Ayers and the Old Glory Boogie

posted at 10:50 am on May 5, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Well, let’s add to the avalanche of hits going to the Marathon Pundit this morning, who discovers a circa 2001 photo of William Ayers doing what looks to be the Twist on an American flag. The picture comes from a Chicago Magazine profile of Ayers, who had begun promoting his memoir of domestic terrorist called Fugitive Days. Here are two versions of the picture from that photo shoot:

Even in the CM profile, which tends towards the hagiographic, Ayers has no regrets about his domestic terrorism:

At 55, Bill Ayers, the notorious sixties radical, still carries a whiff of that rock ‘n’ roll decade: the oversize wire-rim glasses that, in a certain light, reveal themselves as bifocals; a backpack over his shoulder—not some streamlined, chic job, but a funky backpack-of-the-people, complete with a photo button of abolitionist John Brown pinned to one strap.

Yet he is also a man of the moment. For example: There is his cell phone, laid casually on the tabletop of this neighborhood Taylor Street coffee shop, and his passion for double skim lattes. In conversation, he has an immediate, engaging presence; he may not have known you long but, his manner suggests, he’s already fascinated. Then there is his quick laugh and his tendency to punctuate his comments by a tap on your arm. …

One of the Weatherman leaders was Bernardine Dohrn, a smart, magnetic figure who, in part because of her penchant for miniskirts and knee-high boots, was dubbed “La Pasionaria of the Lunatic Left” by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. After a bomb exploded accidentally and killed three of their colleagues, Ayers and Dohrn “hooked up,” in the parlance of the day, and, since 1982, they have been married. This—violence, death, and white-hot rhetoric—is his past and Ayers insists he has no regrets. “I acted appropriately in the context of those times,” he says. But it’s hard to reconcile this quick-witted man with that revolutionary. Today Bill Ayers seems too happy to have ever been so angry.

Marcia Froelke Coburn doesn’t bother to ask Ayers any tough questions in this interview. She notes the Weather Underground robberies and murders of 1981 but never mentions Dohrn’s part in those crimes, nor her refusal to testify against the murderers they counted as their close friends. She does manage to catch Ayers in a moment of hypocrisy, however:

Certainly there are moments when Ayers has the sound of the sixties down pat, like when he tells me, “Imperialism or globalization—I don’t have to care what it’s called to hate it.” And then there are moments when he sounds light-years away from his radical sensibilities, more like an old grump lamenting today’s uninformed youth: He tells me a story about going into Starbucks and having the young woman behind the counter mistake his photo pin of John Brown for Walt Whitman. “And when I told her, no, it’s John Brown, she said, ‘Who is John Brown?’”

But I am struck by another part of that story. What are you doing in a Starbucks? I ask the man who professes to hate globalization.

“Oh,” he says. “I have an addiction to caffeine.”

Allow me to offer Ayers a solution: fair-trade coffee and a Thermos.

The optics of these picture will not help Barack Obama make his case that Ayers’ radicalism existed when Obama was only eight years old. At the time of this magazine profile, Obama and Ayers served together on the Woods Foundation board of directors. Obama worked for Ayers at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as the board’s chair in 1996, well documented by Tom Maguire even while it isn’t documented at all by Obama.

The Old Glory Boogie in 2001 will again raise questions about Obama’s judgment in working with America-hating radicals and lunatics. At some point, one has to wonder whether this shows bad judgment or reveals something about Obama’s real views on America and politics — and which would be worse in the White House.


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I notice he doesn’t wear a flag pin either. Hates globalization until it’s time for a caffeine fix. His house is probably full of contradictions like that and his clothes were probably made in sweat shops. What this phony has-been wanna be deserves is nothingness. But the media talks to him like he’s some kind of legend. He’s a legend all right, in his own mind.

scalleywag on May 5, 2008 at 4:42 PM

He’d still be in jail had the FBI not screwed up his case. I hope he dies of eye cancer next week.

Akzed on May 5, 2008 at 4:45 PM

“I could no more disavow this man than disavow the entire terrorist community.”

- Barry Hussein

drjohn on May 5, 2008 at 4:55 PM

He’d still be in jail had the FBI not screwed up his case. I hope he dies of eye cancer next week.

Akzed on May 5, 2008 at 4:45 PM

That seems kind of harsh. I mean, it’s one thing to want justice and another to…..

Ah shit, you’re right.

drjohn on May 5, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Off topic, but if anyone wants to check the status of their stimulus payment, the link is here.

faraway on May 5, 2008 at 4:57 PM

I notice he doesn’t wear a flag pin either.

scalleywag on May 5, 2008 at 4:42 PM

He does wear lapel pins though!

Recently, when Ayers sat for yet another Times interview — this one to discuss the triumph of Chesa’s Rhodes Scholarship — he showed up wearing a red-star revolutionary pin.

Story date: 12/16/2002.
Roots of a Rhodes Scholar Radical

I wonder if Obama ever saw him wear that pin.

Buy Danish on May 5, 2008 at 5:02 PM

This scumbag should be DEAD. Plain-and-simple. The officials that were responsible for the misconduct of this bastard should’ve been criminally charged, convicted, and sent to the very same prison Ayers dodged. He tries to play the happy-go-lucky man of change (like Obama), but, inside, he’s still the same evil, bloodthirsty killer terrorist, and the press is just as bad. They’ve gotten into bed with groups like Hamas, AQI, al-Qaeda, and the Hussein government (thanks to CNN). Now, they’ve found a domestic darling: an allegedly “ex” terrorist that’s an “all American”, and friends of the “next president”. We really need to start boycotting all media outlets that feature guys like this, and any other terrorists, even if it means killing virtually every, TV station, magazine and newspaper in the land.

Virus-X on May 5, 2008 at 5:19 PM

drjohn on May 5, 2008 at 4:56 PM

To quote from “Office Space”,

He should be sent to federal pound-me-in-the-@ass prison.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on May 5, 2008 at 5:24 PM

He should be sent to federal pound-me-in-the-@ass prison.

lol, I think you meant to type “@ss”

pseudonominus on May 5, 2008 at 5:57 PM

gee, what a hero. how brave eyeroll

funky chicken on May 5, 2008 at 6:04 PM

I wonder what Hannity’s top story will be tonight? Ayers and Obama are disgusting. Obama just hides it better.

SouthernGent on May 5, 2008 at 6:29 PM

How long has Obama been living in a bubble? How long has Chicago itself been in a bubble?

Anarchists in academia, in law, in churches? Flagrant parades of illegals in the streets? Maybe there are two Americas: an amoral or morally relativistic urban area and the rest of us.

Obama can sit through a long, screaming sermon and not hear anything. How can we hold him responsible to be aware of what his associates are up to?

Hening, it’s the superiority of the soundproof bubble, I tell you.

No wonder Obama was clueless about how offensive his comments in San Francisco were.

onlineanalyst on May 5, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Ayers treats the flag with the same respect he treats the country. I think we should respect him and his political fellow travelers every bit as much!

alacrityfitzhugh on May 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM

May a flock of hungry vultures mistake this piece of humanoid dreck for an ambulatory gobbet of rotting meat.

Not that he isn’t…

All the lattes in the world won’t wash about the slimy corruption that festers within this pusbag.

Obama’s buddy.

profitsbeard on May 5, 2008 at 9:27 PM

But I am struck by another part of that story. What are you doing in a Starbucks? I ask the man who professes to hate globalization.

What?…, just another hypocrite.
Move on folks, nothing to see here… /MSM

4shoes on May 5, 2008 at 9:40 PM

The pattern for Obama being friends with Ayers, listening to Rev. Wright for 20 years, association with Rezco, I cannot understand why Democrats especially the media still fawns on this guy. Is the media so anti-American? They should move to another country – say Venezuela, Iran, China or Russia. They would love it there, I bet.

mariloubaker on May 5, 2008 at 9:57 PM

It’s always fun to switch Democrats with Republicans in the same situation and imagine what the media would be saying, but with the Obama campaign, it’s become more head-popping than a Kafka play. Imagine John McCain was discovered to have been attending the Westboro Baptist Church for 20 years, and responded by giving a speech about how Fred Phelps is a part of the American experience, a man he could no more disown than he could disown the entire white community. Imagine the majority of white Americans sitting quietly by as Phelps is declared one of their most important voices, and rewarding McCain with only slightly diminished poll numbers. A few weeks later, Phelps gives an interview accusing McCain of being a disingenuous politician, which makes an angry McCain completely reverse his previous excuses and finally denounce his hateful pastor – to a thunderous round of media applause and loud calls to let the story die. Around the same time, we begin seeing pictures of McCain’s old friend, an abortion clinic bomber, tap-dancing on an American flag. The media responds by yawning and suggesting McCain’s primary opponent should drop out of the race so we can get back to “the issues…” You can’t do it. No matter how good your imagination is, your mind’s eye ends up bloodshot and blurry before you get halfway through the scenario. The Democrats are hungry for power and eager to forgive the Messiah, the media is eager to polish his shoes, and a portion of the hardcore left thinks Wright and Ayers are a feature, not a bug… but I have to think normal Americans are going to recoil from the Dem ticket in horror this year.

Doctor Zero on May 5, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Recently, when Ayers sat for yet another Times interview — this one to discuss the triumph of Chesa’s Rhodes Scholarship — he showed up wearing a red-star revolutionary pin.

Story date: 12/16/2002.
Roots of a Rhodes Scholar Radical

Buy Danish on May 5, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Yeah, I wrote something about this a couple of weeks ago. The fruit certainly didn’t land far from the tree. The kid is up to his eyebrows in Venezuelan leftist clap trap. You can actually watch a video on YouTube in which Chesa interviews Ayers for some leftist south american organization. The scene is made complete by the framed picture of Che behind them.

moxie_neanderthal on May 5, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Not to belabor the point, but Ayers is a true scumbag in every sense of the word.

JonRoss on May 6, 2008 at 12:27 AM

Never a sniper around when you need one..
Hmmm, that gives me an idea..

Viper1 on May 6, 2008 at 6:43 AM

Yeah, he bravely dances on top of the flag in a back alley somewhere. He is so courageous in that deep dark hiding place he found. Just him and his photographer. A real man.
The thing is, he can step on it and kick it, cover it with mud,, but for all he tries, he will never be able to actually dirty it. He can wish all he wants to,, but this small minded boy will never know the real courage and bravery of those who fought for this flag and carried in into battle. That flag may lie under his feet,, but it still is taller and higher than he ever could be. As much as he wishes, he will never be able to change that.

JellyToast on May 6, 2008 at 8:07 AM

The scene is made complete by the framed picture of Che behind them.

moxie_neanderthal on May 5, 2008 at 11:54 PM

Yep, I’ve seen that video, and another where Ayers sports a baseball shirt that says “Cuba”.

I wonder how the Ayers/Dhorn home is decorated, and what Barry would have seen at that famous fund raiser they held for him. Maybe House & Garden could arrange to photograph it for us.

I envision a very chic Warhol holding a place of prominence somewhere.

Buy Danish on May 6, 2008 at 10:21 AM

This man (I use the term man loosely)is a boil on the arse of America!

kcd on May 6, 2008 at 10:48 AM

pseudonominus on May 5, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Yeah, thanks. It was a little typographical diarrhea on my part.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on May 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Here is an article from 1993 called “At Home with Bernadine Dorhn; Same Passion, New Tactics”. No mention of Che’ posters, just a rocking chair, a log cabin, and a tales of woe, like –

“Everyone tries to make it finally over, but it is far from over,” Ms. Dohrn said. “I was shocked at the anger toward me. I think part of it’s reserved for women. You stepped out of the role of the good girl.”

A little unintended irony:

They named their children after some of their heroes. Their older son, Zayd Osceola Ayers Dohrn, was named in honor of Zayd Shakur, the Black Panther killed in New Jersey during a shootout with police in 1973, and Osceola, the Seminole chief who sheltered runaway slaves. Their 13-year-old, Malik Cochise, takes his names from Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) and the 19th-century Apache chief who fought settlers encroaching on his land.

But even with political namesakes and summer camp, Ms. Dohrn said it isn’t easy to raise children in a world hostile to many of their parents’ ideals. “Over all, many of society’s values are a cesspool,” she said. “It’s a crisis faced by any parent. It’s hard to compete with MTV.”

Buy Danish on May 6, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I wonder why Obama didn’t include this blurb on his “fact check” website?

“A memoir that is, in effect, a deeply moving elegy to all those young dreamers who tried to live decently in an indecent world. Ayers provides a tribute to those better angels of ourselves.”
-Studs Terkel, author of Working and The Good War

It sounds so much better than what he did include:

Terkel: Ayers Is A “Sensitive And Gifted” Writer And Teacher. Studs Terkel wrote, “William Ayers is as sensitive and gifted a chronicler as he is a teacher.”

Buy Danish on May 6, 2008 at 2:38 PM

The Chicago Magazine site is suffering from overload. After reading the puff piece (wondering all the while why the Ayers are not in jail) my curiosity was peaked about the Weather Underground. More reading on the subject and another link among Obama’s associates was revealed.

Jeremiah the Bullfrog was not the originator of “Amerikkka” …the Weathermen were. Reading Bernadette Dohrn’s manifestos revealed that fomenting unrest among the blacks was a 1970′s thing among the SDS left-wing radicals. The SDS, WU and Black Panthers were joined at the hip.

Forgive the black helicopter whirl, but Barry might be the new sophisticated leader of an old organization cast in communist revolution …with an Islamic twist.

What do I know for sure? Obama scares the Hell out of me.

herdgadfly on May 6, 2008 at 10:04 PM

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