Jim Lindgren posts that Obama Campaign Denounces Kurtz To a Much Greater Extent Than Ayers, while Steve Diamond posts on how the Obama Campaign Harasses WGN Radio Host.
Most recently, Dr. Kurtz has turned his attention to a subject that Global Labor has been exploring – albeit from a left perspective – the relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers particularly on the $160 million six year long Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) from 1995 to 2001.
In fact, Kurtz was in Chicago this week to examine the records of the CAC held at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). UIC had invited him to look at the records and then, very oddly, revoked their invitation after a discussion with the donor of the records. Then they reversed course again and invited him back, along with a host of mainstream media representatives who were now paying attention to this issue for the first time.
Caller after caller to WGN read off talking points provided them by the Obama campaign alleging that Dr. Kurtz, and by implication and sometimes directly, Milt Rosenberg, was “smearing” Barack Obama and finding Obama “guilty by association.” They also accused Kurtz of lying.
Yet, when pressed for specifics, these callers had none.
Now keep in mind for those of you not familiar with the Rosenberg show: it has run for decades and has always been thought of as a quiet sober discussion space; generally conservative but usually open to a range of views.
Apparently not much effort was made to actually refute the charges, just to shut down the show.
Why this ginned up outrage?
Because Dr. Kurtz has found out as we have been discussing here for some time, that, indeed, Bill Ayers co-founded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and then co-chaired its Collaborative arm while Barack Obama was selected to chair the board of directors of the Challenge.
Together Ayers and Obama worked to hand out more than $160 million in and around the Chicago school system to groups that allegedly were going to work to improve student achievement. The effort failed, miserably, at least on the level of achievement.
But Ayers and others claim it was a success – no doubt because it helped them in their battle with the Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley Jr. who was trying to wrest control of the Annenberg Challenge grant away from Ayers and Obama. Daley was also trying to crush the Local School Councils set up in 1988 after a campaign that Ayers and Obama both participated in. Those Councils were aimed to be a watchdog over the Teachers Union and the School Board. They were failing too and Ayers and Obama viewed the CAC money as a conduit to prop them up.
So it is a hard fact that Ayers and Obama knew each other well before the time the Obama campaign has stated in the past. And clearly Obama well knew that Ayers was not just a guy from the neighborhood as he stated on national TV.
That must be a difficult problem for the Obama camp to swallow – they pushed their candidate to deny, deny, distance, distance, when, in fact, they long knew of the close political relationship between Ayers and Obama. For all we know, the relationship continues. Ayers backs a key policy proposal of Obama education advisor, Linda Darling-Hammond: to wit, the repayment of the alleged “education debt” to people of color.
Mind you, the attack on WGN was no coincidence: the Chicago Tribune has the Obama campaign email, which reads,
Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.”
The thing is, these are not baseless attacks, Kurtz is not s “smear-merchant”, and the political discourse is lowered when a candidates’ minions call to insult a talk-radio host.
Red State has Dr. Stanley Kurtz’s bio:
Stanley Kurtz is an adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute and a fellow at the Hoover Institution with a special interest in America’s “culture war.” In addition to his regular contributions to National Review Online, Kurtz’s writings on the family, feminism, homosexuality, affirmative action, and campus “political correctness” have appeared in Policy Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Commentary.
Before turning his attention to America’s cultural battles, Kurtz was a social scientist specializing in family life and religion. He received his Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University and later taught at Harvard, winning several teaching awards for his work in a “Great Books” program. Kurtz was also Dewey Prize Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Chicago.
Back to Lindgren:
If Obama or his campaign had ever denounced Ayers with the fervor that his campaign has now used in denouncing Kurtz, Obama wouldn’t be having trouble on his connection to Ayers.
Rick Moran also reminds us of Obama’s alliances with other radicals, like the Maoist New Party, to advance his carreer.
Instead of denouncing Ayers, Obama wants to silence his critics . Yet, What is stunning in all this is that there is really nothing stunning about it:
For all Obama’s talk of hope and change and post-partisanship and post-racialism, his campaign — whose very call for “unity” of a type that supresses unfavorable speech, is proving itself to be an enemy of the very heteroglossia progressives always ostensibly champion.
But, as is the case with even the best postmodern novelists, the appearance of openness is one that needs to be carefully constructed and maintained, with the narrative always controlled by an abiding intent — even if that intent is something so seemingly open-ended as a desire not to intend.
Outdoors from the DNC, an ABC news reporter got arrested while investigating the role of lobbyists and donors at the DNC.
More blog commentary at Memeorandum.