Something can be the truth even if reduced to a joke.
MORE: Jack Cashill, father of the Ayers as author theory, explains the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. However vast we may be, apparently we are kind of picky:
In the case of Dreams, some media on the right have been willing to entertain the theory of Ayers's involvement from the beginning. These include American Thinker, WorldNetDaily, The Rusty Humpries Show, and Breitbart TV among others. The support of these media, however, triggered no opening of the locks down the conservative stream. Each media outlet, I have found, makes its own decisions for its own reasons. The Van Jones story and the ACORN stings moved so quickly downstream because they were so visual, accessible and undeniable. The Dreams exposé is neither visual nor easily accessible.
Despite the caterwauling on the left, the more established of the conservative media -- Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Weekly Standard -- are prudent to the point of paranoid about embracing theories from up the conservative communication stream. Not a one of them gave me a tumble before the election, and they remain stingy with their acceptance even after the Andersen revelations. Without their imprimatur, and without even mention by the mainstream media, the national talk radio jocks are understandably hesitant to explore, let alone endorse the increasingly obvious fact that Bill Ayers is the principal author of Dreams From My Father.
Well, I think the Dreams story is pretty accessible - Ayers is Obama's ghost-writer. It just sounds wildly improbable, probably because people think of Ayers as a bombmaking bugaboo of the right rather than an accomplished, published writer. There is also the little matter of proof - Van Jones had published quotes and signatures on petitions, Acorn had video, "Dreams" has some suggestive matches of words and phrases. And now a book.
Cashill closes with as good point - the media bashing Sarah Palin for having a ghostwriter (and how can the poor dears resist?) may be stepping on a land mine. I still believe that Presidential historians will sort this out eventually, although I don't expect to live long enough to see it (C'mon, I'm already in my fifties...).
ROUND 'EM UP: The greatest trick Bill Ayers ever pulled was convincing the world he did not write "Dreams".
TO WHICH I WOULD ADD: The PowerGuys are skeptical of the whole Ayers/Dreams concept, which is fair enough - I think this old post of mine could be read as skeptical, too (one might even say "derisory"). However, the PowerGuys give no shrift at all to the new Andersen book which took some inspiration from Cahill but does claim to have the full story of Obama solving his problem with writer's block by dumping his notes, thoughts and outline in Ayers' lap. [OOPS. MY BAD: OK, "no shrift at all" except where Scott specifically shrifts it:
Cashill has reiterated and elaborated on his thesis on several occasions since his original column. Most recently, while citing Cashill, Christopher Andersen provided additional evidence to support Cashill's thesis in Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage. Ronald Radosh summarized Andersen's contribution here.
A clear failure of vision on my part.]
IF I HAD TO GUESS RIGHT NOW: I think Mr. Andersen is reporting what people told him when he writes that Ayers played a role in turning Obama's project into a book. I would start with, why would he make that up? His audience for a valentine titled "Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage" is going to be Obama fanboys (and girls!), not their critics - why make up discordant details about Their One?
At Amazon right now the people who bought the Andersen book also bought "The Clinton Tapes" by Taylor Branch, Speech-less - Tales of a White House Survivor by Matthew Latimer, Mama Dearest (a fiction book), True Compass, the Kennedy memoir, and High On Arrival, a Mackenzie Phillips bio.
Rounding out the top ten, "Bobbie and Jackie - A Love Story" is at 6; "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin is at 9, trailing the Patrick Swayze bio but edging Serena Williams.
I don't think that is an audience that leans right.
As to the rest, the fact that Obama has shown no literary talent before or since can't be dismissed.
And the scenario described by Andersen is utterly plausible - Michelle knew Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers' wife, from their law firm; she knew Bill Ayers from her time at Mayor Daley's office when he was working on eduction reform; Michelle knew her hubby was stuck on his book and she knew they needed the money they would collect when he submitted it. Why is the next step, that she enlisted the aid of a friend and published writer, so unlikely?
Set against that, one might think that a fellow from Harvard Law School working in Chicago would know plenty of people with writing ability.