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First Rate Hagiography
Posted by: MichaelW on Thursday, October 09, 2008

I definitely aspire to the maxim that if you're going to do something, you may as well do it to the best of your ability. Politico's Ben Smith provides an object lesson of that maxim and shows us how to properly frame and "report" propaganda:
In an interview with the sympathetic conservative talk radio host this afternoon, Obama offered the clearest explanation yet of how an extremely careful politician allowed himself anywhere near a former '60s radical who would become a Republican target in this year's presidential campaign.

Obama "had assumed" from Bill Ayers' stature in Chicago, he told the Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish, that Ayers had been "rehabilitated" since his 1960s crimes.


"The gentleman in question, Bill Ayers, is a college professor, teaches education at the University of Illinois," he said. "That's how i met him — working on a school reform project that was funded by an ambassador and very close friend of Ronald Reagan's" along with "a bunch of conservative businessmen and civic leaders."

"Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated," Obama said.

That may not have been an unreasonable assumption for Obama in the 1990s. Though Ayers never repented his part in the Weather Underground bombings, he had not yet become notorious for advertising them. That notoriety returned in 2001, when he published his memoir, "Fugitive Days," and reminisced about the bombings in a New York Times interview that happened to appear September 11 of that year.
Well, I suppose it may not have been an unreasonable assumption (or explanation). At least, in an alternative universe where Obama hadn't already claimed that it was just a guy in his neighborhood, and that he didn't actually know that Ayers was a terrorist. Take those facts away and, yeah, maybe it wouldn't be such a unreasonable assumption.

On the other hand, it may not have been an unreasonable assumption that Obama is telling yet another porkie pie regarding his relationship with Ayers. You know, if you were a journalist or something. Perhaps, if a reporter had bothered to notice that this was yet another conflicting account, and that it was based on the dubious notion that Obama had not met Ayers until he was oh-so fortunate enough to be made chairman of Ayers' charitable foundation sight unseen, then the reporter might have dug a bit deeper into the new story. Heck, he could have just looked on the intertubes:
Key point - Obama claims that he first met Ayers "ten or fifteen years ago" (1993 to 1998) when they partnered up on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Left unasked and unanswered - how did they *not* meet in 1988? There was a major push for school reform in Chicago in 1987-88. Although he intended to leave his Developing Communities Project in May 1988 prior to entering Harvard Law School, per his autobiography (p. 289) Obama was involved in the school reform effort:
"The months passed at a breathless pace, with constant reminders of all the things left undone. We worked with a citywide coalition in support of school reform."

The ABCs Coalition was formed in March 1988 (p. 20) and was coordinated by Bill Ayers (photo).
Yet Obama never met the fellow coordinating this 1988 coalition. And years later, after all his hard work in creating the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Bill Ayers graciously assented to Obama becoming chairman even though the two men had never met, Obama had no background in education, and no one had reviewed Obama's qualifications with Bill Ayers. Uh huh. Well, that is Obama's current story - let's see if they stick to that through the election.
Hmmm. So many questions left unanswered. If only there were some sort of job where people were paid to investigate niggling questions about the conflicting stories told by those he mean to rule our country. Such as how two couples whose lives inexplicably intersected (excuse me, "crossed paths") on so many occasions, including three of whom worked at the same law firm, and two of whom worked for several years on the same "education projects", could be so unknown to one another. Or how two of these people who had the same friends, and attended school within a quarter-mile of each other, could meet for the very first time at the initial board meeting for one of their organizations. That's gotta be a crazy story, eh?

In any case, apparently it's not Ben Smith's job to do any of these things. As near as I can tell, he's being paid to pen the initial draft of "The Obama Chronicles: The Reluctant Messiah."

Oh well, I suppose there are more important things to write about. After all, we're all still in the dark over who baby Trig's mother really is, and we still don't know just how many coded messages those racist Republicans really have in their arsenal. I guess it's just a matter of priorities.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Look folks... When I wanna mean "black people", I say "black people".

Only liberals see coded racism in normal phrases.

They have a name for that sort of personality: "Persecutory Delusional Disorder"
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
We still don’t know what brand of tanning bed Palin owns. Good job, right-wing media!!!
Written By: Jim Treacher
In this case, the best word is not "hagiographic", though there has certainly been quite a lot of that from the MSM regarding The Annointed One. The word you really want is either "protective" or "apologetic". Smith’s intent is not to praise The Annointed One but rather to explain away / excuse his association with the loathesome Bill Ayers.
That may not have been an unreasonable assumption for Obama in the 1990s.

I’m not a big-time journalist, so perhaps I don’t understand all the nuances and obligations and requirements of writing an article for the MSM, but it seems to me that Smith’s job is - or ought to be - merely to report that facts and keep his f***ing opinions to himself. It would be icing on the cake if he’d also bestir himself to look up all the other excuses The Annointed One has made about Ayers, but I’ve come not to expect much from the MSM when it comes to reporting about democrats.
"Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated," Obama said.
This speaks to The Annointed One’s judgement. Here we have a domestic terrorist whose group committed and attempted to commit murderous bombings, but The Annointed One just blithely "assumed" that Ayers had been "rehabilitated" (whatever that means).

But, on further consideration, it’s understandable: this is the party of Robert KKK Byrd, after all.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
In fact Ben thrives in a memeorandum type atmosphere. He has a incredible ability to write a headline. The headline is not at all partisan, makes you think there might be some substance but alas there never is only today’s talking point. He is a master communicator in a sound bite world.
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
It’s been interesting to see how lexical analysis software indicates that Ayers is the ghost writer for Obama’s "Dreams From My Father" book. Cashill has an interesting article on the matter:
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