary, Ayers sees his education work as carrying on his radicalism in a new guise. The point of Ayers’ education theory is that the United States is a fundamentally racist and oppressive nation. Students, Ayers believes, ought to be encouraged to resist this oppression. Obama was funding Ayers’ “small schools” project, built around this philosophy. Ayers’ radicalism isn’t something in the past. It’s something to which Obama gave moral and financial support as an adult. So when Shane says that Obama has never expressed sympathy for Ayers’ radicalism, he’s flat wrong. Obama’s funded it.
I have first hand knowledge of Ayers radical education views. I edited publications for an education research organization, in which Ayers controls the curriculum studies arm. unrepentant terrorist Ayers heavily influences what teachers teach our children.
Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publically endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country. Shane mentions the book endorsement, yet says nothing about the book’s actual content. Nor does Shane mention the panel about Ayers’ book, on which Obama spoke as part of a joint Ayers-Obama effort to sink the 1998 Illinois juvenile crime bill. Again, we have unmistakable evidence of a substantial political working relationship. (I’ve described it in detail here in “Barack Obama’s Lost Years.”
Steve Diamond has made a powerful case that, whoever first suggested Obama’s name, Ayers must surely have had a major role in his final selection. Diamond has now revealedthat the Times consulted him extensively for this article and has seen his important documentary evidence. Yet we get no inkling in the piece of Diamond’s key points, or the documents that back it up. How can an article that gives only one side of the story be fair? Instead of offering both sides of the argument and letting readers decide, the Times simply spoon-feeds its readers the Obama camp line.
The Times also ignores the fact that I’ve published a detailed statement from the Obama camp on the relationship between Ayers and Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (See “Obama’s Challenge.”) Maybe that’s because attention to that statement would force them to acknowledge and report on my detailed reply. Shane’s story also omits any mention of the fact that access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records was blocked. What’s more, thanks to a University of Chicago law student’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we now know that access to the documents was blocked by an old Obama associate, Ken Rolling, on the day I first tried to see them. And as a result of my own FOIA, we also have evidence that Rolling may have been less than fully forthcoming on the question of Ayers’ possible role in elevating Obama to board chair at Annenberg. In fact, Rolling seems to have been withholding information from a New York Times reporter. I’ve made this material public in a piece called, “Founding Brothers.” How could a responsible article on the topic of Obama, Ayers, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge ignore the story of the blocked library access and the results of the two FOIA requests? How could a responsible paper fail to aggressively follow up on the questions raised by those requests, and by the documents and analysis presented by Steve Diamond?
You may remember the Obama campaign called on their brown shirts to shut down Kurtz when he appeared on Milt Rosenberg’s WGN radio program to discuss his findings from the Annenberg Challenge records.
Using Obama’s association with Ayers may be a desperate tactic in the waning days of the campaign. However, questioning the Obama-Ayers relationship and Obama’s pronouncements about it is not out of bounds, it is not a smear, but a legitimate concern. A concern mainstream media has showed no interest in pursuing until they saw the need to protect their favored candidate.
Obama’s association with Ayers has to count for something. It speaks to his judgment and his worldview. Obama condemns Ayers’ radicalism, yet he routed funds to Ayers for his radical education schemes. Why? Obama needs to answer that question because so far neither his campaign nor have his enablers in the mainstream media have dealt honestly with the facts.