The L.A. Times gives Bill Ayers a little unrebutted puff piece today, allowing Ayers to claim, without any opposing viewpoint, that he is being misrepresented in the media.
Ayers, of course, is the Weather Underground terrorist (now a professor who spoke fondly of bombings as recently as September 2001) who has been described as “friendly” with Obama. In February, Obama strategist David Axelrod described Obama and Ayers as friendly acquaintances:
“Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school,” [Axelrod] said. “They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.”
This article further explains:
Ayers was loosely involved in Obama’s election as an Illinois state senator in the late 1990s, when he was introduced to local activists at a meeting in his house. He also donated $200 to Obama’s reelection campaign in 2001.
Obama served with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic foundation, for three years and shared a platform with him at two academic conferences.
The L.A. Times allows Ayers to portray his terrorist attitude as ancient history, in a piece titled Ex-radical William Ayers keeps low profile. The deck headline reads: “The Weatherman founding member, now a professor, says he wants to avoid fueling his ‘cartoon’ media image. So he won’t be discussing his ties to Obama.” And the lede reads as follows:
William Ayers, a former radical leader turned academic and school reformer, has never been hesitant to speak his mind.
Although there has been no public response from him since his ties to Barack Obama — the two neighbors served on a charity board together for three years — were referenced during last week’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia, Ayers said Wednesday that he has a good reason.
He doesn’t want to feed the flawed “narrative” out in the media, he said, one that has commentators on Ayers’ own blog wondering why someone hasn’t shot him dead yet.
“It’s a cartoon” that people are reacting to, said Ayers, a professor of education, in a brief chat at his University of Illinois at Chicago office.
There’s one little detail left out of this puff piece: just how “ex” are the pro-bombing views of this “ex-radical”? Not as “ex” as they ought to be, according to this New York Times article published, inappropriately enough, on September 11, 2001 (although the interview obviously occurred earlier):
”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.” Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. The long curly locks in his Wanted poster are shorn, though he wears earrings. He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings. And he still has the ebullient, ingratiating manner, the apparently intense interest in other people, that made him a charismatic figure in the radical student movement.
Tattoos can be removed, if a person really wants to do it. But why would they, when they still believe in the principles of the criminal organization whose murderous goals are symbolized by that tattoo?
How can any responsible profile of Bill Ayers leave out the tidbit that he spoke approvingly of the concept of setting bombs only 6 1/2 years ago? Or fail to speak to even one person who might have pointed that out?
But then, who said this profile was bound to be responsible? It was published in the L.A. Times.