Why does Aaron Klein hate Vartan Gregorian?
Last year, Klein plucked the Carnegie Corporation chief out of obscurity to smear him in a WorldNetDaily article as an Islamist extremist who is "closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind a proposed controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks." Klein didn't mention that by the same standard he was using to smear Gregorian -- being on the board of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum -- Rudy Guiliani, Michael Bloomberg, 9/11 widow Debra Burlingame, and all four living former presidents are also "closely tied" to the " ‘Ground Zero' imam." Klein central concept that Gregorian is some kind of Islamist extremist is laughable given his resume, which also including being president of Brown University and president of the New York Public Library, not exactly hotbeds of extremism (though Klein might belive differently) and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from none other than President Bush.
That smear wasn't enough for Klein; he followed up with an article portraying President Obama appointment of Gregorian to Commission on White House Fellowships as payback for his alleged role in choosing Obama to head the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in the 1990s. Klein apparently believes that nothing screams "payoff" more than an appointment to a minor government board.
Klein went at it again in a March 31 WND article, this time drawing a even more specious guilt-by-assocation attack: Gregorian served on an advisory board in 2001 that developed the "Responsibility to Protect" policy invoked by Obama to launch military action against Libya. No, really, that's all Klein has.
Having exhausted that line of reasoning rather quickly, Klein spends the rest of his article rehashing old smears, such as his claim that "WND previously reported documentation shows Gregorian was central in the recruitment of Obama in 1995 to serve as the first chairman of an education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge." In fact, as we documented, Klein's "documentation" is specious -- just a single letter asking CAC founder Bill Ayers to "compose the governing board" of the Challenge's collaborative project with "people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago."
Klein then claimed that "Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman." But more credible sources have reported that Ayers had nothing to do with the recruitment of Obama.
Klein's repeated attacks on Gregorian appear to be more than coincidence -- they seem personal. What did Gregorian do to Klein that is apparently motivating this campaign of guilt-by-association revenge?