Let's get the preliminaries out of the way. It's another week, and still nothing from Jack about Sarah Palin's tumbling poll numbers, her abuse of power as Governor, her damaging interviews with Katie Couric - nothing. Truly surprising as Jack's been one of her biggest supporters for a while.
No, my friends, Jack Kelly's got yet another William Ayers story - one with "information" from yet another questionable news source. Last week the source was Newsmax, this week it's World Net Daily.
I'll ask it again - can someone tell me why a columnist from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is using such wingnut "news" sources for material? Anyone? Surely someone sitting at the P-G right now reading this can give me a hint. Even a teensy one. Please?
In a column filled with oily innuendo, Jack tries to make the case that the Ayers/Obama link is stronger than it's been presented so far. One example:
Mr. Ayers was in graduate school at Columbia University when Barack Obama was an undergraduate there in the early 1980s. Did they meet then?According to his CV, William Ayers earned an MA from the Bank Street College of Education in 1984. It was presumably after that (fall of 1984?) that he began his studies at Columbia. He received two degrees in education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in 1987.
Senator Obama graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a degree in political science.
You do the math. Columbia currently has about 20,000 students. Even if it was half that 20+ years ago, what are the chances Barack Obama actually met William Ayers at Columbia? Especially since they were neither attending the same school or even the University at the same time?
I attended the University of Connecticut in the early 80s. So did Meg Ryan. What are the chances, do you think, that we met there? By Jack's logic, pretty good. IN REALITY, next to no chance at all.
Investigative reporter Jack Cashill has noted some intriguing coincidences between Sen. Obama's 1995 autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," and Mr. Ayers' 2001 book, "Fugitive Days," for which Sen. Obama wrote a dust-jacket blurb. Both books have the same lyrical style and are filled with nautical imagery, which would come naturally to Mr. Ayers, who spent a year as a merchant seaman, but which appear nowhere else in Mr. Obama's writing.Please note the word "coincidences" in the first paragraph - it's very important and it's the key to Jack's dishonesty in this column. If you go take a look at what "Investigative reporter Jack Cashill" has to say about the Obama and Ayers books (this is the material Jack gets from World Net Daily), you'll find that he's NOT talking about "coincidences" at all.
Excerpts from "Fugitive Days" and from "Dreams From My Father" both scored 54 on reading ease and a 12th-grade reading level on the Flesch Reading Ease Score, Mr. Cashill found. Scores can range from 0 to 121. Excerpts from "Fugitive Days" averaged 23.13 words a sentence. "Dreams" averaged 23.36 words a sentence. Excerpts from Sen. Obama's second book, "The Audacity of Hope," average 29 words per sentence, and a ninth-grade reading level, Mr. Cashill said. [emphasis added]
What Cashill writes is the new wingnut story: William Ayers ghost wrote Barack Obama's book, "Dreams of My Father."
That's right. They want us to think that Ayers ghost wrote Obama's book.
Now go back to Jack. While he uses Cashill's "information" he describes it as "coincidence." But Cashill isn't talking "coincidences" is he? So Jack's actually MISQUOTING Cashill, isn't he?
Doesn't anyone at the P-G check this stuff?
There's some problems with this story, however. We'll jump to Cashill for some details:
Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write "Dreams From My Father," he had written very close to nothing.And:
Then, in 1995, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time magazine has called – with a straight face – "the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."Actually it was Joe Klein - in 2006, but that's a minor point. The thing is, Cashill spends a lot of time finding "similarities" between Obama's "Dreams of My Father" and Ayers's "Fugitive Days."
Someone should tell Cashill that "Fugitive Days" was published in 2001. Let's think for a bit. If the story is true, that Ayers ghost wrote Dreams of My Father, then it's also true that he plagiarized himself 6 years later, isn't it? This is what they want you to think.
This is how absurd the wingnuts have become. I long for the days when we were regaled of stories about the silent black helicopters and the foreign troops training on American soil who'll soon be forcing the US to join the "New World Order" of a newly formed totalitarian UN. By comparison to the "Ayers wrote Obama's book" story, it almost sounds rational, doesn't it?
By the way, I ran a Flesch test on Jack's column. It scored a 54.18.