Can you trust what former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers says?
To many, the answer is obvious: Of course not. But the leftwing professor and early supporter of President Barack Obama knows how to feign seriousness and sincerity, qualities capable of deceiving those who either aren’t too familiar with his ignominious history or those simply willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Earlier in the week, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly aired segments of her excellent interview with Ayers. Kelly’s interrogation was tough, but fair. But every time Ayers got boxed in, he claimed an allegation was not true, that a radical statement was misreported, or that Kelly didn’t know the facts of which she spoke.
I am familiar with these classic Ayers debating tactics from my conversations with him. I met Ayers in February 2012 at a dinner in Chicago. Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson won a charity auction to dine with Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, and Tucker invited me to join him and the late Andrew Breitbart, among others, at the surreal affair. (RELATED: Inside TheDC’s dinner with former Weather Underground terrorists)
Last fall, Ayers published a new book, which included chapter about our dinner. In it, he mocks me for giving a simplistic answer when he asked me to explain why I was a conservative. Only, his narrative didn’t read right to me. So I decided to send him an email:
Just read an excerpt from your new book.
I enjoyed it, but this is almost certainly not true!
When Jamie complained that none was a bona fi de conservative, I asked him to define “conservative” for me.
“Small government,” he said.
“That’s it?” I asked.
But it is a fun caricature.
Look forward to reading the whole book — when I learn to read.
He replied back, standing by what he wrote and asking me to “review” his book for The Daily Caller. I suggested instead we do an email interview. He agreed, but only under the condition that we both publish the email exchange in its entirety. I told him that was fine by me.
It immediately became apparent that Ayers wasn’t going to be a cooperative interviewee. Every time I posed a question, he responded by asking me to define terms like “terrorism” and “war criminal.” I told him it didn’t really matter how I defined the terms — that he ought to define the words as he saw fit in his answers. We went back and forth until it became clear that I was engaging in an act of futility.
Nevertheless, true to my word, I published the entire email exchange, typos and all, at The Daily Caller. (READ: Bill Ayers Is The WORST Interviewee In Recorded History)
But Ayers didn’t quite do the same. Several months ago, when I chanced upon the version of the email exchange he published on his blog, I noticed something odd. He cut out the part where he asked me to review his book! (Just in case he updates his blog after this story is published, where you see “…” is where he implored me to, “Seriously, read it, please, and review it for DC.”)
This is a more crucial omission than it appears. Towards the middle of our exchange, when I was again begging Ayers to just answer my questions, Ayers claimed it was I who first asked him to participate in some type of review or interview surrounding his book. I explained to him that, in fact, it was he who first asked me to review the book, which could clearly be seen in the second email of the exchange.
I guess Ayers didn’t want to be seen pushing for publicity. Or if it looked like I was begging him for an interview, perhaps he thought his squirminess wouldn’t come off looking so bad. Whatever the reason, I emailed him, explaining how it was pretty dishonest, and wondering what other omissions probably exist in his version of the email exchange in order to make himself look better. He didn’t respond.
I know this sounds like a very minor point, but it is emblematic of Ayers’ serial dishonesty — an irrefutable example of his chronic mendacity. If he is dishonest about something so minor, you can bet he is deceptive about much larger issues, like the uncomfortable details of his and his wife’s sordid past.