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Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters have Hijacked American Culture

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©Jack Cashill - March 31, 2011


ess than two weeks ago, Dan Haggerty, a New Jersey architect and Tea Party activist, took a ride down to Montclair State University.

Haggerty and colleagues from his group, Americans for Liberty, were meeting with a few MSU profs who hoped to organize a conservative group on campus.

While there, Haggerty learned that terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers was scheduled to speak on campus in just a few days, March 24 to be precise.

Rather than organize a protest, Haggerty and an attorney friend decided to use the occasion to elicit information from Ayers, a task that the mainstream media have conspicuously failed to do.

The question that concerned these activists was whether Bill Ayers had indeed co-written Barack Obama’s acclaimed 1995 memoir, “ Dreams From My Father.”

This was a charge that, as Obama-friendly biographer David Remnick has noted, “if ever proved true, or believed to be true among enough voters, could have been the end of the [2008] candidacy.”

Given what Remnick calls the “diabolical potency” of the accusation and the fact that I had recently gathered all the supporting evidence in one book, “Deconstructing Obama,” Haggerty thought it worth discussion.

To this point, the media have thought otherwise. Not a single reporter in the major media has asked Ayers or Obama about the fraud accusation.

The “respectable” conservative media had done no better. Thanks to Haggerty and pals that was about to change.

The group’s attorney got in the final question of the evening, and he asked it in a lawyerly fashion so as not to be too leading.

"Thank you, Sir, thank you, thank you," said the attorney, while Haggerty videotaped the exchange. "Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein wrote that President Obama's book, "Dreams from My Father," quote, 'may be the best written memoir ever produced by an American politician.'"

Ayers agreed, then volunteered, "Did you know that I wrote it?" before retreating into an ironic jest that preserved both his leverage with the White House and the temporary emotional health of the American left.

On Saturday, Haggerty posted the video clip to YouTube and alerted me. I, in turn, sent it to WND, and WND blew into life a mini-media firestorm.

The center-left media, of course, retreated from the flames into empty-headed denial. “ Bill Ayers Started a Joke, That Started the Whole Word Hyperventilating,” ran the headline on the Slate article by David Weigel, an altogether typical response.

Predictably, Weigel misunderstood the motives of the New Jersey activists and my response. Like Haggerty and pals, I do not care what kind of games Ayers is playing. I am just happy that he put this story back in the news. He did not have to.

The Haggerty video gave Fox & Friends the visual lead-in they needed to have me on their show Tuesday morning of this week.

“Was it a joke or was he being serious?” Gretchen Carlson asked me of Ayers’ remarks. “It’s a joke, but the joke is on the White House,” I answered.

In the course of the interview I was able to assert three points that may not have been voiced before on network TV. The first was, “I have no doubt that Bill Ayers was the primary craftsman behind “Dreams from My Father.’”

The second was a reaffirmation of Ayers’s point that Obama’s second opus, “Audacity of Hope,” was a “political hack book.” As I added, the book “was written by committee.”

The third, which no one on the left has dared challenge, was my assertion that “there was no Obama family.” I described newborn baby Obama’s hegira from Hawaii to Seattle with his mom and their return to Hawaii only after Obama Sr. had left for Harvard.

Acting as though they were part of Haggerty’s plot, the folks at Media Matters For America almost immediately posted my interview on their website with the headline, “Doubling Down On The Crazy, Fox Promotes Cashill's Insane Obama Conspiracy Theories.”

With the interview so conveniently posted, I promptly shared it on Facebook and Twitter and with my mailing list. I was not at all worried that the unintentionally comic ad hominems in which MMFA specializes would cause a moment of doubt among anyone on the right.

My interview, however, might just trouble those on the thinking left. I appear much more sane on TV than I do in the pages of Media Matters. How could I not?

These now confused souls on the left might just ask themselves, “Would Simon & Schuster’s lawyers green light a book that promotes ‘insane Obama conspiracy theories.’” I can assure you from experience, they would not.

Where this goes I do not know. Where it started was at the student union of Montclair State University entirely by chance.

As a next act, Haggerty and pals want to talk to Donald Trump and persuade him to stage a symposium on these and related subjects. Donald Trump, I am told, is a hard man to get to.

But then again, so was Bill Ayers.

Who is Jack Cashill?

Webmaster's Note:  Jack Cashill's Book-TV presentation of "Deconstructing Obama" can be viewed at




Editor's note: For a more complete account of this phenomenon, read Jack Cashill's amazing new book, "Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture.


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