by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor
August 26, 2008
[See URL for video.]
In the latest volley in the ping-pong match over 1960s radical
William Ayers, the Republican National Committee has dug up a snippet
of him praising Senator John F. Kerry for throwing away his Vietnam
"John Kerry's finest moment," Ayers, a founder of the Weathermen,
says in the video from C-SPAN of a January 2006 appearance at the
National Press Club while promoting a book.
In a 1971 antiwar protest, Kerry discarded the ribbons from medals
for valor he was awarded for his service on swift boats. Republicans
and groups allied with them attacked Kerry's service and record
during his 2004 presidential campaign.
Democrat Barack Obama's campaign has been aggressively fighting back
against an independent advocacy group's TV ad linking Obama with
Ayers. Ayers led the Weather Underground organization, which took
credit for a series of bombings at the Pentagon and US Capitol in the
1960s. He is now a professor in Chicago and has served on a nonprofit
board with Obama.
The advocacy group's main benefactor is a Texas billionaire who has
given money to John McCain and other Republicans and who was also one
of the main funders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which went after Kerry.
The Associated Press reports that not only has Obama run a response
ad, his campaign has warned TV station managers not to run the ad and
has asked the Justice Department to intervene. The campaign also
planned to compel advertisers to pressure stations that continue to
air the anti-Obama commercial.
Fox News and CNN have declined to air the anti-Obama ad, the AP says.
But by Monday afternoon, the ad had run about 150 times in local
markets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan, according to
Evan Tracey, head of TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis
Group, an ad tracking firm.
Meanwhile, the Free History Project, a nonprofit organization that
produced 2004 documentary "The Weather Underground," said today that
it is demanding that all broadcasts of the ad be stopped, alleging
that it violates copyright laws by using footage without permisson.