Scott Shane/NYT's pro-BHO spin on Bill Ayers/Barack Obama collaboration
Scott Shane of the New York Times offers "Obama and '60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths" (originally titled "Obama Had Met Ayers, but the Two Are Not Close"). If you believe the NYT, then everything's fine and dandy, and Barack Obama and 60s radical Bill Ayers are not close. The fact that they aren't close and never were close and nothing funny went on and there's nothing to see here is especially important because Ayers is a former and allegedly unrepentant terrorist who's since been, in Shane's words, "rehabilitated".
On the other hand, if you actually want the truth, compare the second paragraph on page 2 ("In fact, according to several people involved...") to the email here. Why, it's almost like Shane is reading from a script provided by Ken Rolling, the former executive director of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
See also this from Steve Diamond:
an exchange of letters in late 1994, copies of which I obtained from Brown University, between Vartan Gregorian, then President of Brown and the individual responsible for assessing applications for grants from the national Annenberg Challenge, and Bill Ayers, the founder of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, demonstrates that Ayers played a direct role in "composing" the Challenge's board of directors... I was interviewed at length by the New York Times for today’s story. In fact, this was the third Times reporter to interview me about the Ayers/Obama relationship - and I provided the Times with the letters I discuss here. They are not mentioned in the story at all.
See also "Ayers Was on Woods Fund Board with Obama When He Stepped on Flag" (LGF, peekURL.com/zab252h). That links to this August 2001 Chicago Magazine article entitled "No Regrets"; it includes a picture of Bill Ayers stepping on a U.S. flag. It also links to 'Obama served on a board with former Weather Underground member William Ayers and "that relationship with Mr. Ayers on this board continued after 9/11"', a fact check of a Hillary Clinton statement about Obama's association with Ayers (link). They agree that her statement was truthful.
And, see this:
It turns out as these ten key points confirm what I have argued all along - that Bill Ayers was responsible for the elevation of Obama to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge board and the New York Times reporting on this story actually supports my conclusion, though inadvertently.
10/9/08: Obama lies again, with this being the latest explanation for his actions: "The gentleman in question, Bill Ayers, is a college professor, teaches education at the University of Illinois... That's how i met him -- working on a school reform project that was funded by an ambassador and very close friend of Ronald Reagan's" along with "a bunch of conservative businessmen and civic leaders... Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated." (link) As indicated above, Obama continued working with him after 9/11/01, when even the most willingly blind person could see what Ayers was all about.
~ Who's helping the NYT spread their spin? ~
The people listed below all share one thing in common: they pretend that that NYT was actually trying to write an investigative report rather than a cover-up, and they all come to the conclusion that there's nothing there because the NYT says there's nothing there. Whether they actually believe that or whether they're just trying to sell the NYT's lies isn't clear.
* Steve Benen of Washington Monthly says the NYT "couldn't find any dirt", trying to make his readers think the NYT was looking for dirt rather than covering for BHO (washingtonmonthly. com/archives/individual/2008_10/015024.php). A comment I left was later deleted.
* Ben Smith from The Politico tries a similar technique: "though the Times has pinned down a couple of new details on the relationship, there's no real news, and the main new detail is exculpatory: A different Chicago figure picked Obama to chair an education fund. The conservative blog reaction to the story is outrage, as it has failed to turn up the secret Rosetta Stone that many seem to believe will reveal some deeper truth about Obama's politics." (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1008/Republicans_again_reading_the_Times.html?showall)
* Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post (voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/04/palin_turns_to_nyt_citing_arti.html). She starts out with snark and a lie: "It turns out GOP vice presidential nominee does like the mainstream media after all -- at least, when it's publishing unflattering stories about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama." The NYT article isn't "unflattering", it's an attempt at a cover-up.
She then spins the story the same way the BHO campaign does: "In fact, both a Washington Post article in April and today's New York Times piece revealed Obama and Ayers to have had only a casual association: the former radical hosted a coffee for Obama's first bid for state Senate, they served together on an educational charity board and both live in Chicago's Hyde Park."
The WaPo article she mentions is "Former '60s Radical Is Now Considered Mainstream in Chicago" by Peter Slevin (link). That WaPo article is even more of a cover-up than the one from the NYT; in fact, almost everything in there tries to portray Ayers as an upstanding member of his community, and the only link to Obama is this cozy scene: The two men served for three years on the board of the Woods Fund, an anti-poverty group. The board, which Obama has since left, was small and collegial, said chair Laura Washington, who served with them. It met four times a year for a half-day, mostly to approve grants, she said. The atmosphere was "friendly but businesslike." Needless to say, a real reporter would try to determine what Washington isn't saying, but that leaves Peter Slevin out.
* Michael Shaw of the Huffington Post - who concentrates on a lightweight interpretation of images - basically reads from the card he's been handed: "all kinds of long hashed-over and discredited innuendos... resuscitating feeble allegations -- all then discounted..." (huffingtonpost.com/michael-shaw/reading-the-pictures-emny_b_131855.html)
* Martina Stewart of CNN references the NYT article and then says: "Several other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic, have debunked the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship." (says) However, an earlier version of the article - the change not noted - had "The National Review" in place of "The New Republic". (link) Presumably that was just a mistake and not (like their other coverage) an attempt to deceive.
* Sockpuppets, various. BHO supporters are clogging up MSM comments boards with Winner-style attacks. See, for instance, the 04:15 PM comment from "John" and the 04:26 PM comment from "Larry" at latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/10/sarah-palinbill.html and the 8:06 PM comment from Luke2 and the 7:34 PM comment from seemstome at voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/04/palin_turns_to_nyt_citing_arti.html. If I didn't think they were just citizens voicing their opinions I'd think they were actually paid workers for the Obama campaign.
* Izvestia, aka CNN, offers a "Fact Check" that discusses Sarah Palin's comment that BHO is "palling around with terrorists" (link). Obviously, Palin should have put it in the correct legalistic format: "in the recent past, Barack Obama has worked with and associated with known and unrepentant terrorists". If she had, CNN wouldn't have been able to pretend that her non-legalistic formation was binding: 'Verdict: False. There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now "palling around," or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years. Also, there is nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activity or that other Obama associates are.' No really: they actually try to pretend that her imprecise wording is more important than BHO's past collaboration with and association with a terrorist.
* Todd Beeton links to both CNN and the NYT and continues the trends discussed above: mydd.com/story/2008/10/5/164214/299
* Obsequious toady, repeat liar, and supporter of illegal activity Joe Klein offers "Embarracuda", an obvious attempt to deceive (time-blog.com/swampland/2008/10/embarracuda.html). Needless to say, he downplays the Obama-Ayers connection and even works in a BHO talking point about how BHO was just a child when the Weather Underground were terrorizing the U.S.: Over the weekend, [Sarah Palin] picked up on an article in The New York Times, which essentially says that Barack Obama and the former terrorist Bill Ayers have crossed paths in Chicago, served on a couple of charitable boards together, but aren't particularly close. To Palin--or her scriptwriters--this means that Obama has been "palling around" with terrorists. Now, I wish Ayers had done some serious jail time; he certainly needed to pay some penance for his youthful criminality--even if most people in Chicago, including the mayor, have decided that he has something of value to say about education. But I can also understand how Obama, who was a child when Ayers was cutting his idiot swath, would not quite understand the enormity of the professor's background...
* Scott Conroy of CBS News offers "Lagging In The Polls, Palin Shifts To Fear Tactics" (cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/10/06/politics/fromtheroad/entry4503812.shtml), which follows 10/4's equally biased "Palin Says She Wants To Talk About Issues, Adds That Obama Pals With A Terrorist" (cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/10/06/politics/fromtheroad/entry4503812.shtml). In the first article he says: '[Palin] said [Obama and Ayers] had a relationship akin to being "pals," even though the Associated Press and many other news outlets have concluded that Obama and Ayers' relationship added up to far less than a close friendship.' Needless to say, that's extremely disingenuous.
10/6/08 UPDATE: The latest lie from the BHO campaign is that BHO had little knowledge of the radical past of Ayers and the Weatherman group. This was presented by David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs (thepage.time.com/mccain-campaign-release-on-obama-and-ayers); see Joe Klein retailing their lie above.