Howie Carr falsely claims Bill Ayers is ‘a convicted terrorist’

I could turn Media Nation into a full-time Howie Carr Watch, and I don’t want to do that. But it seems worth pointing out that Howie’s description today of Bill Ayers as “a convicted Weatherman terrorist” is — oh, how shall I put this? — false.

As for Carr’s claim that Ayers ghostwrote Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” if you Google around you’ll see that Ayers once joked about it and thereby ignited many heated imaginations on the right. Take my word for it: it’s not worth it.

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36 thoughts on “Howie Carr falsely claims Bill Ayers is ‘a convicted terrorist’

  1. Rick Peterson

    Not sure what was going on in Middleboro in the late 60′s but in Boston, SDS had some really bad guys. I was there. People got hurt, some got killed. I was a classmate with one and a neighbor to another. To trivialize murders like those of the Schroeder brothers in the name of a progressive world view is despicable. Perhaps amending “convicted” to “unapologetic” will help your sense of precision. That Ayers puff piece you cited sure won’t. (His father was the Jack Welch of Chicago, Chairing the Boards of Commonwealth Edison, Northwestern U, the school where Bill got his Masters and the Chicago Assoc. of Business & Industry. Your source called him “a business executive”. Yeah, and JFK was “a politician”.) There’s plenty to criticize about Howie but defending some pampered rich sociopath who caused this much human suffering? You’re better than that.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Rick: I’m not defending Ayers, who is scum. But for a journalist to report wrongly that someone was convicted of a crime is a big deal. I’m surprised you can’t see that.

      For the record, the Weather Underground has never been credibly linked to the murder of Officer Walter Schroeder. Here is some background. Weirdly, one of Officer Schroeder’s killers, William “Lefty” Gilday, said on his deathbed that there was a Weather Underground connection, but to my knowledge that was never followed up.

      Who were the Schroeder “brothers,” @Rick? Sounds like you’re misremembering something. It was Walter Schroeder who was murdered by three left-wing radicals.

      1. Rick Peterson

        The lack of political ties to John’s murder was apparently not enough to prevent the City from naming Police HQ “Schroeder Plaza”. I lived next to one of them in Allston, Really nice, decent people. I guess some of us were more affected by it than others.

      2. Dan Kennedy Post author

        @Rick: It was horrible. You seemed to be saying that the Schroeder brothers were both killed by radicals, and that’s what threw me.

  2. Laurence Glavin

    I went to a library that’s open on Sundays and physically picked up a copy of today’s Herald. It’s proudly emblazoned with the motto: “Still only $2″ even though it hardly has any more heft than a Michaels Arts & Crafts store flyer. Maybe at $2 it’s overpriced.

  3. Lou Gawab

    Maybe not convicted by the courts….but convicted by everyone with half a brain.
    His group TOOK RESPONSIBILITY for the bombings.
    Thats a good enough conviction for me! (Apparently not enough for you Dan?)
    Or are you still marching to the Obama beat and coming to his defense on anything remotely connected to him.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Lou: What would you think of a news outlet that reported O.J. Simpson was a “convicted murderer”? Acceptable because we all know he did it?

      1. Dan Kennedy Post author

        @Lou: What do you think Ayers took responsibility for? I can tell from your excited tone that it’s a lot less than you imagine.

  4. Lou Gawab

    **Later that year, the group took responsibility for bombing several police cars in Chicago..”

    That’s good enough for me…

  5. Lou Gawab

    **Later that year, the group took responsibility for bombing several police cars in Chicago..”

    That’s good enough for me…

  6. Julian Smith

    I don’t understand how you can be a journalist and have such a one-sided agenda, Dan Kennedy. You don’t even pretend to be objective. Perhaps the most nauseating thing is that you are teaching journalism (and presumably your brand of biased “activist” agenda-driven journalism) to unsuspecting college students.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Julian: This is not about Ayers. I have made it clear that I have no use for him. This is about a serious error by Howie Carr. Do you not care?

  7. Lou Gawab

    Dan, do you disagree that you have a one-sided agenda as Julian mentioned?

    It can be seen by the stories you jump on, and the side you take (always the Left). You can definitely slam Howie Carr, but do you do the same for left-leaning writers as well?

    Have you taken a non-bias look at all the Obama stories..or do you simply take the Liberal side to anything that might sully Obama? Many of us could probably write your blog for you, as it is all bias by your ideology and it all very predictable.

    You claim this story is about Howie Carr (who you dislike because he’s a Right-y), and about Bill Ayes and any association he might have with Obama. And you, predictably, slam the right-y, and come to the defense of someone who’s organization has taken credit for the bombings.

    Now, if there was a Sarah Palin story in the news tomorrow, I bet I could predictably write the Dan Kennedy post to go along with it….even if she was feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.

    That said, it’s always a fun read!

  8. Aaron Read

    More seriously, this is real simple folks: Howie Carr did something that would, and should, get most columnists fired. He defamed someone by lying about them in print. It doesn’t matter what Ayers did or did not do. It doesn’t matter how much you hate Ayers. What matters is that Ayers was not convicted, and Howie said he was in his column. That’s libel, pure and simple.

    At best, Howie’s editor should be fired for letting a “mistake” like this get past him or her, and Howie should get a firm slap on the wrist. At worst, both Howie and the Herald could be sued for a lot of money.

    Lest we forget, the Herald’s already got a bad track record trying to defend itself against libel cases, you’d think they’d be more careful about such things.

  9. Mike LaBonte

    Searching for stories like “Bill Ayers says he ghost wrote Obama’s “Dreams Of My Father”” (http://americanlibertypac.com/2013/06/bill-ayers-says-he-ghost-wrote-obamas-dreams-of-my-father) and “Bill Ayers admits (again) he wrote Obama bio” (http://www.wnd.com/2011/03/280073/) can be sort of entertaining, and the viewpoint difference is striking. Some use research and links that support their assertions. Others use nothing at all, or just the video proving that Ayers was indeed joking, as “evidence” that he was not. Are they hoping no one will click on the video? Or is it a test to find the “right” kind of audience?

    If a computer program could be created to fact check all Internet content with exactly the same rigorous methodology, in today’s politics it would be accused of having a liberal bias. But that’s the rigor journalism requires. Leave the emotions out.

  10. Lou Gawab

    **Lou, if you search for Obama the same way you searched for Palin**

    Sean, A proper comparison would be a search for Biden.
    (Which, BTW…is: About 334 results)

    Palin was never President, and never held a Federal office…simply a candidate for vice-President….yet she manages to get the Left all worked up.

  11. Sean Griffin

    Biden and Palin? Apples and oranges, Lou. When Biden makes the news it’s because of one of his gaffes. He’s the Vice President. He’s not supposed to say anything interesting to anyone ever. Palin is part of the opposition party, sort of, since she’s not a politician anymore. If the “Left” writes about Palin at all these days it is because she is a comic figure. She hasn’t gotten the “Left” worked up in years. But Fox News and other right wing outlets continue to prop her up and ask for her opinion and so she continues to make news. So you could say that she manages to get the right all worked up more than the left.

  12. Lou Gawab

    **If the “Left” writes about Palin at all these days it is because she is a comic figure.**
    And Biden is not? Well you just tipped your hand, and we know what side you’re on.
    The point was that Dan wrote about Sarah Palin 780 times. Including something about tanning beds. Dan teaches journalism…to impressionable students. I don’t know how he can play the Lefty snarky pundit…and claim to be a journalist..and teach journalism. And write about Sarah Palin 780 times. Feel free to rush to his defense.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Lou: I did not write about Palin 780 times. Did you bother to take a look at those Google search results?

  13. Sean Griffin

    Lou, you’re just flailing now. I brought up the 5,740 figure to show you how there is no possible way that the Google search is an accurate barometer (and Biden 334 times? That would make Dan the president of his fan club!). And there is no “side”. You yourself are trying to point out that there is nothing interesting about Palin, that she is not newsworthy and should be left alone, like Garbo.

  14. loug@gawab.com

    **Lou, you’re just flailing now.**

    Not at all.

    **I brought up the 5,740 figure to show you how there is no possible way that the Google search is an accurate barometer **

    And I responded that comparing Obama (President of the US) and Palin (a VP “candidate”) was not a valid comparison. And that Biden would be a more appropriate comparison…

    **And there is no “side”.**

    Of course there is.

    **You yourself are trying to point out that there is nothing interesting about Palin, that she is not newsworthy…*

    Oh, she’s very interesting…and occasionally newsworthy. But, as the Google search indicates (5,740 responses..including one about tanning beds in Anchorage)), Liberals are obsessed with her.

    **@Lou: I did not write about Palin 780 times. Did you bother to take a look at those Google search results?**

    It’s what shows up on your site. Yes, I did look at the results, and every entry is not necessarily derogatory…..just an indication as to how much she got under your skin. ;-)

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Lou: No, I asked you take a look. A lot of those are index results. Some of them pop up because someone brought her up for irrelevant reasons in the comments. (Gee, who would do such a thing, huh?) There’s also a lot of repetition, because that’s the way Google works. I have written 4,305 posts as of today. If you genuinely believe that 18 percent of them were about Palin, then you’re an idiot. And if you know better, then you’re a troll.

    2. Dan Kennedy Post author

      Also, @Lou: The fact that Google says I wrote about Obama 5,330 times despite writing only 4,305 posts might suggest to you that there’s a problem with your methodology.

  15. Lou Gawab

    **@Lou: No, I asked you take a look. A lot of those are index results. Some of them pop up because someone brought her up for irrelevant reasons in the comments.**

    I did take a look. And I understand the context of a Google search….I assume(d) you do/did too. Thats why we comapred using the same context.

    **@Lou: The fact that Google says I wrote about Obama 5,330 times despite writing only 4,305 posts might suggest to you that there’s a problem with your methodology**

    4,305 is what came up in my Google search. Talk to them.

    **then you’re an idiot. And if you know better, then you’re a troll.**

    Neither, just someone making a point which you refuse…or are unable to see.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      @Lou: You are correct. I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Other than the fact that you can’t count.

  16. Lou Gawab

    **Other than the fact that you can’t count.**

    Now you are either playing dumb…or just dumb.
    I didn’t count them you numb-nut…I copied and pasted the # that appeared during my Google search. Not many ways to screw that up. But I’m sure you’ll find a problem with that.

    Julian Smith made the same point about your one-sided “journalism”….did you understand him?

  17. Bill Duncliffe

    So if Howie Carr had used the term “admitted” you wouldn’t have had a problem with the article, correct, Dan?

    If you applied the same rigorous ombudsmanship to other journalistic output it might lend some credibility to your “gotcha.” But let’s face it, it’s pretty lacking.

  18. John Garrett

    I wish you would do more to expose the misinformation contained in Howie Carr’s columns. Also I would love to see some posts about the nut currently hosting the WRKO morning show,eff Kuhner. The lies and propaganda that comes out of this guys mouth is astounding.

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