ChiTrib's Sunshine and Rainbows for Weather Underground's Ayers

Bomber-turned-academic Bill Ayers is speaking out, and the Chicago Tribune dutifully has its steno pad in hand.

In an April 24 story, Trib staffer Steve Schmadeke laid out how "Ayers, though quieter, [is] 'still outspoken.'"

Bill 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 brought up during last week's Democratic debate, Ayers said Wednesday that he has a good reason for his silence.

He doesn't want to feed the flawed "narrative" out in the press and blogosphere — one that has commentators on Ayers' own blog wondering why someone hasn't shot him dead yet.

Schmadeke never directly called Ayers a "bomber," but noted that Ayers remains unrepentant for his radical past, including well, bombs set off by his Weather Underground. Yet even that was quickly followed up by assuring readers that Ayers has since become such a staple of Chicago civic life.:

Ayers and Dohrn have since become a respected part of the city's establishment. Mayor Richard Daley was among those who came to Ayers' defense after the debate.

But, Ayers writes on his blog, he has never escaped his past. Nor has he ever explicitly apologized, saying the times and his actions need a more nuanced rendering.

Ah, yes nuance, like hinting that Ayers is now not a radical, he's just a "maverick" (emphasis mine):

Ayers' reluctance to answer questions resembles another previously outspoken maverick turned potential political liability.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the retired pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ where Obama has attended for more than 20 years, has been atypically quiet after controversial Internet sound bites of his sermons roiled Obama's campaign.

Ayers is still outspoken on his leftist politics at his blog. As I noted recently, the former Weather Underground leader is a critic of not only the war in Iraq but in Afghanistan, a position that is to the left of even Sens. Obama and Clinton. In a recent blog post, Ayers called for the dismantling of U.S. military bases in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey and having an international commission calculate how much the United States "owes" Afghanistan and Iraq.

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Chicago Tribune Steve Schmadeke William Ayers Jeremiah Wright Bill Ayers