Bam’s bombin’ buddy: Whodat??? part 2

The mainstream media are of course collaborating with Barack Obama in his efforts to downplay his relationship with Bill Ayers, to cooperate with Obama in his efforts to dissociate himself from Ayers and to portray Ayers as a former radical turned respectable. Thus Tom Brokaw referred to Ayers this past Sunday on Meet the Press as an educational reformer.

Sol Stern will have none of it. In “The bomber as school reformer,” Stern writes:

Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer. (If you find the metaphor strained, consider that Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times reporter covering the Soviet Union in the 1930s, did, in fact, depict Stalin as a great land reformer who created happy, productive collective farms.) For instance, at a November 2006 education forum in Caracas, Venezuela, with President Hugo Chávez at his side, Ayers proclaimed his support for “the profound educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chávez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.” Ayers concluded his speech by declaring that “Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education—a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation,” and then, as in days of old, raised his fist and chanted: “Viva Presidente Chávez! Viva la Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!”

Stern reminds us that Ayers was a revolutionary driven by hatred of the United States when he was planting bombs in the 1970’s and he is a revolutionary driven by hatred of the United States now. The intervening years include the period of his alliance with his young Chicago friend Barack Obama. Stern drily observes: “For the first time in his life, Ayers seems to be observing Democratic Party discipline and won’t be talking until after November 4.”

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