Two years ago today, I chronicled wire service reports which appeared shortly after John Hinckley's unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 reporting that schoolchildren in many parts of the country cheered when they heard that he had been shot.

At the time, I suggested that school teachers and administrators who were appalled at the reactions might have been protesting a bit too much. Today, I located a 2004 item at National Review by Stanley Kurtz about another group which was happy to hear about the assassination attempt. The left's hypocrisy about "civility" -- and for that matter, basic human decency -- clearly goes way, way back:

At National Review (here and here), Stanley Kurtz has proven beyond doubt that Barack Obama sought the far-left New Party's endorsement in 1996. In the process, he has rendered a central claim made by the Obama campaign at its "Fight the Smears" web site in 2008 ("Barack Did Not Seek New Party Endorsement") and swallowed whole by the gullible establishment press utterly false.

In 2008, Ben Smith, who was then at Politico, also swallowed the line from the New Party's founder that the party never really had "members," which is going to be the focus of this post:

The White House is amping up its vigilance in silencing its critics with the creation of a new communications position designed to respond to unfavorable online stories about the President.

Attacking critics is nothing new for the administration, and the creation of this position is only the latest effort to throw the considerable weight of the White House bully pulpit behind efforts to attack Obama's critics. For the president, this tactic began during the campaign and has continued to date.

Until now, though, the fight was mostly funded by the DNC or campaign teams, as is standard practice for the sort of oppositional approach this position seems poised to adopt. But as an official White House position, taxpayers are actually the ones footing the bill for Obama’s new attack dog.

In the latest series of the Hoover Institution's fantastic webshow "Uncommon Knowledge", Peter Robinson interviews author and National Review contributor Stanley Kurtz about his new book "Radical in Chief". The book explores Barack Obama's history as a leftist community organizer. Kurtz contends that Obama is, in fact, a socialist, though he admits that the term "socialist" has changed in meaning over the past few decades (hence the quotation marks in the headline).

Check out the first segment of the interview below the jump, and give us your thoughts.

Did you know that Rick Santelli's well-publicized rant on CNBC Feb.

Remember the intensive investigations by the press to determine if Sarah Palin had ever been a member of the Alaska Indedence Party? Contrast that with the almost total lack of interest by the media into looking at the ties (and membership) of Barack Obama in the far left New Party.

They [the RNC] are calling voters, cold calls, and saying to them, what about William Ayers and the close working relationship he had [with Obama], which is not true by anybody's count . .  . It certainly is a mischaracterization of the relationship. -- Andrea Mitchell to Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), MSNBC 10-17-08.
Andrea Mitchell, meet Stanley Kurtz . . .

It's turning into Andrea Mitchell Day here.  Earlier, I noted how Mitchell, measuring the drapes for Obama, predicted that he would run a "bipartisan" administration.  Now Mitchell has ridden to Obama's defense, denying that he ever worked closely with Wiliam Ayers. 

View video here.

On Tuesday’s Hannity and Colmes program top Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs displayed the latest example of the Democratic campaign attempting to whitewash their opponents. When co-host Sean Hannity asked him about Obama’s connections to William Ayers, Gibbs shot back, "Are you anti-Semitic?" He then changed the entire subject of the discussion to whether Hannity was anti-Semitic for recently interviewing Andy Martin, who in 2000, accused George W. Bush of using cocaine, has been a candidate for various offices in several states, and is accused by the Washington Post of starting the rumor that Obama is a Muslim.

This charge by Gibbs caused a three-plus minute back-and-forth argument in which the Obama spokesman continued to charge that Hannity was anti-Semitic, and also asked at one point, "Why am I not to believe that everyone who works for the network is anti-Semitic because Sean Hannity gave a platform to a man who thinks Jews are slimy?" The argument was finally stopped by co-host Alan Colmes, who defended Hannity as "not anti-Semitic" [see video at right; direct link to video here].

Barack Obama, Illinois Senator & William Ayers, Weather Underground Terrorist | NewsBusters.orgDuring a report on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."

Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin’s report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program’s "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, a on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn’s background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama’s early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."

In my post on Tuesday, I wrote about Stanley Kurtz's efforts to access the Annenberg Challenge files housed at the University of Illinois-Chicago. These files documented an educational initiative started by Bill Ayers and chaired by Barack Obama.

At that point, only AP writer Pete Yost had written anything about the story. Additionally, U of I rep Bill Burton issued a press release. Since that time, there has been no movement from the university and coverage by the MSM has been minimal, though it is finally beginning to pick up. To wit, as reported in a blog post at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago mayor, Richard Daley, declined to intervene in the matter by pressing U of I to release the documents to Kurtz, saying, 

People keep trying to align himself [sic] with Barack Obama. It's really unfortunate. They're friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he’s been making a strong contribution to our community.

According to Daley, we should move on and accept that any past relationship between Obama and Ayers was entirely innocuous, on his (Daley's) say so. Right.

When will the University of Illinois (Chicago) release the Annenberg Challenge documents? This is the question Stanley Kurtz asked in his column yesterday at NRO. Since then, the call has been taken up by various conservative blogs and radio shows. Today, U of I News Bureau Director, Bill Burton, issued a press release.

The University Library supports the teaching, research, and service missions of the University by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to information. The Library is open to the public and dedicated to free inquiry. The University has not received ownership rights to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge collection. The university is aggressively pursuing an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is finalized, the collection will be made accessible to the public.

Ok, fair enough. But why the secrecy over the donor of the documents? And more importantly, can the university guarantee in the interim that nothing will be removed or altered?