Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, through the American Issues Project, financed the production and airtime buys for a commercial drawing attention to Barack Obama's still ties to unrepentant former Weather Underground terrorist, Bill "Bomber" Ayers.
As I did yesterday, I'm offering an excerpt with an editorial from the National Review Online.
The Obama campaign's rejoinder is three-pronged: The first shot was an Obama response ad, which fails to offer any substantive explanation of why Obama maintains ties to Ayers. Obama’s second move was to launch a heavy-handed effort to pressure television stations into rejecting the ad by promising financial retaliation against the stations and their advertisers — which effort has apparently succeeded in intimidating Fox and CNN. The capper is a desperate call for the Justice Department to muzzle political speech through the prospect of a criminal investigation — a demand that provides a disturbing sneak peak into what life would be like under an Obama Justice Department.Stanley Kurtz of the same publication has been on the front lines exposing Obama's links to Ayers. Kurtz led the charge in getting the stubborn University of Illinois to release the 140 boxes of records, which are still being examined by reporters, to release the documentation of what went on within the group Obama chaired for a few years. Ayers was a key person in securing the financing--$50 million--for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
Kurtz appeared last night on a populuar Chicago radio show, Milt Rosenberg's Extension 720. I meant to catch at least part of it, but I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, and Biden's speech put me under.
Rosenberg's show is nightly cerebral exercise-he's been on the air since 1973--and it's the perfect place for Kurtz to discuss Obama and Ayers. I don't know what Rosenberg's politics are, but I've never heard him espouse them on the air.
And that had members of the Cult of Change upset, as the Chicago Tribune's Swamp blog reported Wednesday night:
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is organizing its supporters tonight to confront Tribune-owned WGN radio in Chicago for having a critic of the Illinois Democrat on its air.Okay, if Kurtz is a right-wing hatchet man, then the Obama needs to back that statement up with facts.
"WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," Obama's campaign wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers."
Kurtz, a conservative writer, recently wrote an article for the National Review that looked at Obama's ties Ayers, a former 1960s radical.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves," the note continued. "At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies."Kurtz had not appeared on the show yet when that e-mail was sent so what "lies" did they know about?
Once again, why is Obama "friendly" with a man who as recently as 2001 said, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." When asked if would do it again, Ayers responded, "I don't want to discount the possibility."
Ayers is talking, and Obama is saying very little about him, but it's believed Ayers and Obama have been friendly since the early 1990s.
The National Review Media Blog has more:
Evidently, much of Obama nation is comprised of obedient and persistent sheep. They jammed all five studio lines for nearly the entire show while firing off dozens of angry emails. Many vowed to kick their grievances up the food chain to station management. After 90 minutes of alleged smear peddling, Milt Rosenberg (a well-respected host whose long-form interview show has aired in Chicago for decades) opened the phone lines, and blind ignorance soon began to crackle across the AM airwaves. The overwhelming message was clear: The interview must be put to an end immediately, and the station management should prevent similar discussions from taking place.I wish I had heard it. But there is a podcast available. Rosenberg, a psychology professor, has a calm, soothing voice. He doen't rile up his listeners.
One female caller, when pressed about what precisely she objected to, simply replied, "We just want it to stop!" Another angry caller was asked what "lies" Kurtz had told in any of his reporting on Barack Obama. The thoughtful response? "Everything he said is dishonest." The same caller later refused to get into "specifics." Another gentleman called Kurtz "the most un-American person" he'd ever heard. Several of the callers did not even know Stanley's name, most had obviously never read a sentence of his meticulous research, and more than simply read verbatim from the Obama talking points.
As Rosenberg repeatedly pointed out that Team Obama had been offered the opporunity to take part in the conversation, the agitated masses adopted their argument to suggest it was outrageous to request an interview from the Obama campaign in the thick of the DNC. Delivering the line of the night, Rosenberg countered, "The Obama national headquarters is just down the street from here. They obviously have the time to send out these angry emails, but they can't walk a few blocks to our studios?"