If Newt’s wives, Herman’s women and Mitt’s W-2s are subject to media scrutiny, Barry’s books should be subject as well.
Happily, Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson thinks so too. This past Sunday Carlson and his crew showed up in Chicago for a little intel gathering around the dinner table of terrorists-turned-socialites Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
Carlson had secured the dinner through a charity auction at which he was the highest bidder. He did not appear to get his money’s worth as the two celebrity hosts joined the table for conversation only “sporadically,” and they seemed evasive when there.
Still, before departing, one of the Carlson crew popped the question of the day: Did Ayers help Obama write his acclaimed 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father”?
For the Obama faithful, those who believe their man a genius, the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln, this question tightens the entrails in unpleasant ways.
If Ayers was the real genius behind “Dreams,” then when in 2008 Obama told a crowd of teachers in Virginia, “I’ve written two books, I actually wrote them myself,” he was simply lying.
Obama would also have been lying when he famously dismissed Ayers in a 2008 ABC primary debate as a “guy who lives in my neighborhood.”
Ayers understands the power he holds over the president. When asked whether he helped write “Dreams,” Ayers did what he always does: Throw a double load of irony at the questioner.
“Ayers answered that of course he wrote it – with tongue planted firmly in cheek,” writes Daily Caller editor Jamie Weinstein.
At this point, the Daily Caller crew threw Ayers a curve he was not likely expecting: What did he make of the fact that “non-partisan author” Christopher Andersen, after interviewing Obama’s friends in Chicago, reported that “Ayers contributed significantly to Obama’s book.”
According to Weinstein, Ayers grew “agitated” at the question and called the report “bull—t.” My suspicion is that Ayers was one of Andersen’s sources, which may explain his agitation. To blow Obama’s cover is to lose most of his friends.
I had talked to Weinstein before the visit and sent him some material. Based on past performances, I correctly predicted Ayers’ response.
As readers of this column know, I broke the story of Ayers’ crafting of “Dreams” on these pages in September 2008 and followed up with the book “Deconstructing Obama” in 2011.
Kudos to Carlson and crew for finally airing this subject in an establishment conservative medium. Hard as this may be to believe, they are the first ones to do so in a serious way.
To his credit, Andersen had tried to do the same. An establishment journalist with some 13 New York Times best-selling biographies under his belt, Andersen did not learn how the media really worked until he released “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage” in September 2009.
Although every major news outlet reviewed the Andersen book– CBS News, USA Today, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Telegraph of London, etc. – not a single reviewer mentioned the “Dreams” controversy, the most newsworthy item in the book, one Andersen spent six pages unraveling.
The spontaneous uniformity of this groupthink surprised even me. It had to have floored Andersen. Although Andersen’s portrait of the Obamas was flattering, his inclusion of this one bombshell, potentially explosive if touched, had to have hurt his sales.
For those conservative publications that can afford literary editors – Weekly Standard, National Review, American Spectator, Human Events, Washington Times – touching this bombshell can only help sales.
What Ayers may or may not say, or even what Andersen has reported, settles little. The real evidence can be found in the text of Obama’s work and Ayers’.
Obama’s portfolio gives the game away. Other than his two books, all of Obama’s literary efforts read like B- papers in a community college freshman comp class.
Although much better written than his essays, Obama’s second book, “Audacity of Hope,” falls far short of “Dreams.” Ayers, in fact, has accurately dismissed it as a “political hack book.” He did not write it. Neither did Obama.
To be sure, nine out of 10 of his voters would believe Obama if he claimed to have written the Old Testament and would stay with him even if they learned otherwise.
For one of 10 Obama voters, however, the revelation that Obama built his genius myth on sand will matter. Among that 10 percent are enthusiasts like Hardball’s Chris Matthews. A fraud revelation will short circuit future leg tingles before they even reach the ankle.
Carlson has opened the door for his peers in the establishment conservative media. They can download “Deconstructing Obama” on their Kindles in under a minute for $11.99 and start deconstructing on their own. They will find the evidence overwhelming and inarguable.
The AP alone assigned 11 reporters to fact check Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue.” I would be happy if one or two of our guys turned their attention to “Dreams.”
If they have an excuse for not doing so, I would love to hear it.