I'll begin by observing that it's misinformed to characterize Ayers as a "radical chic" educator. Ayers has found the radical chic crowd -- the well-meaning liberals Tom Wolfe sent up in Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers and the limousine leftists -- to be useful idiots.
In this, he is working from the Maoist playbook, where you "swim like fish" among the sea of the masses, until you're ready to destroy anyone who disagrees with your real agenda.
So I don't know who is more frightening: William Ayers or the Republican operatives chasing red herring in their attempt to frame Ayers in terms of his bomb-making past. It's his present that's most important to know. That is, if you don't like the idea of U.S. taxpayer money used to indoctrinate U.S. public school children to the idea that America is an evil place.
Understand that Diamond is an American leftist -- the old school, American labor-union left. When you see someone like that sounding the alarm about Ayers's influence in American public education, it's wise to take careful notice.
As to why you haven't heard the truth about Ayers's influence in education from others in the media, all you have to do is listen to Sean Hannity's verbal attacks on Ayers to understand that "liberal" media bias is the least of the problem.
Hannity and other conservative pundits in the media have hammered at Ayers's time as a member of the WeatherMan/Underground, but have not explained Ayers's education theories to the American public and how they're playing out in the public education field.
So where are these media mavens' researchers? Attending comic book conventions, I guess. An alternative explanation is that the Fox producers have done the research and said, 'We don't dare open this can of worms so close to the election.'
It's a big can. To embark on a national discussion on Ayers's activist education theories is to infuriate the voting bloc of teachers's unions and indeed the entire U.S. education field. They fear, and not without justification, that educators could be tarred with one brush.
Yet even many educators don't know what Ayers is all about, despite his growing influence in education. And it seems that many who do know prefer studious silence to speaking out. Why? 'Keep it in the family,' that's why.
Again, they're afraid that if American parents learn what's going on, the blowback will have serious consequences. And such a discussion could derail Obama's plans to greatly expand federal government funding for public education if he becomes President.
So it works out to this: The only knowledgeable American other than Diamond to go directly to the general public to raise the alarm is Sol Stern -- an ex-leftist. David Horowitz -- another ex-leftist -- gave Stern a platform at Front Page Magazine to explain the truth about Ayers's social justice teachings. Yet still the information has not broken through to the wider media.
Notice the pattern. It's the Americans who know the left inside-out who are sounding the alarm. They fully understand that Ayers and his crowd are not dreamy-eyed utopians. Ayers's theories long ago left the classroom and worked their way into politics, using scared white politicians and furious black activists as dupes.
Diamond has been shouting the truth from his Global Labor and Politics blog since April, and the only person in the major media who listened was John Batchelor -- until last week when Steve got a few minutes to speak on Milt Rosenberg's radio show in Chicago.
It's possible that the flap about Stanley Kurtz's difficulty, in his quest to get hold of Chicago Annenberg Challenge documents, will eventually bring Ayers's education theories into the mainstream media. But it's a little late in the day, isn't it?
Barack Obama's chief education advisor, Linda Darling-Hammond, is a disciple of Ayers's education ideas, even though she has tried to distance herself from Ayers's more explicit statements about what he wants for America's schoolchildren.
If you want to get the whole story, it's going to take plowing through several essays. Happily, Stern and Diamond are writing for the general public and they write clearly. So it's not as if you'd have to read academic papers. Yet I suggest that everyone who is new to the isssue start reading the essays.
If you want to get in the ballpark quickly, my May 20 tabloid headline effort to wake up the blogosphere, The William Ayers plan to turn America's schoolchildren into Maoists and how Barack Obama helped him, connects the dots between Stern's warnings and Diamond's.
(Scroll to the end of the post for links to Stern's published writings on the topic.)
The Real Barack Obama also provides a handy linked list of important source material. (Scroll down past the main article.)
I also recommend that you study the warnings given by history professor KC Johnson, which Zenpundit Mark Safranski alerted me to. You can start with his piece for Inside Higher Education on dispositions that teachers must increasingly endure.
(If a disposition sounds like something the Grand Inquisitor might have dreamed up, you'd not be too far from the truth.)
Once you read Johnson's warning, you'll realize that Ayers's "social justice" program for schools is marching forward, no matter which political party is in power at the federal, state, and local levels.
But with all this information under your belt, you still can't grasp the full scope of the situation with regard to Obama's involvement, unless you go into the archives at Diamond's blog and start reading forward from April 22.
I wish there was an easier way to bring the public up to speed but there isn't. And that points to the biggest problem: the issues do not lend themselves to sound bites and sixty-second political attack ads.
Yet a bonus for plowing through all of Diamond's writings on Ayers is to fully understand why Obama has moved heaven and earth in the attempt to downplay his association with Ayers.
He knows that the biggest scandal is not Ayers's terrorist acts decades ago. It has to do with his current role in education and Obama's close association with it.
Obama also knows that simply throwing Linda Darling-Hammond under the bus isn't the fix, given his long association with Ayers and his cadre, which includes work for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.