Matthews Denies Ayers Said He Regretted Not Bombing More

I think he said "I wished we had done more."  He never said "bomb more."  I think you have to be careful there. In terms of anti-war activism  . . . Let's get the facts straight . . . He didn't say he wished he had bombed more. -- Chris Matthews to Pat Buchanan, Hardball, October 17, 2008

''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.'' -- from No Regrets for a Love Of Explosives, New York Times, September 11, 2001

Trying to defend Barack Obama's association with Bill Ayers, Chris Matthews has tried to distort Ayers's words that by fate were published in the New York Times on September 11, 2001.  According to the Hardball host, when Ayers told the Times that he "wished we had done more," he meant only anti-war activism, not bombing.  A lot of things were destroyed on 9-11, but unfortunately for Matthews, not the online edition of that New York Times article. It survives and can be seen here and in an image after the jump.


The very first words of the Times article are those quoted above:

''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.''

Has Matthews ever read the article?  Seeing it now, can he look in the camera and with a straight face claim Ayers wasn't expresssing regret for not bombing more?  Does Matthews honestly believe Ayers was speaking of his regret for not engaging in more harmless anti-war activisism? And what about those lines that comes a bit later in the article [emphasis added]:

Between 1970 and 1974 the Weathermen took responsibility for 12 bombings, Mr. Ayers writes, and also helped spring Timothy Leary (sentenced on marijuana charges) from jail.

Today, Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn, 59, who is director of the Legal Clinic's Children and Family Justice Center of Northwestern University, seem like typical baby boomers, caring for aging parents, suffering the empty-nest syndrome. Their son, Malik, 21, is at the University of California, San Diego; Zayd, 24, teaches at Boston University. They have also brought up Chesa Boudin, 21, the son of David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin, who are serving prison terms for a 1981 robbery of a Brinks truck in Rockland County, N.Y., that left four people dead. Last month, Ms. Boudin's application for parole was rejected.

So, would Mr. Ayers do it all again, he is asked? ''I don't want to discount the possibility,'' he said.

Even Chris Matthews can't read that last line as other than what it is: the boast of an evil, unrepentant terrorist. Now consider that Ayers said it—that he was still thinking and speaking like that—six years after he had launched in his living room the political career of Barack Obama.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.