Joe Klein misleads about Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers
It's always the stupid ones that give the game away, and two of the stupidest are at Time Magazine's Swampland. A few days ago, Ana Marie Cox lied about (and later corrected) something someone said at a McCain rally.
Today, repeat liar and explicit illegal immigration supporter Joe Klein is being extremely misleading about Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers. He's not really lying; the only question is whether he knows he's not lying or whether that was an accident or not. From this:
Now McCain's campaign is making robocalls distorting Barack Obama's non-existent relationship with Bill Ayers:
The call begins: "Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC," before telling recipients that they "need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home, and killed Americans."
If the robocalls had said that the relationship continued to the present day, then the robocalls would be lying. However, the tense used in the robocall and that used in Klein's introduction are different. The robocall speaks of something that happened in the past, and if the relationship continued today the robocall would have almost certainly have pointed it out. Klein is correct that the relationship "is" non-existent; however it wasn't non-existent in the past.
Moreover, everything in the robocall is the truth. Obama did work closely with Ayers. The organization with which he was affiliated did plant those bombs and did kill Americans.
UPDATE: Klein is back with "McCain's Radical Pal" (link), an attempt at a false equivalence. Marc Cooper already tried this in his discussion of Daniel Ifshin, but apparently Klein wanted his own attempt at a logical fallacy:
I’ve told this story many times, especially to veterans groups, because it says so much about the importance of forgiveness, of reconciliation. But, in the heat of the campaign, I’d forgotten about it…until the past weeks, when Obama’s passing relationship with the radical Bill Ayers—not nearly as close as McCain’s friendship with David Ifshin—became news, and has been relentlessly exploited by John McCain and his campaign, most recently in robo-calls that flagrantly distort the nature of Obama’s relationship with Ayers. If you want to know why I—like so many others--held John McCain in such high regard for so long, it had a lot to do with David Ifshin. And if you want to know why my opinion of him has plummeted, it has something to do with William Ayers.