Barack Obama received a valuable campaign contribution from the New York Times on Saturday: a front-page piece reviewing Obama's lengthy association with the ’60s and ’70s Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. The Times' key sentence asserted: "The two men do not appear to have been close."
The Times' stamp of disapproval was all the rest of the media needed to reject the idea that Obama's dealings with Ayers should matter to voters, as Sarah Palin dared to suggest over the weekend. ABC's David Wright on Sunday called Palin's attack on Obama "incendiary," while CBS's Bob Schieffer (moderator of the final presidential debate on October 15) called it a "down and dirty" move, adding that Palin "took after Barack Obama in a style reminiscent of Spiro Agnew."
In an item dated Sunday morning, AP writer Douglass Daniel slammed Palin's attack as "unsubstantiated" and carrying "a racially-tinged subtext....Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee ‘palling around’ with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?" Bill Ayers is white.
Also on Sunday morning, CNN "truth squadder" Josh Levs rejected Palin's charge as "false," apparently because she used the wrong verb tense: "There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now ‘palling around'....Also, there is nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activity." So while Ayers' group bombed the Pentagon and Capitol, it's time to forgive and forget?
National Review Online contributing editor Stanley Kurtz fought an attempt by Obama allies to block his access and actually looked at the relationship between Obama and Ayers during the four years that Obama served as board chairman of a foundation Ayers helped found, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). "The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists," Kurtz exposed in a September 23 Wall Street Journal op-ed. "Documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC....As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle."
As when the Jeremiah Wright story hit last spring, the liberal media seem loath to ask Obama difficult questions about his associations with America-hating radicals — all their toughness is reserved for Obama's opponents.