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NEW YORK – For the first time, the unrepentant founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist group who helped launch Barack Obama's political career, Bill Ayers, has agreed to sit down for a major in-studio television interview.
Surprisingly, it wasn't MSNBC or CNN that copped the exclusive but Megyn Kelly and the Fox News Channel, which is routinely derided by the left as a megaphone for right-wing propaganda. The taped interview is scheduled to air Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Both Ayers and Obama – who was accused by Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2008 of "palling around with terrorists" – have played down or dismissed the many documented connections they have to each other going back to the 1980s, and it's unknown whether or not Kelly probes Ayers on the relationship in her interview.
But, as seen in a teaser promo, she drills down on whether or not Ayers, to this day, believes his violent movement – which bombed the U.S. Capitol and other buildings to further its aim of overthrowing the federal government – was justified.
Kelly cites a sentence from Ayers' book “Fugitive Days” in which he wrote that while he could not quite imagine putting a bomb in a building today, he couldn't entirely dismiss the possibility either.
“What would it take to make you bomb this country again?” Kelly asks.
The promo saves Ayers' response for Monday night.
Ayers and his Weather Underground co-founder, Bernardine Dohrn, now his wife, held in the living room of their Hyde Park, Chicago, home the first fundraiser for Obama in his effort to win a seat in the Illinois state Senate. Ayers and Obama served on the boards of two far-left non-profits, and a friendly Obama biographer has confirmed WND columnist Jack Cashill's well-researched conclusion that Ayers was the primary writer of Obama's highly praised autobiography, "Dreams from My Father." The book was used to burnish the credentials of an unusually unknown and inexperienced presidential candidate in the 2008 election campaign.
Curiously, the Fox News teaser opens with a brief glimpse of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, sitting in the background as Kelly interviews Ayers.
Insiders have confirmed that not only was D'Souza present on the set with Ayers during Kelly's interview with Ayers, but D'Souza had also arranged the interview itself.
WND confirmed through an advance screening of “America” June 18 in New York City that the film includes several clips of Ayers from the Dartmouth debate. The film presents many voices on the political left as D'Souza argues for American exceptionalism.
D'Souza's new documentary takes aim at the progressive ideology embraced by Obama and the Democratic Party that, for many of its adherents, including Ayers, manifests itself in a disdain for America and the values of its founders. D'Souza, in "America," imagines what the world would be like without the U.S. and explores why the radical left views it as the world's most dangerous nation, bent on oppressing and exploiting the vulnerable.
In May, D'Souza pleaded guilty to a campaign-finance charge that many believe was payback for his 2012 film "2016: Obama's America" and his upcoming "America."
The promo for the interview to air Monday shows Kelly, a lawyer as well as a journalist, confronting Ayers with a list of terrorist acts committed by the Weather Underground, including bombings, murder and stealing money and the identity of dead babies.
She lists times, places, and names of accomplices in describing Ayers involvement in the bombing of police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, the State Department and the Pentagon in the 1970s.
Kelly cites to Ayers a statement the New York Times attributed to Dohrn at the time of the Charles Manson murders.
“Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson,” Dohrn allegedly said.
“This is nonsense,” Ayers replied with irritation. “And this is something, again, that gets recalculated.”
Ayers and Dohrn were communist revolutionary terrorists who went underground after Dohrn was charged with instigating riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. Several of of their Weather Underground associates were killed when bombs they were building blew up in a Greenwich Village townhouse. The group was planning to bomb Fort Dix Army Base in New Jersey. Ayers participated in more than 30 bombings in 11 years. In a New York Times op-ed published Sept. 11, 2001, he wrote: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Ayers and Dohrn surfaced in 1980 and turned themselves in to face the Chicago riot charges. But the federal charges were dropped because the FBI used illegal wiretaps to learn of their crimes.
As WND reported in 2008 when many Ayers defenders sought to minimize his bomb attacks because they purportedly did not target people, a former FBI informant who penetrated the group claimed he witnessed a meeting in which members discussed a future communist takeover of America in which some 25 million “diehard capitalists” would need to be killed.
'Militant, anti-war activist'
In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with WND after the Dartmouth debate in January, Ayers repeatedly criticized Obama, characterizing him as a moderate politician whom he barely knew as a resident of his Chicago neighborhood.
“I wish Barack Obama had listened to me and followed my advice, but it didn’t happen and it’s not going to happen,” Ayers told WND.
Ayers, described himself as a "militant, anti-war activist," explained that if her were president, he would pull out of the Middle East wars and press for a single-payer health care system.
Some observers of Ayers, who note his many documented ties to Obama, interpret his public distancing as a strategy to promote the president. Ayers and Obama both studied the tactics of the guru of 1960s radicalism, Saul Alinsky, who believed the most effective way to transform America into a socialist state was through infiltrating the system and bringing about incremental change.
Obama worked closely with Ayers at a far-left education-reform foundation Ayers founded, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, according to the foundation's own archived records.
Obama, who was appointed in 1995 as chairman of the organization's board, later touted his CAC position as evidence of his qualification for public office.
National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz found that Ayers was CAC's "guiding spirit" and concluded no one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without Ayers' approval.
Kurtz said the CAC archives demonstrated Obama and Ayers worked as a team to further the foundation’s agenda. Obama was in charge of fiscal matters, while Ayers’ was more concerned with shaping educational policy.
According to the documents, the CAC granted money to far-left causes, such as the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which, WND reported, assisted Obama’s presidential campaign.
WND broke the story that while Obama chaired the board of the CAC, more than $600,000 was granted to an organization founded by Ayers and run by Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist. Klonsky was leader of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, which was effectively recognized by China as the U.S. Maoist party.
In 1995, the year Ayers founded the CAC, he gave an interview for author Ron Chepesiuk’s book “Sixties Radicals” in which he stated, “I’m a radical, leftist, small ‘c’ communist.”
WND also was first to report Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund, a liberal Chicago nonprofit, alongside Ayers from 1999 to December 2002, according to the Fund’s website.
The two appeared together as speakers at several public events, including a 1997 University of Chicago panel titled “Should a child ever be called a ‘super predator?’” and another panel for the University of Illinois in April 2002 titled “Intellectuals: Who needs them?”