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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
WND Still Obfuscating on Andersen's Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily article touts how "Christopher Andersen said on a radio program today he had two sources of information for his new book confirming former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers played a large part in the writing of Barack Obama's 'Dreams from My Father.'" But the article obfuscates more than it illuminates.

The article states that "radio host Mancow Muller arranged for" WND columnist Jack Cashill -- the chief promulgator of the conspiracy theory that Ayers wrote the Obama book -- "to question Andersen about the book":

Andersen described how Obama was "hopelessly blocked" in writing his book then turned to Ayers for help.

When Cashill inquired about the sources for the book, Andersen said he had two separate sources "within Hyde Park" but would not elaborate. Andersen insisted he made no claim Ayers wrote "Dreams," but he did not deny Ayers' deep involvement.

He said "Dreams" is significantly different – and better – than Obama's other book, "Audacity of Hope," from 2006.

Notice anything strange about that section? There are no direct quotes of significance -- only the words "hopelessly blocked" and "within Hyde Park." Everything else is a paraphrase. There's no evidence that Andersen supports Cashill's claim of "Ayers' deep involvement" in Obama's book -- indeed, as we've detailed, Andersen has specifically distanced himself from claims that Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's book, as Cashill has claimed.

The article does not provide or otherwise link to audio or a transcript of the Cashill-Andersen conversation. The audio archive on Mancow's website is behind a subscription wall.

One has to wonder, given the absence of any meaningful direct quoting of the Mancow interview, if WND and Cashill are overstating what Andersen said. Unless they can provide an audio link and a verifiable transcript, it has to be assumed that they did.

The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel also highlights Cashill's overstatement of what Andersen is claiming: "But Cashill’s argument has not been the “informal editing service” argument. It’s been that Ayers wrote “the better part” of “Dreams From My Father,” something not even Andersen suggests."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT

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