Bill Ayers made a visit to the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC to talk about radical education reform, and New York Times Metro reporter Colin Moynihan portrayed the domestic terrorist as a mild-mannered liberal in the misleadingly headlined Monday story "Ex-Radical Talks of Education and Justice, Not Obama."
When did Ayers become an "ex-radical"? He hasn't repudiated any of his views or acts of violence from the period in which he led the Weather Underground in bombing the Pentagon and other government buildings.
Over the last several months, as pundits and partisans have debated the significance of his relationship with Senator Barack Obama, William Ayers has avoided the limelight, steering clear of political commentary and public pronouncements.
But on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Ayers, 63, a founder of the 1960s-era radical group the Weather Underground, a former fugitive, former Chicago Citizen of the Year and current professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, appeared without fanfare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, in Chelsea, to participate in a symposium on educational justice.
In 1995, Mr. Ayers held a fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who was running for a seat in the Illinois State Senate. The two men later served together on the boards of two Chicago philanthropic groups as well as on the board of an education reform organization. The two men have been described as friendly, but not close.
Moynihan came away wondering what the big deal was:
While describing his views on education and social justice, Mr. Ayers hardly resembled the unrepentant terrorist that his critics have sought to paint him as while attacking the Obama campaign.
Did Ayers repent of his violent actions at the Chelsea event? He never has before. If not, then Ayers in fact remains the "unrepentant terrorist" people say he is.
The Times also did its best to fog the air on Ayers in a Sunday Week in Review cover story, with David Kirkpatrick writing of McCain:
His campaign has pelted his rival with attacks that make some of his old advisers wince, like questioning Mr. Obama's patriotism or tying him to 'a domestic terrorist.'
Why is "domestic terrorist" in quotation marks? Surely Kirkpatrick isn't challenging the historical record.