Ignorance is Bliss at the New York Times

As of 9 AM Sunday morning, I am told, Gail Collins had the most popular item on the New York Times web site.  In the column titled "Donald Trump Strikes Back," Collins presumes to dissect the "disturbing spectacle" of Donald Trump's campaign for president.

In the course of her analysis, Collins breezily dismisses Trump's assertion, "Bill Ayers wrote Dreams From My Father, I have no doubt about it."

"Ayers is the former '60s radical who became a huge Republican talking point in 2008 because he had once given a house party for Obama when he was running for state senate," Collins reassures her readers.  "It's a pretty big jump from coffee and cookies to writing an entire book, but I guess that's what neighbors are for."

In a single paragraph, Collins manages to sum all that she knows about the Ayers-Obama relationship and perhaps all that the readers of this soi-disant "paper of record" want to know. 

Where to begin?  Let us start with the fact Ayers was no mere ‘60s radical.  Ayers was a terrorist, a ‘70s terrorist at that.  In March of 1970, three of his colleagues, including girlfriend Diana Oughton, blew themselves up while constructing an anti-personnel bomb intended for a dance at Fort Dix.  Had Ayers and pals succeeded, we would remember him today the way we remember Timothy McVeigh.

What is more, as even Obama-friendly biographer David Remnick concedes, "Ayers helped bring Obama onto the Annenberg board."  The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was, in fact, a massive educational slush fund that Ayers co-founded.  As the National Review's Stanly Kurtz has reported, Ayers had Obama appointed chair in early 1995.

Later that same year Ayers helped launch Obama's state senate campaign with a fundraiser.  Kurtz pegs the event as "further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership," not just the "coffee and cookies" Collins jokingly suggests.

It was during that same year, of course, 1995, that Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father, was published.  Do we see a pattern developing here?  As readers of my book, Deconstructing Obama, can attest, the textual evidence for Ayers' involvement in Dreams is overwhelming.

Clearly, though, Collins has no idea of who I am or what I have written.  Before she laughed off Trump's claim, however, she might have consulted with Christopher Andersen, a man routinely referred to as "#1 New York Times bestselling author."

As Andersen relates in his book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, would-be-author Obama found himself deeply in debt and "hopelessly blocked."  At "Michelle's urging," he "sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers." What attracted the Obamas were "Ayers's proven abilities as a writer."

Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, both African and American, Andersen elaborates, "These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers."

Am I alone in thinking that when a potential presidential candidate accuses a sitting president of a massive literary fraud pulled off with the help of a former terrorist, the New York Times owes its readers more than a whimsical column by the proudly clueless Ms. Collins?
As of 9 AM Sunday morning, I am told, Gail Collins had the most popular item on the New York Times web site.  In the column titled "Donald Trump Strikes Back," Collins presumes to dissect the "disturbing spectacle" of Donald Trump's campaign for president.

In the course of her analysis, Collins breezily dismisses Trump's assertion, "Bill Ayers wrote Dreams From My Father, I have no doubt about it."

"Ayers is the former '60s radical who became a huge Republican talking point in 2008 because he had once given a house party for Obama when he was running for state senate," Collins reassures her readers.  "It's a pretty big jump from coffee and cookies to writing an entire book, but I guess that's what neighbors are for."

In a single paragraph, Collins manages to sum all that she knows about the Ayers-Obama relationship and perhaps all that the readers of this soi-disant "paper of record" want to know. 

Where to begin?  Let us start with the fact Ayers was no mere ‘60s radical.  Ayers was a terrorist, a ‘70s terrorist at that.  In March of 1970, three of his colleagues, including girlfriend Diana Oughton, blew themselves up while constructing an anti-personnel bomb intended for a dance at Fort Dix.  Had Ayers and pals succeeded, we would remember him today the way we remember Timothy McVeigh.

What is more, as even Obama-friendly biographer David Remnick concedes, "Ayers helped bring Obama onto the Annenberg board."  The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was, in fact, a massive educational slush fund that Ayers co-founded.  As the National Review's Stanly Kurtz has reported, Ayers had Obama appointed chair in early 1995.

Later that same year Ayers helped launch Obama's state senate campaign with a fundraiser.  Kurtz pegs the event as "further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership," not just the "coffee and cookies" Collins jokingly suggests.

It was during that same year, of course, 1995, that Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father, was published.  Do we see a pattern developing here?  As readers of my book, Deconstructing Obama, can attest, the textual evidence for Ayers' involvement in Dreams is overwhelming.

Clearly, though, Collins has no idea of who I am or what I have written.  Before she laughed off Trump's claim, however, she might have consulted with Christopher Andersen, a man routinely referred to as "#1 New York Times bestselling author."

As Andersen relates in his book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, would-be-author Obama found himself deeply in debt and "hopelessly blocked."  At "Michelle's urging," he "sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers." What attracted the Obamas were "Ayers's proven abilities as a writer."

Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, both African and American, Andersen elaborates, "These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers."

Am I alone in thinking that when a potential presidential candidate accuses a sitting president of a massive literary fraud pulled off with the help of a former terrorist, the New York Times owes its readers more than a whimsical column by the proudly clueless Ms. Collins?

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