Unrepentant Weatherman Bill Ayers in in the news, linked to his friend and colleague from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Barack Obama.
The NRO editors join in while we wait for Stanley Kurtz to riffle the Challenge archives at the University of Illinois Chicago library.
Fox News got a peek at the archives:
FOX News was among several news organizations that reviewed the university’s records by appointment. In one agenda, a March 15, 1995, meeting featured Obama making introductions and Ayers giving a briefing.
But more than a year later, Obama pushed the group to be bolder in its reforms, according to the Associated Press, which also reviewed the documents. Minutes from an October 1996 gathering show Obama, a guest at a meeting of the collaborative, raised questions about what the group should be doing.
The Associates Press reports the minutes characterized Obama’s concerns as twofold: Whether the group was raising additional money and whether money was being used “to prop up existing organizations as opposed to creating fresh educational practices in the schools?”
“At the end of five years, will we have broken the mold? Not much seems to be bubbling up that is inspiring or substantive,” the minutes say, paraphrasing Obama.
The "collaborative" to which they refer was founded and led by Bill Ayers (see his resume) and did a lot of the staff work for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
And here is the AP:
The minutes of the Annenberg Challenge meetings show that during a June 1995 meeting, Ayers was credited with having "worked diligently" to support the effort. More than a year later, Obama pushed the group to be bolder in its reforms.
"At the end of five years, will we have broken the mold? Not much seems to be bubbling up that is inspiring or substantive," October 1996 minutes say, paraphrasing Obama.
Ayers and Obama clearly worked together - odd that Obama forgot.
The Chicago Tribune describes the media frenzy at the library and notes the Obama cover-up:
The UIC records show that Obama and Ayers attended board meetings, retreats and at least one news conference together as the education program got under way. The two continued to attend meetings together during the 1995-2001 operation of the program, records show.
At a Democratic debate this year when the association between Obama and Ayers was raised, Obama said: "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood. . . . He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis." Obama called Ayers' past radical acts detestable.
But critics note that Obama visited Ayers' home for a meeting at the start of his first state Senate bid in the mid-'90s.
And the Canada Free Press wonders whether criticizing Obama is a crime. Geez, when the Canadians mock our press freedom...
The NY Times is all meta - they are happy to bash the shadowy group besmirching their candidate but are unwilling to note the long. strong tie between Ayers and Obama by way of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. When last we looked, Jim Rutenberg of the Times was utterly unaware of (or at least, unwilling to report) that tie; now, his final paragraph warms up their readers for revelations to follow:
The fight may move to another front this week.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is in the process or releasing documents detailing Mr. Obama’s involvement with a non-profit education project started by Mr. Ayers.
It's almost like reporting!
The WaPo also focuses their coverage on Obama's bold, non-Kerryish push-back. Here is a bold, colorful quote from an Obama operative who WON"T BE BULLIED:
Obama campaign lawyer Robert F. Bauer replied: "If someone rides up to a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun and a prior record, I'm not intimidating anybody by calling the cops. . . . If this [Republican] campaign is going to be run in McCarthyite fashion by lawbreakers in an illegal way, they are going to pay a price."
Boy, talking about Ayers and riding around with shotguns - wise?
The WaPo aids the mainstreaming of Bill Ayers and lays the groundwork for Obama's alibi:
Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical organization that claimed responsibility for a dozen bombings between 1970 and 1974. He is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an expert on public school reform.
However, the rest of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge link will have to wait for another story - as of this reporting, the Ayers/Obama tie is still quite tenuous in WaPoWorld:
Ayers did hold a gathering for him in 1995 when Obama first ran for the Illinois Senate, and he later contributed $200 to his reelection campaign. But Bauer said that hardly constitutes launching the political career of a University of Chicago Law School lecturer and the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, who had just published his first memoir, "Dreams From My Father."
The WaPo website hosts the AP story noting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge but their featured A1 story is silent on that connection. That is actually funny, in a head-bangingly predictable sort of way.