William Ayers - Billy Ayers - Billy 'The Bomber' Ayers - the whack-a-mole of Barack Obama's shady past pops up all the time. Camp Obama is using its cadre of really concerned Obama partisans to shout down critics of the Agent of Change.
WGN Radio's distinguished and thoughtful Dr. Milt Rosenberg's Extension 720 has twice been assaulted by nuisance callers attempting to drown out inquiry of Senator Obama's 'White-Out' relationship with domestic terrorist Billy Ayers.
People want to know exactly what that relationship says about Obama's judgment and agenda for America - especially with regard to public education. Ayers is no friend of America - read his blog.
Chicago newspapers with exception of Sun Times investigative journalist Tim Novak and Chicago Tribune's John Kass seem perfectly willing to dismiss any and all inquiry where Obama, Ayers, Wright, Rezko, Davis, Dohrn, or any number of radical leftists are concerned. WGN is part of the Tribune Empire - therefore:
Obama's campaign says supporters have placed thousands of phone calls to TV and radio stations and sent even more letters to newspapers.
A page on the campaign's Web site, headlined "Hit 'em where it hurts," told supporters how to complain to advertisers at stations that ran a recent anti-Obama ad.
"We'll provide you with talking points on this maliciously false hit ad to help guide you through the process," the page said, citing a spot run by a conservative group called the American Issues Project.
The campaign says supporters sent roughly 100,000 e-mails in August to stations that aired the ad, which criticized Obama for his ties to former 1960s radical William Ayers.
WGN also was flooded with calls and e-mails shortly before and during an Aug. 27 interview with Stanley Kurtz, a conservative writer who has examined Obama's ties to Ayers.
"WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," read the first message confronting the station, an e-mail that also provided detailed background information on Kurtz, Obama and Ayers.
The WGN alerts were sent primarily to Obama supporters in the Chicago area but were quickly posted to electronic message boards and Web sites, spreading them worldwide. Many of those who called to complain were from outside Illinois, and they flooded the station's switchboard in a way a WGN producer called "unprecedented."
On Monday night, Zack Christenson, executive producer of "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg," said the response was about the same. "It's just constant, constant phone calls, and the e-mails are pouring in," he said, adding that the extra volume of calls made it more difficult to run the show.
Obama's campaign describes the system as a grass-roots truth squad that arms supporters with information. But others see an attempt to stifle free speech.
"If Barack Obama demonstrates this little regard for free speech from his opponents during the campaign, what could the American people expect from him as a president?" Ed Martin, president of American Issues Project, said in a statement.
Christian Pinkston, the group's spokesman, said Martin was referring to legal threats by Obama's campaign about the ad. He said the counterattack has only heightened the profile of the group, which "soon" plans to run more ads.
"It's worth noting that for all the shouting from the campaign, not one single television station pulled the ad," Pinkston said. "It may have been good for their fundraisings efforts, but it had no impact whatsoever on our efforts."
The sole financier of the group's ads, Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, was also a major contributor to the Swift Boat group that attacked Kerry.
Fox News and CNN declined to run the ad. Still, the group says it ran more than 7,300 times in markets that covered Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, at a cost of $2.8 million.
Another use of Obama's Action Wire came earlier in August, when a controversial book called "The Obama Nation" was released.
The book by Jerome Corsi, who wrote one in 2004 that launched an attack on Kerry, paints Obama as a stealth radical liberal who has tried to cover up his "extensive connections to Islam." The alert about the Corsi book asked supporters to share an e-mail critical of the text with friends and family.
Bruce Gronbeck, a University of Iowa professor who studies political communications, said protests against television and radio stations are fair game in a presidential campaign.
"The media are players in the process," he said. "If they are a player, the parties are certainly going to try to hold them accountable."
Careful inquiry to the nature, depth, substance, and length of Senator Obama's relationship to domestic terrorist Billy Ayers is no distraction - it is a public service obligation and Chicago's media is running away from its duty.