To flesh out his family history, Obama had taped interviews with various family members. Andersen writes, "These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers." Andersen quotes a Hyde Park neighbor, "Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together. It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both."If this is correct--and it's certainly more powerful coming from what appears to be an independent source than from a partisan--how in the world will it be explained? Does it vindicate Palin? And finally, will it lend more credence to Cashill's other big theory?
Andersen continues, "In the end, Ayers's contribution to Barack's Dreams From My Father would be significant--so much so that the book's language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers's own writing."
Darleen at Protein Wisdom weighs in here but most conservative bloggers are not touching this story with a ten foot pole, probably out of concern about the writer's reputation (or perhaps Cashill's). These things have a nasty habit of blowing back and they don't want any part of anything labeled conspiracy, for obvious reasons. It's also Andersen, who interviewed people close to the first family without actually being the first family. That's close to what Kitty Kelly did. So there's that.
But some in the cable media are biting on the book in general. Here's Anderson on Hannity, who's obviously out for the Ayers and Wright angle:
Chris Matthews also mentioned the Hillary thing and didn't put down Anderson in his segment, but didn't mention the mention of Ayers.
And here's an interview on CNN with the lovely Kiran Chetry, who also doesn't quiz him on Ayers. Here's Harry Smith, as predictable as the morning sunrise.
The entertainment tabloids are on this like ripe red meat, of course. Here's People (not mentioning Ayers).
As to the defense, Media Matters weighed in with a very frail pushback, only quoting a literary expert without refuting the claims in the book. As to the White House, they canceled a CNN interview with a 'top advisor' after they found out Andersen was on, and Gibbs was not asked about it during a shortened presser today.
Even if true this story will likely be going nowhere, just like the Van Jones story. As Andersen mentioned to Hannity, everyone expects some level of dishonesty from politicians today. So even if former WeatherMan founder Jeff Jones's group helped write the Stimulus bill, and even if former WeatherMan founder Bill Ayers helped write his acclaimed autobiography, no big deal, right?
Other than a brief mention on JOM, Protein Wisdom seems to be the only big blog covering this. Jeff Goldstein had the presence of mind to do what the mainstream press won't--email Cashill and ask him if Andersen coordinated beforehand. His response is here.
Frankly, if Cashill wasn't involved the story is about Ayers and Obama, based on what Andersen's sources said. They should be asked about it. But the lefties know that Cashill is the weak link due to his conspiracy books so he'll be the focus should this now-dying story proceed any further.