Yes, Bill Ayers Is Messing With People
Jonah Goldberg steps back from the “Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s memoir” conspiracy after catching an Oct. 3 writeup of an Ayers speech. It appeared in National Journal, behind a pay wall, so few people saw it as Annie Leary’s “scoop” flitted around the blogosphere.
When he finished speaking, we put the authorship question right to him. For a split second, Ayers was nonplussed. Then an Abbie Hoffmanish, steal-this-book-sort-of-smile lit up his face. He gently took National Journal by the arm. “Here’s what I’m going to say. This is my quote. Be sure to write it down: ‘Yes, I wrote Dreams From My Father. I ghostwrote the whole thing. I met with the president three or four times, and then I wrote the entire book.’” He released National Journal’s arm, and beamed in Marxist triumph. “And now I would like the royalties.”
Ayers is messing with conservatives. People he’s duped so far: Jonah Goldberg, his mother Lucianne Goldberg, Tom Maguire, Dennis Byrne, Carol Platt Lieblau, and a bunch of other conservatives, some of whom try to split the difference by suggesting that Ayers is revealing a little bit of truth behind the sarcasm. How embarrassing.
One reason that I suspected Ayers of messing with people? He’s done it to me. In 2001, I met him at a book signing, joined by a few fellow college students who were attempting to nail him on the then-hot controversy of his comments that he wished he’d made more bombs–comments that happened to appear in the 9/11/01 edition of the New York Times. Ayers messed with us, joking back and forth, giving us a map of Afghanistan, and signing my copy of the book with a happy left-wing message.