After parroting in his debate questions last Wednesday several issues raised long ago on white supremacist websites–about Senator Obama’s outspoken former pastor and about a tenuous relationship some time back with William Ayers–George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” today asked Senator McCain (image from here) about Obama’s “patriotism.” This setup allowed McCain too to parrot the supremacist websites’ continuing theme about Ayers–and thus to move the white supremacist websites’ theme into the Republican mainstream. The interview discussion on Ayers is remarkably long and telling. Here is only a short part of it:
MCCAIN: I’m sure he’s very patriotic. But his relationship with
Mr. Ayers is open to question. And that….[Why?]
MCCAIN: Because if you’re going to associate and have as a friend and serve on a board and have a guy kick off your campaign that says he’s unrepentant, that he wished bombed more. . . . But how can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama says he was eight years old when that was happening.
MCCAIN: But he became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen. I don’t — and then to compare him with Dr. Tom Coburn, who spends so much of his life bringing babies into this world — that, in my view is really — borders out outrage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He also pointed out that he and Mr. Ayers have a very loose relationship. They live in the same neighborhood. There was an organizing meeting many, many years ago, in his house. And he says, frankly, I don’t agree with these comments that Mr. Ayers made.
MCCAIN: Doesn’t agree with them? Does he condemn them? Would he condemn someone who says that they’re unrepentant and wished that they had bombed more — and compare him to a doctor, one of the great humanitarian — in my view, one of the greatest spokespersons for the rights of the unborn in America?
Actually Senator Obama has condemned Ayers’ views and actions, which happened nearly 40 years ago when he was young, yet the white attack machine still is intent on fronting the white racial frame and thus, again and again, making Senator Obama the “dangerous black man.” This Ayers issue is old and irrelevant since (now respected education Professor) Ayers has not endorsed or worked for Obama as a presidential candidate, and is only a onetime acquaintance, and it has indeed been on white supremacist websites for a great many months. Fox News seems to have been the first to pick it up, then ABC News last Wednesday, and now the Republican candidate for president.
So this is how much of the extreme framing of a Black candidate appears to work in this still-racist society: White Supremacist assertions => Fox News assertions => ABC News assertions => a Republican Senator running for president parrots the assertions without questioning. I wonder why there is no serious mainstream media questioning of the likely source of the original assertions or their political validity.