Saturday, October 4, 2008

NYT on Ayers-Obama connection

UPDATED & BUMPED: Whitewash, says Stanley Kurtz:
The piece serves as a platform for the Obama campaign and Obama’s friends and allies. Obama’s spokesman and supporters’ names are named and their versions of events are presented in detail, with quotes. Yet the article makes no serious attempt to present the views of Obama critics who have worked to uncover the true nature of the relationship. That makes this piece irresponsible journalism, and an obvious effort by the former paper of record to protect Obama from the coming McCain onslaught.
Read the whole thing.

PREVIOUSLY: They dump it on a Saturday, and bury it under a lot of ultra-boring oatmeal, but at least it's there:
The Ayers-Obama connection first came to public attention last spring, when both Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Obama's Democratic primary rival, and Mr. McCain brought it up. It became the subject of a television advertisement in August by the anti-Obama American Issues Project and drew new attention recently on The Wall Street Journal's op-ed page and elsewhere as the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge at the University of Illinois were opened to researchers.
That project was part of a national school reform effort financed with $500 million from Walter H. Annenberg, the billionaire publisher and philanthropist and President Richard M. Nixon's ambassador to the United Kingdom. Many cities applied for the Annenberg money, and Mr. Ayers joined two other local education activists to lead a broad, citywide effort that won nearly $50 million for Chicago.
The content of the story, and its purpose, can be summed up: "Nothing to see here. Move along."

UPDATE: VodkaPundit and Tom Maguire have more analysis. Based on my own newsroom experiences, I'd say this story got edited and rewritten several times on its way to publication. There is an editor or editors at the New York Times who made sure that anything in this story that might have reflected negatively on Obama was qualified or counterbalanced.

I'm betting that the reporter on the story spent a lot of time arguing with his bosses about this, and is unhappy with the way it was rewritten. Not only that, but I'll bet the story was "held" at least two days in the process. There is nothing time-sensitive in the story, and I'm guessing the reporter had it ready Monday or Tuesday, spent a day or two hassling with his editors over rewrites, and then the story was purposefully delayed so that it would publish on a Saturday -- historically, the lowest circulation day in the newspaper business.

But never mind -- the whole point of the story is to give the NY Times a fig leaf, so they can't be accused of ignoring the Obama-Ayers connection. It's a token gesture of "fairness."


  1. Meanwhile, Ken Timmerman is doing REAL investigative reporting.

    Who actually paid for O's Harvard sojourn???

  2. i can't help but think that Sarah Palin, in making that remark about Obama and terrorists, is really a bad bad be-atch! I mean, how vindictive and stupid can she be, in repeating such stupid GOP talking points. She really is a Stepford wife, robot lady, no brain at all. Just wires connected to the main computerframe of her sad and pathetic and tragic for the USA...and how sad for the image of Alaska, which is really a great great place, with great great people. Alaska will take years to live her down!