The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Washington Times Asks Bill Ayers if He Wrote Obama’s First Book

May 20, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Kerry Picket of The Washington Times trekked to Baltimore to hear former Weatherman Bill Ayers speak yesterday and sparked an exchange that the paper is teasing on its op-ed page with a lot of huffing about Ayers’s terrorist past (“His radicalism and chosen profession bring to mind Oscar Wilde’s quip that, ‘Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.’”). Curiously, the paper doesn’t mention what Picket actually asked Ayers about — the conspiracy theory that he ghost-wrote President Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father.”

From the video, after Picket asks Ayers a few times about what the president thinks of his new book:

WASHINGTON TIMES: I’m just curious whether or not your publisher has sent a copy to President Obama.

AYERS: Have you gotten any feedback on your writings from the president? (Laughter)

WASHINGTON TIMES: Considering you may have had a collaboration with “Dreams of (sic) My Father.”

AYERS: I never had a collaboration. No.

WASHINGTON TIMES: No?

AYERS: That’s a myth.

The idea that Ayers wrote Obama’s first memoir was popularized by conservative author Jack Cashill on the conspiracy site WorldNetDaily, one of the hubs of the discredited theory that Obama was not born in Hawaii. Cashill’s investigation is a funny read, full of “proof” like Obama’s use of a nautical metaphor and asides such “in Obama, alas, Ayers may have found a much more lethal weapon to use against the ‘marauding monster’ called America than any pipe bomb he could have ever built.” The most traction this has gotten in the mainstream conservative press was an October blog post by National Review contributer Andy McCarthy, in which he credited Cashill for raising “significant questions about whether Obama is the rara avis he’s portrayed to be.”

For The Washington Times, these are still “significant questions.”

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