In Saturday's "Attacking Obama's Associations," New York Times reporter Michael Cooper reviewed a John McCain campaign ad emphasizing Barack Obama's ties to controversial Chicago political figures like the radical Bill Ayers and the felonious fundraiser Tony Rezko. He wasn't impressed, which is no surprise from the McCain-mocking Cooper. But did Cooper really compare domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to shady financier Charles Keating? Why yes, yes he did.
But first, Cooper confidently claimed that
--the effort to tie Mr. Obama to Mr. Ayers is overstated. Mr. Ayers, who is now an education professor in Chicago, did host a coffee for Mr. Obama's first run for office, and serve with him on a charitable board, but the two men do not appear to have been close, and Mr. Obama does not appear to have expressed sympathy for Mr. Ayers's past radical actions.
Bob Bennett is a man of integrity, and the Democratic half of the political Bennett Brothers. He appeared last night on Mark Levin's nationally syndicated radio show to debunk the media myth built-up around Arizona Senator John McCain's role in the Keating Five mess circa the late 1980s and early 1990s.
(Brother Bill served as Secretary of President Ronald Reagan's Department of Education and Director of President George H.W. Bush's Office of National Drug Control Policy, and is now a nationally syndicated radio host in his own right, of "Bill Bennett's Morning in America.")
Bob Bennett is an attorney, and was at the time of the Keating Five scandal hired by the Senate Ethics Committee as Special Counsel to lead the investigation into what had happened. After over a year of exhaustive examination, Bennett recommended that Sen. McCain (and Sen. John Glenn of Ohio) be exonerated of all charges having to do with the Keating scandal. The ethics committee, which was majority Democratic, rejected Bennett's recommendation.
The Associated Press has long been a bastion of liberal bias. But has it now sunk to the level of a left-wing blog in the throes of Palin Derangement Syndrome? Yes, suggests the Morning Joe folks. In a rare bit of unanimity, the panel condemned and ridiculed AP for its "analysis" item, "Palin's words carry racial tinge." According to Douglass K. Daniel, the item's author, Palin's criticism of Barack Obama for his association with Ayers somehow carries "a racially tinged subtext." See Warner Todd Huston's earlier discussion here.
Mika Brzezinski questioned the strategic wisdom of the McCain campaign's playing of the Ayers card, but even she joined in the excoriation of the AP.