Friday, April 18

Speaking of the devil -- William Ayers, that is -- and Barack Obama, the candidate of change

It seems only just yesterday -- come to think of it, it was yesterday -- that I mentioned William Ayers. It was also yesterday that I observed to a correspondent:
Last night watched CNN, MSNBC, Fox for reaction to Obama-Hillary 'debate.' For me, the point that floated to the top is that Obama and spinners in his camp are being very effective at characterizing questions re his relationship with Ayers, Wright, his comments about small town, etc. as "wedge" issues and a distraction from the "real" issues.

And they're managing to present every question they characterize as "wedge" as a 'discrete' issue, separate from the other wedge issues, which diverts public attention from the pattern of Obama's associations, judgment and behavior. Yet all those wedges add up to a big pie.
I had no idea at the time I wrote those words that by nightfall the world would be abuzz with discussion about the Ayers question that George Stephanopoulos of ABC News put to Barack Obama.

Odd; after all these months of Rezko Watch blog shouting inside a glass booth about Ayers, after all these many weeks of Sean Hannity pounding away at the issue inside a glass booth -- a few words from ABC television and darned if everyone suddenly discovers William Ayers.

Thus, the awesome power of the mainstream media. Laugh at it, rail against it, but dismiss it at your expense.

Today, Rezko Watch has the roundup on the Ayers-Obama issue, including reports that were overlooked for months by the mainstream media. And last night Lou Dobbs launched a broadside:

From Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, April 17 transcript:
DOBBS: Senator Obama, today, is defending his relationship with a former member of a terrorist group known as the "Weather Underground," a man named Bill Ayers, a leader in that group that bombed government buildings back in the '60s and '70s. My guest tonight says Ayers, who hosted Senator Obama at his home in the 1990s, was strictly a terrorist who had bombed the Pentagon in 1972.

Andrew McCarthy is also a former federal prosecutor who, in fact, led the investigation into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He is also the author of the important new book, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad.

[About] Bill Ayers, we're hearing today from Mayor Daley that he also knows Ayers and he's just a fine fellow and no problem, don't be -- please don't be discomforted by Senator Obama's relationship with him.

MCCARTHY: Look, of all the people who've ever bombed the Pentagon and the State Department and the New York City police headquarters, I'm sure [Ayers is] one of the best. But I -- my sense is that regular Americans aren't going to see it that way.

DOBBS: Senator Obama, you are declaring rather straightforwardly, is denying some relatively close relationships that he is suggesting are not -- are distant.

MCCARTHY: Yeah, well he's denying the relationship, but I think more importantly what he's trying to obfuscate is that there's a trajectory to all of this and there's a theme that runs through it and whether its some of the statements made by his wife or Reverend Wright or Bernadine Dohrn and Ayers, the fact is he's comfortable --

Bernadine Dohrn being Ayers' wife; the other Weather Underground terrorist who was Ayers' wife. But [Obama] is comfortable with people who hate this country. And I think when he talks about and makes the theme of his campaign "Change," and since he hasn't really explained to us much about the change, we're entitled to infer, from the people he's comfortable with, who are social revolutionaries, the kind of change he wants to make in America.

DOBBS: You're including, obviously, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

MCCARTHY: Of course, right.

DOBBS: And Ayers ... Others?

MCCARTHY: Well, there's Rashid Khalidi, who was a recipient of some of the largess that Obama controlled when he was on the Woods Board. He is somebody who was --

DOBBS: He was on the board with Ayers ...?

MCCARTHY: Yes, when Obama was on the Woods Board with Ayers, they gave grants to Rashid Khalidi, and his work. Now, he has denied being a member of the PLO. But there's no question he's an apologist for Palestinian terrorism, including suicide attacks against Israeli soldiers.

DOBBS: Let's talk about your book, as well. And that is a memoir of the jihad.

There is a reluctance, and as you suggest in the book straightforwardly, to come to terms with the reality that we are in a conflict with a competing ideology.

MCCARTHY: Yes. We would rather think that this is basically a marginal fringe group of lunatics who have hijacked an otherwise peaceful religion. And, boy, I wish that was true.

But the fact remains that what the ideology that we're up against, which is the ideology that fuels all the terrorism, is an ideology of long-standing 14th century --

DOBBS: Radical Islam.

MCCARTHY: Yes, radical Islam, which has demanded the [fealty] of rich and poor, educated and uneducated. I don't think we should underestimate the power of it.

DOBBS: Andrew McCarthy. "Willful Blindness: A Memoir of The Jihad." on terror today." Thanks, a very important book. We can't recommend it highly enough.

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