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Monday, April 4, 2011
Cashill: I Don't Look As Crazy As I Sound
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill writes in his March 31 column, "I appear much more sane on TV than I do in the pages of Media Matters. How could I not?"

Another way to say that is: Cashill is hoping his sane-looking demeanor will sell some very insane stuff, like his new book insisting that Bill Ayers wrote Barack Obama's "Dreams From My Father."

Indeed, in this very column, Cashill touts how he was able to make three very crazy points in his appearanceon Fox News:

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' 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.

Cashill then added: "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.'"

In another column the next day, Cashill tries to read Ayers' mind and decides that Ayers wasn't joking when, in response to a conservative activist, he said he wrote the book and is bitter about not getting any royalties:

Obama's success must chafe Ayers even more. He hoped to mold a mayor of Chicago, and instead he ended up with a president whose ambitions would always corrupt his ideology.

The fact that Ayers went public in the first week of our war on Libya, a use of force almost indistinguishable from the Bush administration's, had to irritate Ayers deeply.

As Ayers suggested at Montclair, one could build a school for the cost of a Tomahawk missile. As he implied, one could build a whole lot of schools with the royalties just from "Dreams."

Cashill also does not take criticism well. In his March 29 column, he dismisses a review of his book in the Washington Post as written by "a left-leaning 20-something with scant credentials." At no point does he respond to anything the reviewer said about his book, much less quote any of it or link to the review.

That's likely because it was pretty much deconstructs Cashill's book for its reliance on circumstantial evidence, factual errors and hypocritial whining:

Cashill’s clues are far from convincing. Cashill believes that the similarity between the two men’s “imagery” and “structure” is by itself “almost enough to convict” Obama of his charges. For example, Ayers writes in his memoir, “Fugitive Days:” “The confrontation in the Fishbowl flowed like a swollen river into the teach-in, carrying me along the cascading waters from room to room, hall to hall, bouncing off boulders.” In “Dreams,” Obama writes the following passage: “I heard all our voices begin to run together, the sound of three generations tumbling over each other like the currents of a slow-moving stream, my questions like rocks roiling the water, the breaks in memory separating the currents.”

“Deconstructing Obama” includes many more flimsy examples of stylistic overlap: Obama and Ayers both misquote a line from Carl Sandburg’s famous poem “Chicago”; they both misspell the name of a city in South Africa (though they misspell it in different ways); they both love the words “flutter” and “ragged.” Cashill bends or invents evidence to fit his theories and further undercuts his argument with errors of fact and interpretation.

He attacks the media for ignoring Andersen’s book, to which Cashill says Obama gave his “tacit blessing.” But the White House, in fact, so disliked the book that it canceled a staffer’s CNN appearance because the network booked Andersen — and then quizzed him about the Ayers connection.

“Deconstructing Obama” is distressing also for what it reveals about the publishing industry. Cashill details how the media, including conservative outlets such as Fox News and the National Review, ignored his research. Yet he has now published a book with the conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster, one of the biggest houses in the country.

Cashill claimed the review was all about the reviewer trying to convince readers "to ignore the awkward amateur writer behind the curtain," but it seems that the same could be said about Cashill himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT

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