Film | Politics

July 31, 2008

Notes from the Weather Underground

A 2003 documentary on the radical group known as the Weathermen could shed some light on the relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers.

Craig Fehrman

During ABC's coverage of the Democratic debate on April 16th—which could easily have been confused with a running of the Gotcha GamesGeorge Stephanopoulos asked Barack Obama about his relationship with Bill Ayers. After briefly describing Ayers's past as a violent radical in the 1970s, Stephanopoulos added, "On 9/11, he was quoted in the New York Times as saying 'I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough.' "Hillary Clinton also hit on the 9/11 connection, using her rebuttal to clarify the "deeply hurtful" nature of Ayers's comments. So too did John McCain in his April 20th appearance on ABC News's "This Week."

There is, however, one glaring problem in all of this. Ayers's actual comments, no matter how troubling, were made before the attacks on the World Trade Center, and just happened to be published on that fateful day. This was bad luck as much as bad taste, yet Stephanopoulos, Clinton, and McCain all willfully ignored that fact.

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Article by Craig Fehrman

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