CNN calls Obama camp on relationship w/Ayers

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and correspondent Drew Griffin have done some digging into the ongoing claim that Barack Obama had a negligible relationship with former Weatherman bomber Bill Ayers.  The Obama campaign’s claim that the 1995 political event at the home of Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn that launched Obama’s public career was a coincidental meeting of Obama and Ayers, arranged by Ayers and Obama’s political patron and predecessor, State Sen. Alice Palmer, and that Obama was simply a bystander, also comes under scrutiny.  The upshot?  CNN is not convinced.

In what Captain Ed calls a “random act of journalism” by CNN, Griffin does the following:

  • puts the lie to the Obama camp’s image of a fleeting relationship between Obama and Ayers, in favor of a documented story of a close collaboration over many years between them on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund;
  • gives airtime to Stanley Kurtz, the scholar and writer who broke through the wall of bureaucratic red tape thrown up around the CAC archives and found out the true nature and extent of that relationship (including some eyebrow-raising educational approaches spearheaded by Ayers and subsequently funded by Obama, the chairman);
  • relies on witnesses at the 1995 event at Ayers’ and Dohrn’s home, including former State Sen. Palmer herself, in concluding that Palmer played only a peripheral role in the event, having simply been invited and made an appearance for a few minutes, and was not responsible for arranging it as Obama has claimed.  That event was by Obama, of Obama, and for Obama.

Kurtz has had a lot of trouble getting media attention paid to his hard work investigating the connection between Obama and Ayers.  When he was invited onto a radio talk show in Chicago, Obama partisans flooded the phone lines with calls hostile to Kurtz in an effort to shut the interview down. (The station, WGN, had called the Obama campaign office to offer them equal time during the show; they refused, but used the advance notice to email supporters, rallying them to smother the interview.)  To see CNN give time to Kurtz in a setting immune to grassroots thuggery is refreshing, to say the least.

I’m still betting against McCain bringing up this subject at tonight’s debate unless one of the audience members brings it up (the debate will follow a town hall format with audience questions), but the story of Obama and Ayers now has sturdier legs than it had before, now that news organs like CNN are finally starting to take this question seriously.  I’m sure that Hillary Clinton, who also brought up the subject of Obama’s shady friends during the primary, is savoring the bitter irony.


3 thoughts on “CNN calls Obama camp on relationship w/Ayers

  1. Pingback: CNN Exposes Obama’s Lies About Ayers | Right Voices

  2. Eskwaya

    If this is a conversation, I have a response.
    You have not supported your thesis. You do not describe anything other than a fleeting relationship between Obama and Ayers. There are no current ties or even ties in the recent past, only evdicence that they both worked for education betterment in Illinois. But, even if there were evidence of a strong relationship, what inference is logically drawn about Obama because of the relationship? McCain and Palin would like to the public to infer that Obama is “palling around with terrorists”, but that is a gross exageration and one that is beneath the office of the Vice-President.
    Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Is the entire Illinois State education system palling around with Terrorists? Ayers has not been convicted of any crime. Ayers’ actions during the Vietnam War, when Obama was 7 years old, did not result in either the death or injury of any human being: how does that meet the definition of a terrorist? Ayers’ relationship to Obama, if any, and to whatever extent, says next to nothing about the 2008 election.

    But most telling about the great integrity that Obama has, and that McCain and Palin lack, is Obama has not aired the far more disturbing associations of both McCain and Palin. See,, which draws attention to Joe Vogler, and the Alaska Independence Party, of which Todd Palin is a long-time member and whose political conventions Sarah Palin has attended and sent statements of support as Governor of Alaska. The quote, provided by TPM:
    ——————–start clip
    “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government,” Vogler said in an interview, in which he talked extensively about his desire for Alaskan secession, the key goal of the AIP. [So, the key goal of the AIP is secession from the United States, and Todd Palin is a long-time member and Sarah Palin attends their conventions, and, when she cannot be there in person, sends video messages. Interesting?] Three years after the controversial interview, Sarah Palin attended the group’s annual convention, according to witnesses who spoke to ABC News’ Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign is disputing her presence there, but Tapper found two people to attest to it.

    The McCain campaign today produced Palin’s voting registration records, and said they proved she was never a member of the party.

    But she has repeatedly reached out to the group. The McCain campaign has confirmed she visited the group’s 2000 convention, and she addressed its convention this year [2008], as an incumbent governor whose oath of office includes upholding the Constitution of the United States.

    Palin’s husband, Todd Palin, was a member of the party from 1995-2002 with a brief exception in 2000.

    It’s worth noting that Vogler isn’t just some figure from ancient history. He is still being hailed on AIP’s site this year, the same year Palin addressed the group’s convention.
    ———————-end clip

    You will never hear Obama or his campaign call John McCain out on the fact that he made propaganda videos for the Viet Cong as a prisoner of war: 32 of them. See
    I agree with the Obama campaign that this information does not sufficiently enlighten the public about the choices before it, and would only serve to bring John McCain down instead of bringing Obama and his platforms up.

    You have also never heard the Obama campaign educate the public about John McCain’s direct ties to the U.S. Council for World Freedom. CNSNews reports,, the U.S. Council for World Freedom aided rebels to set up death squads and to try to overthrow the government of Nicaragua. That landed the group in the middle of the Iran-Contra affair and in legal trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, which revoked the charitable organization’s tax exemption.
    The council created by retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub was the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League, an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. After setting up the U.S. council, Singlaub served as the international league’s chairman.

    The Obama campaign, in the face of an eerily similar economic crisis, has yet to throw the Keating 5 in McCain’s face. Here, I think they absolutely should, and may yet, because the failure of the savings and loans precipitated by the Keating 5 is highly relevant and gives insight to the public to understand current events.

    Review the record, Obama has never stooped. McCain and Palin continuously stoop to new lows.

    And, who knows, McCain and Palin may succeed to the Presidency because of it: but it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

  3. Pingback: What is CNN’s problem? « WitSnapper | The Blog

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