Many of those who viewed the introduction of Bill Ayers into the presidential campaign as a low, dishonest campaign tactic have now taken to the idea that the former Weather Underground leader and pretend revolutionary was himself somehow mistreated by the media. The most egregious example is perhaps New Yorker editor David Remnick, as pointed out and deconstructed by ex-New Lefty Ron Radosh. As a confirmed Ayers-hater (I actually read Fugitive Days way back when), I refrained from commenting on Ayers during the campaign not only because I thought it not only a strategically silly line of attack—a position the election results seems to have vindicated—but the McCain campaign never got around to proving that Ayers and Obama were indeed "palling around." Nevertheless, I have to agree with New Republic's Leon Wieseltier that "I would not shake the man's dirty hand."
And now Ayers is attempting to defend himself—albeit unpersuasively. Writing in In These Times, Ayers talks about all the threatening emails he received in the past few months, which forced him to contact the hated Chicago pigs (an inverse of the "Days of Rage," I suppose), and "the serial assassinations of black leaders [that] disrupted our utopian dreams" in the 1960s (he's talking about Fred Hampton, not MLK). Read the whole piece here. There is plenty of stupidity on display, but I particularly like this line, coming as it does from a supporter of the Cuban dictatorship: "In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders—and all of us—ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas."