Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bill Press at journalistic crime scene -- again

Bill Press is at it again, with his recent column “McCain using 1980’s dirty tricks plan”. Specifically he takes issue with the McCain campaign’s bringing up Mr. Obama’s connections with Bill Ayers. Mr. Press writes

And finally, in an instant replay of the Willie Horton ad, they accused Obama of being an accomplice to former Weatherman Bill Ayers in planning to blow up the Pentagon.

I have not heard any accusations that Obama was an accomplice of Ayers, and I would be rather surprised if I did. As Press himself points out, Obama was only eight years old when Ayers bombed the Pentagon and the Capitol Building.

The Ayers connection, especially, is an absurd stretch. Yes, Ayers and fellow Weathermen plotted to bomb public buildings as part of their opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Not only did they plot to blow up public buildings, they actually did blow them up.

But that was in 1969 — when Barack Obama was only 8 years old. Twenty-six years later, when Obama met Ayers, the former radical was a tenured professor of education at the University of Chicago and a counselor to the mayor of Chicago on school reform.

But in 2001 Ayers publicly regretted that he hadn’t bombed more buildings. Obama has no excuse for not knowing he was befriending a terrorist.

They served on two charitable boards together, Ayers hosted a coffee for Obama's first run for public office, and they live in the same neighborhood. Obama hasn't seen or talked to Ayers since 2005. Yet pit bull Sarah Palin accuses Obama of “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

The point is that anyone who aspires to public office ought to choose his associates very carefully – as Mr. Press would preach to any Republican who befriended, say, an ex-grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

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