Did Bill Ayers Admit He Wrote “Dreams From My Father”?

I remain doubtful.

This short video from a Q&A session last Thursday with Bill Ayers has gone viral while I’ve been enjoying my weekend. I haven’t bothered to look to see what the leftie blogs are saying, if anything, but every source on the right I’ve seen mention it are taking it as an admission he ghost wrote President Obama’s memoir.

Watch and judge for yourself:

I don’t see it. Without having seen more of the man, I can’t say with absolute certainty one way or another. But this strikes me as a dry joke about the persistent rumour that he wrote the book for Obama, not an admission that the rumour is true.

[Edited for clarity.]

UPDATE: Allahpundit and John Hawkins join me in declining to take Ayers’ bait.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Quick Takes,
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.

Comments

  1. Aidan says:

    I know detecting sarcasm isn’t always easy but Jesus Christ.

  2. SEK says:

    No, he didn’t. I can use, and did use, Cashill’s “methodology” to prove that the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress wrote Obama’s book. Honestly, take it from an credentialed literary critic: Cashill’s planted this seed of a narrative in the hopes that it’ll grow, but as an actual literary scholar, his abuse of the tools of my trade offends me, as it should you, as the aforelinked evidence shows. (Sorry for jumping from Ayers to Cashill, but the latter’s responsible for disseminating the idea that the former wrote Obama’s memoirs.)

  3. Dodd says:

    I trust, Aidan, that my edit to remove any ambiguity I might have inadvertently conveyed about my opinion has calmed you down some.

  4. Scott says:

    “this strikes me as a dry joke”

    Let me guess, the part about royalties was your clue that this might not be a confession?

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

    Dodd’s done his duty as part of the right wing echo chamber.

    Now he can rest.

  6. Kylopod says:

    >Let me guess, the part about royalties was your clue that this might not be a confession?

    That provided a clue. As did the audience’s laughter, and Ayers’ own smile at the end. The way he timed it reminded me a little of the scene from Stand and Deliver where the kid played by Lou Diamond Phillips pretends to confess to cheating on the test:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1S_MptIR44

  7. Hey Norm says:

    All the so-called republicans have done since the November election is increase the debt and wage a culture/class war. At least this will give them something else to obsess over besides the uteruses of American women.

  8. Dodd says:

    Dodd’s done his duty as part of the right wing echo chamber.

    Apparently you didn’t actually read the post. Or even the entire headline.

    Sheesh.

  9. jwest says:

    As a point of contrast and reminder of the glaring hypocrisy of the MSM, don’t you think that if Obama was a republican, some enterprising reporter would do a follow-up interview?

    So typical. Along these same lines, last week Doug Mataconis ran an article highlighting the results of a Daily Beast/Newsweek poll on citizenship questions. It showed a large percentage of Americans woefully lacking in basic civics knowledge. I commented that Newsweek would have certainly asked for demographic information as part of the poll, and that the results must have shown those on the left doing substantially worse than the right because the results weren’t mentioned.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/america-the-ignorant/#comments

    Naturally, the left wingers on this site couldn’t accept that deduction as obvious. Newsweek and the Daily Beast were not admitting it and semi-influential blogs were not asking the questions to find the truth. The matter slid into obscurity until Tina Brown, Daily Beast founder and Newsweek editor in chief appeared on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show Friday evening. As Maher reaffirmed his belief that Americans were stupid, Brown let it slip that extremes of both sides of the political spectrum did well on the test, with the “independents” not knowing anything. Maher agreed that people in the middle who were once considered as thoughtfully weighing both sides are in fact idiots.

    What this shows is that Brown did indeed have the political breakdown for the poll. Is there anyone here intellectually dishonest enough to claim that if the results showed that the right was proportionately more ignorant than the left that this wouldn’t be reported? This begs the question:

    Just how bad did the self-identified democrats do on this test?

  10. sam says:

    “As a point of contrast and reminder of the glaring hypocrisy of the MSM, don’t you think that if Obama was a republican, some enterprising reporter would do a follow-up interview?”

    Never let a opportunity to portray the right as victims go to waste.

  11. jwest says:

    Sam,

    One of the points of political blog is to uncover the hypocrisy, unfair reporting, lies and lies by omission of the MSM, not to simply relay what agenda driven publications says.

    By asking questions and demanding answers in the public forum, blogs can raise the level of truthfulness of the media.

  12. sam says:

    Did you sleep through the travails of Bill Clinton?

    The idea that the MSM gives Democrats a pass and only focuses on the derelictions of Republicans is a constant, droning whine from the right.. But you guys have played your poor-us-victims shtick for so long, I haven’t the slightest hope of convincing you otherwise.

  13. Janis Gore says:

    Ayers has used the joke before.

  14. TG Chicago says:

    @Janis Gore: And when he used the joke before, the right wing ran with it as if it was a serious admission. This is just a re-run of past nonsense; pretty typical Dodd post.

  15. Herb says:

    “Apparently you didn’t actually read the post. Or even the entire headline.”

    Once again, Dodd must edit a post for clarity because his reader’s are just too dumb to get what he really means…

    Dumb readers.

  16. Janis Gore says:

    Oh, be fair. It’s a big issue now on the right-leaning blogs, and Dodd doesn’t seem to buy into it.

    As for interviews, here’s one from Walter Shapiro in Salon, November 2008. He laughs at the notion that he wrote the book.

  17. anjin-san says:

    Ayers is Kenyan too. The MSM has been covering it up…

  18. Scott says:

    ”don’t you think that if Obama was a republican, some enterprising reporter would do a follow-up interview?”

    Undoubtedly. Next would be congressional hearings while the lefty blogs insist that Ayers be waterboarded until he reveals the truth.

  19. jwest says:

    Scott,

    Ayers, like Rev. Wright, still has tire marks across his face after Obama threw them under the bus. He could be sending a shot across the bow to show his displeasure at Obama’s thirst for wartime blood.

  20. Dodd says:

    @Janis Gore: And when he used the joke before, the right wing ran with it as if it was a serious admission. This is just a re-run of past nonsense; pretty typical Dodd post.

    Also apparently didn’t even bother to read the headline.

    Oh, be fair. It’s a big issue now on the right-leaning blogs, and Dodd doesn’t seem to buy into it.

    Thank you. And FTR, I don’t buy into it.

    The edit for clarity (ten minutes after I initially posted this) should have made that reasonably unambiguous even to the likes of TG Chicago and Michael Reynolds. I sincerely appreciate that you responded to what I actually wrote instead of what you wanted me to have written like they did.

  21. Scott says:

    jwest, He could indeed be sending a shot across the bow. A much more logical explanation is that he’s mocking the depths of insanity that some conservatives have descended to.

  22. Murray says:

    @Dodd
    “Also apparently didn’t even bother to read the headline.”

    Everybody read the Fox News type headline complete with the “Cavuto” question mark. That’s why everyone is kicking your ass.

    The video clearly shows it’s a joke, no need to pretend otherwise.

  23. Dodd says:

    Everybody read the Fox News type headline complete with the “Cavuto” question mark. That’s why everyone is kicking your ass.

    The video clearly shows it’s a joke, no need to pretend otherwise.

    I don’t even need to point out (again) how totally off-base this nonsense is.

    Your fail speaks for itself.

  24. Herb says:

    “the “Cavuto” question mark”

    Ha! Good one. Dodd really does think his readers are dumb. He keeps saying, “You didn’t even read the headline.” Yes, we did.

    We also read the post looking for an answer to the provocative question posed and what do we get? “Judge for yourself.”

    And FTR, Dodd’s original answer was the ambiguous “I can’t say with absolute certainty one way or another,” not the more definitive “I don’t buy into it.”

    But again, if you thought Dodd was equivocating here, well……that’s just because your reading comprehension sucks!

  25. Dodd says:

    Dodd really does think his readers are dumb.

    Your skill at reading my mind is as good as your skill at reading my post.

    I don’t think your unwillingness to read a post that says “Um, yeah, no” (almost immediately after I posted this, well before most of you came to the thread, I changed “I’m not so sure” to “I don’t see it” just to make sure it shouldn’t be read the very way you insist upon reading it) as being some sort of cheering section for the opposite POV is a lack of reading comprehension. It’s something altogether more inane: You simply don’t want to take anything less than going completely nuclear on a meme you don’t like as OMGWTFBBQFoxNewsPropaganda!!!eleventy!1!.

    The fact that I’m dissenting from the ‘standard’ RW take on this video appears not to have any impact on your reaction. You want to see it the way you want to see it, so what I actually wrote doesn’t matter. So, no, I don’t think you’re dumb.

  26. mantis says:

    Super genius Jeff Goldstein brings the stupid x10:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Ayers was involved in the writing.

    Really Jeff? No doubt at all?

    His commenters insist on proving themselves even dumber than their host, putting forth various conspiracy theories, including that the Dreams of My Father question was posed by a plant (for some reason) and Ayers is putting a “shakedown” on Obama (the mechanics of blackmail–you make the threat of going public to extort money, not go public and then expect payment–are lost on the PT braintrust).

    But none of them beat Cashill’s smile analysis:

    “This time, I think Ayers was making a serious admission,” Cashill told WND. “I think it took a split second for him to realize where this was going. Then, as he pulls away, his face assumes a smile rictus. It’s not a full-face smile, but a false smile – only the mouth, not the eyes.”

    It wasn’t a full-face smile, but a false one! QED, bitches!

    Guess what wingnuts. People making fun of you for believing idiotic things does not prove those things are true.

  27. Dodd says:

    Cashill told WND

    I’ve identified the problem for you.

  28. Scott says:

    “I can’t say with absolute certainty one way or another”

    I’ve identified the problem for you.

  29. Herb says:

    “Your skill at reading my mind is as good as your skill at reading my post.”

    We’ve been over this before, dude. I have no ability to read anyone’s mind. I do, however, have the ability to read what you wrote. You see, I’m not accusing you of taking on the opposite POV. I’m accusing you of being an inexact, sloppy writer who blames his readers for his struggles to say exactly what he means.

    You know, the kind of guy who complains about someone else’s reading comprehension without bothering to display any of his own.

  30. jwest says:

    It would be helpful to compare some of Obama’s previous writing to his books; however his essay that gained him the presidency of Harvard Law Review is somehow unavailable.

    To the addled mind, the absence of this document makes perfect sense, as does the refusal of Obama to release his long form birth certificate. Since all positions on the birth certificate have been expressed countless times, let’s not rehash it. However, I would be interested in hearing why Obama’s essay should remain locked away.

  31. mantis says:

    Since all positions on the birth certificate have been expressed countless times, let’s not rehash it.

    Translation: Since my line of bullshit about Obama “refusing” to release documents he doesn’t have and the State of Hawaii doesn’t issue has been revealed as such countless times, I’ll just repeat it one more time and ask you not to respond, thank you very much. I will now wave my hands around about some college essay I heard about on talk radio.

  32. Neil Hudelson says:

    mantis,

    Well put.

  33. mantis says:

    Neil,

    Thanks. Ayers wrote it for me.

  34. TG Chicago says:

    At first I was thinking this post was further proof that Dodd has no business posting on the same blog as the others here.

    But after reading his hilarious update, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that “Dodd” is a sock puppet that the other posters use to put up goofy wingnut posts that they know are ridiculous, but they want to have some fun with. I mean:

    UPDATE: Allahpundit and John Hawkins join me in declining to take Ayers’ bait.

    Bait! Now Ayers was baiting the poor victimized rightwingers. Can’t just be a joke. No! It must be a vast left-wing conspiracy.

    BTW, here’s what it says in the archives section:

    Did Bill Ayers Admit He Wrote “Dreams From My Father”?
    Dodd · Sunday, March 27, 2011 · 34 Comments
    I remain doubtful.

    “doubtful”!

    Whoever is writing this stuff is good. “Dodd” doesn’t realize that merely posting about this nonsense is proof of full-wingnut. If Sarah Palin made a joke about how Trigg isn’t her kid and leftwing blogs said “Hmm, I’m doubtful about whether that was a serious admission”, then they’d look like idiots, too. Clearly the non-idiot thing is to not post about it at all. Because it’s a non-story.

    But again, kudos to the satirist. This is well done. Give us a Daily Dose of Doddering!

  35. Slartibartfast says:

    I’ve finally come to the conclusion that “Dodd” is a sock puppet that the other posters use to put up goofy wingnut posts that they know are ridiculous, but they want to have some fun with.

    You, sir, are a genius. You’ve seen through Dodd’s meticulously crafted online persona. He’s really just a placeholder for some collection of wingnuts.

    No! It must be a vast left-wing conspiracy.

    Yes! Because “bait” and “vast left-wing conspiracy” mean exactly the same thing!