Times Again Glosses Over Bill Ayers' Terrorism, Attacks Ad Instead

For the third story in a row, Jim Rutenberg shrugs off Obama associate Bill Ayers' bombing of the U.S. Capitol to instead obsess over the funding of a conservative ad questioning the relationship.

"Obama Campaign Wages Fight Against Conservative Group's Ads" is the third story from Jim Rutenbergattacking an anti-Obama ad from the American Issues Project questioning the relationship between Barack Obamaand radical terrorist Bill Ayers.

In each story, Rutenberg appears far more worked up about the legality of the ads than in the underlying facts of Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist turned professor of education in Chicago.Rutenberg's first 10 paragraphs on Wednesday are devoted to the back-and-forth machinations, again questioning the group's funding while suggesting dubiouslinks to the McCain campaign. Rutenberg noted thatObama is striking back with a counter-ad and the threat of legal action to have the ads taken down:

As Senator Obama's campaign makes its argument for his candidacy before a national audience here this week, it is waging a separate, forceful campaign against a new conservative group running millions of dollars of ads linking him to the 1960s radical William Ayers Jr.

Lawyers for the campaign have asked the Justice Department to investigate the group - which is operating under rules governing non-profit corporations - calling on television stations to cease airing the spot, and, campaign officials said, planning to pressure advertisers on stations that refuse to do so. The ad is running in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

On Monday, the Obama campaign also began running a rotation of advertisements countering the spot where it is running and not-so-subtly implying it is the product of the McCain campaign, with a narrator who says, "With all of our problems, why is John McCain talking about the '60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers? McCain knows Obama denounced Ayers' crimes."

For good measure, Rutenberg took another bite out of the best-selling book "The Obama Nation" (his first one was in a front-pagestory August 13. On Wednesday he wrote:

Its formation followed the recent release of a book by Jerome Corsi - who co-authored a book containing the Swift Boat group's claims against Mr. Kerry - that contained various factual errors and unsubstantiated claims against Mr. Obama.

After Rutenberg mildly explained how the Obama camp is trying to force the ads off the air by leaning on the Justice Department and election laws, he finally addressed Ayers' terrorism in three brief paragraphs:

Mr. Ayers, now a professor of education in Chicago, was a founder of the Weather Underground, which bombed government buildings in the early 1970s. He was indicted on conspiracy charges that were thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct.

He served with Mr. Obama on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a charitable organization, and, along with his wife, the former Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn, hosted Mr. Obama at his home in 1995 when he was running for state office.

Mr. Obama has called Mr. Ayers "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old."

That's far from the full story on Ayers. Ayers group didn't targetarandom government building like asewage treatment plant, but the U.S. Capitol. In a story that appeared in the Times on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Ayers told a reporter while promoting his memoir "Fugitive Days": "I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough."