How Dare Ad Link Terrorist Bill Ayers to Barack Obama

Jim Rutenberg spends the first half of his story on a new anti-Obama campaign ad obsessing over who is funding it and whether or not it's legal.

Jim Rutenberg's Friday piece, "Group Plans Ad Criticizing Obama's Ties To Ex-Radical," ostensibly deals with a newindependent issue ad raising questions about Obama's friendship with the homegrown terrorist Bill Ayers, cofounder of the Weathermen, the group that tried to blow up the U.S. Capitol in 1971.

But Rutenberg hardly addressed the Obama-Ayers association. Instead, he spends the first seven paragraphs of the story dwelling on the American Issues Project (the group putting out the ad), fretting over whether it has to disclose its donors to the public andquestioning the ad's legality.

Eventually Rutenberg devoted all of three paragraphs to the actualissue raised by the ad:Obama's association with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist turned respectable leftist academic in Chicago:

The spot, running one minute, draws a parallel between plans for the bombings of the Pentagon and the United States Capitol - for which the Weather Underground claimed responsibility - and the Sept. 11 attacks. A narrator reports that Mr. Obama is "friends with Ayers" and that Mr. Obama's "political career was launched at Ayers's home."

Still, Rutenberg sheltered Obama:

Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn, both of whom went on to become law professors, hosted Mr. Obama at their Chicago home in 1995 when Mr. Obama was running for office, although that was not considered a vital moment in his political career. Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a charitable organization focused on welfare reform and affordable housing. In April, Mr. Obama said Mr. Ayers was "not somebody who I exchanged ideas from on a regular basis" and called him "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old."