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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Did the NY Times Distort Ayers' Words?

Background on Ayers here.

From Wikipedia's entry on Bill Ayers:

The [New York Times] reporter quoted him as saying "I don't regret setting bombs" and "I feel we didn't do enough", and, when asked if he would "do it all again" as saying "I don't want to discount the possibility."[10] Ayers has not denied the quotes, but he protested the interviewer's characterizations in a Letter to the Editor published September 15, 2001: "This is not a question of being misunderstood or 'taken out of context', but of deliberate distortion."[18]

I could find no such letter published in the New York Times.

The Times did publish this Ayers letter on September 14, 2001:

Re a Sept. 16 New York Times Magazine interview with me and your Sept. 11 Arts pages profile:

The barbarism unleashed against innocent human beings on Sept. 11 has in an instant transformed the complex landscape of American consciousness. I'm filled with horror and grief for those murdered and harmed, for their families and for all affected forever.

''Fugitive Days,'' the memoir I've written about my participation in the Weather Underground and the antiwar movement and the events of 30 years ago, is now receiving attention in a radically changed context.

My book is a condemnation of terrorism in all its forms. We are witnessing crimes against humanity. The intent of my book was and is to understand, to tell the truth and to heal.

BILL AYERS
Chicago, Sept. 14, 2001

So on September 14th, 2001, three days after the article, he makes no protest about deliberate distortion.

Just where was this 9/15 letter published? On Ayers' blog, on April 21, 2008. The post is titled "Clarifying the Facts— a letter to the New York Times, 9-15-2001". The text is taken verbatim from another post he made on 9/26/2006, titled "A Letter to the Times Found Five Years Later…".

Found it, eh?


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