Bill Ayers. Remember him?: Unrepentant terrorist, SDS riotmaker, pal and political mentor of young Barack Obama, and putative author/ghostwriter of Obama’s famous 1995 memoir, Dreams of My Father. In 2011, Ayers (shown) publicly claimed authorship of Dreams (see video of Ayers here ) after Dr. Jack Cashill’s forensic literary analysis — in a 2008 article and his more extensive book-length analysis in 2011, Deconstructing Obama had convincingly made the case that Ayers, a talented wordsmith, had written the book for the unskilled Obama to help launch the up-and-coming young comrade’s political career.
During Obama’s 2008 run for the White House, his longtime association with Ayers and Ayers’ terrorist wife Bernadine Dohrn became a burning issue, at least for conservatives; the liberal-left establishment media either ignored the issue completely or unquestioningly accepted Ayers’ assertion that he and Obama barely knew each other, having merely served together on the boards of a couple of non-profit organizations.Obama’s radical mentor Ayers continues to publicly resurface, on his weblog, in speaking engagements at colleges and universities, in friendly interviews with media organizations that dependably lob easy questions, and in his regular op-eds for “alternative” media, such as the ultra-left Truthout.org, where Ayers is listed as not only a contributing writer, but also a major financial contributor and a member of the board of advisers.
In a September 25, 2015 cordial interview with the Yale Daily News, Yale University’s student newspaper, Ayers casually described himself as “a socialist, anarchist and communist.” (And he looked the part. The portrait photo accompanying the article showed Ayers in his revolutionary chic glory: grizzled Arafat-style stubble-beard, earrings, Mao cap, red shirt and vest.) Not surprisingly, the Yale reporter asked Ayers a powderpuff question about “allegations” that he had committed terrorism. “It’s not true,” Ayers responded, before launching off into his typical tirade about how he and his fellow Weathermen Underground terrorists were righteous prophets sounding the alarm against American genocide in Asia. Naturally, the Yale reporter did not challenge any of Ayers’ “facts” or assertions, nor did he follow up with the obvious questions that begged to be asked.
What/Who Is Truthout.org?
On December 16, I received in my e-mail box my daily message from Truthout.org, this one a fundraising appeal for the organization by Bill Ayers. Ayers holds up for inspiration and emulation Communist-anarchist Rosa Luxemburg, a leading 20th century figure of the Communist movement and a founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). The unrepentant Weatherman writes:
This is an extraordinary time of movement-making — the world we need and desire is being forged in action by people struggling for something better, working together in common cause, gathering momentum and energy.
Whether we know it or not, we’re always caught up in the whirling vortex of history-in-the-making. What we do or fail to do collectively matters. Always. But what can each of us do?
The great revolutionary and loving life-force Rosa Luxemburg, jailed for her opposition to World War I, sent a letter from prison to a friend and comrade who’d complained to her that their movement work was suffering terribly without Luxemburg’s day-to-day leadership.
First, Red Rosa wrote back, stop whining (excellent advice in any circumstance). She went on to urge her friend to try to be a mensch. Oh, I can’t define mensch for you, she said, but a mensch strives to love her own life enough to appreciate the sunset and the sunrise, to enjoy a bottle of wine over dinner with friends, or to take a walk by the sea. But a mensch also loves the world enough to put her shoulder on history’s great wheel when history demands it. Working that out in practice is a daily challenge — it’s also the way forward for all of us.
Be a mensch right now: donate to Truthout. Because I believe so strongly in Truthout’s mission, I’ve donated a set of signed books, including Fugitive Days and Public Enemy, for one lucky reader who contributes tonight. Pitch in any amount and they could be yours!
The appeal is signed: “In solidarity, Bill Ayers, Member of Truthout’s Board of Advisors.”
Truthout’s “About Us” webpage lists Ayers as both a contributing writer and a board member. The website also bestows on him the honorific title of “public intellectual.”
Truthout’s Annual Report for 2014-2015 lists Ayers as one of less than 50 members of its “I.F. Stone Donors Circle” of individual contributors. The Ayers/Truthout association with I.F. “Izzy” Stone is appropriate: Long considered an icon for the Left, Stone was held up as an exemplar of “fierce, independent journalism.” Anti-communists, on the other hand, had often suspected that Stone’s longtime, close association with the Communist Party and numerous Party front groups indicated he was far more than a mere fellow traveler and sympathizer. Those suspicions were confirmed in 2009, when documents from the KGB archives revealed that Stone had been a Soviet agent for decades for mass-murdering dictator Stalin and the Kremlin thugs who succeeded him. His KGB codename was “Pancake.” So, Truthout’s hero, Stone, was helping tyrants stamp truth out and covering for them while they wiped out (ie., “liquidated,” killed) truth tellers. That gives a slightly different meaning to the “Truthout” name, yes?
Although Ayers may be the most notorious “celebrity” on the Truthout masthead, he is surrounded there with comrades of similar hue. Other Truthout writers include: Bill Moyers (of PBS fame), Prof. Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman (New York Times), Dean Baker, Richard D. Wolff, Robert Naiman, Dahr Jamail, Jeff Cohen, William Rivers Pitt, and Henry Giroux. That’s a short list; there are many more.
Prof. Henry Giroux, besides writing for Truthout, sits on the organization’s four-man board of directors. A founding theorist of “critical pedagogy” and a leading spirit in the philosophical subversion known as “critical theory” and Marxism/deconstructionism, Giroux is another Truthout “public intellectual” whose writings are regularly force-fed to our youth in college courses.
Truthout writers can be depended upon to stake out ground to the left of the Democrat Party, and even to attack Democrat leadership for “selling out,” which serves to make the socialism of the Democrats appear centrist and moderate by comparison. Whether the issue is federal spending, health care, gun control, abortion, homosexual “marriage”, LBGTQ “rights,” racial politics, global warming, regulation, etc., Truthout can be relied upon to push for more and more centralized control and governmental power.
This is not surprising when one considers that Truthout writers are also frequently writers for The Nation, Mother Jones, Democracy Now, In These Times, and other far-Left publications. Nevertheless, that does not seem to hinder CNN, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other establishment media megaphones from citing Truthout propaganda as authoritative “investigative reports” in their own reporting.
Who funds Truthout.org? Blogger/researcher Bob Feldman notes that Truthout is not as “independent” as it professes to be. He writes:
On its website, the Truthout.org alternative media group makes the following claim:
We are almost entirely reader-supported. There is absolutely no controlling financial interest behind this organization. Over 95% of our financing comes from small, individual donations. The remainder comes from a small number of grants…We depend solely upon our readership for survival, and so we answer to them alone.
“Yet according to the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy’s Form 990 filing for 2007,” Feldman notes, “Truthout.org was given a grant of $500,000 by the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy ‘for general support to strengthen editorial content through 2008.’”
“The president of the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy that subsidizes the Truthout.org website is Bill Moyers, the former Johnson White House Press Secretary turned-PBS show producer/host,” Feldman continues. He also noted that besides funding the Truthout.org website, the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy owns stock in many of the big corporations that Truthout likes to attack in their anti-capitalist, anti-Wall Street diatribes: Goldman Sachs; American International Group; Fannie Mae; J.P. Morgan Chase; Wachovia; Washington Mutual; Wells Fargo; Exxon Mobil; Chevron; ConocoPhilips; Royal Dutch Shell; General Motors; Ford Motor; Time Warner; Time Warner Cable; Time Warner Telecom; Viacom; CBS; Yahoo; Microsoft; Google; General Electric/NBC; Disney/ABC; United Technologies; Boeing; United Health Group; Starbucks; McDonald’s; and Coca-Cola.
Moyers and the folks at Schumann have used the money generated from these companies to fund other radical groups such as ACORN, Citizen Action, Earth Action Network, Earth Island Institute, Earthjustice, the Environmental Working Group; Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting; Friends of the Earth, The Nation magazine, National Public Radio, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Broadcasting Service; the Sierra Club, the Tides Foundation, and the Tides Center.
The Moyers/Schumann claque seems to have no qualms about milking the system to destroy the system. And the folks at Truthout apparently decided long ago to kick the truth out, in favor of ultra-leftwing dogma.