Finger-Wagging Smith Scolds McCain Rep Over NYT Ayers Article

Good thing Nancy Pfotenhauer wasn't in the same studio with Harry Smith this morning. The Early Show anchor might have broken out his hickory stick.  Like a hectoring school marm, Smith scolded McCain adviser Pfotenhauer for what he deemed her insufficient citation of a New York Times article tracing Barack Obama's affiliation with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.

Wagging a stern finger at Pfotenhauer across the airwaves, Smith repeatedly interrupted her, demanding "what was the conclusion, what was the conclusion?"

HARRY SMITH: Nancy, you guys drudge [sic] up Bill Ayers, Gibbs & Co. [Obama campaign] is going to drudge up Charles Keating. Do either of these steps back into the past help answer the question who best to lead, which is the decision America has to make in less than a month?

NANCY PFOTENHAUER: Well you know Harry, I might just point out that we didn't dredge [N.B., Harry] this information up.  The New York Times spent 2,000 words on an article about it the other day.  The Wall Street Journal --

SMITH: And what was the conclusion, excuse me?

PFOTENHAUER: -- has written on it --

SMITH: Excuse me, what was the conclusion --

PFOTENHAUER: The Chicago papers also --

SMITH: Excuse me, what was the conclusion?  What was the conclusion? What was the conclusion of that article?

PFOTENHAUER: What the article also concluded is that if Senator McCain had hung out with somebody who bombed abortion clinics, no one would consider it illegitimate [to raise it].  And again I might point out Hillary Clinton raised this as an issue as well.

Smith was presumably referring to the Times' assertion that the men "do not appear to have been close."  But the article also found that Obama "has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers."  

The invaluable Stanley Kurtz, writing at NRO, has labelled the NYT story a "whitewash."  Kurtz has spent countless hours researching Obama's seamy associations, and has been the target of an Obama campaign to silence him.

If Smith were seriously interested in getting the facts on Ayers-Obama, he'd have Kurtz on as a guest.  In the meantime, Smith's angry, finger-waving tirade evidences just what a sore point the Ayers-Obama connection is with the MSM and how far the liberal media will go to discredit those who raise it.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.