Terrorist’s Aborted Visit A PR Fiasco For Boston College

After an on-again, off-again plan to bring radical terrorist / Obama associate William Ayers to campus generated a considerable amount of negative publicity, Boston College administrators and students alike look downright foolish tonight.

Until the media spotlight became a bit too bright, BC higher-ups seemed unwilling to admit they were even aware of the Ayers visit, while it also isn’t clear to what extent student groups went through the proper channels to organize the event.

Now, under pressure from talk radio, newspapers, local police officers (who believe Ayers had a role in the killing of a Brighton-based officer in 1970) and the general public, it’s finger-pointing time on campus.

At this point, it appears there will be no speech at all, not even one delivered by satellite and / or off-campus. But this has changed so many times that I may very well be wrong about this. It is confusing to say the least. From a Globie update late this afternoon:

Patrick Rombalski, BC’s vice president of student affairs, said in a statement that administrators cancelled the lecture “out of concern for the safety and well-being of our students and respect for the local community where the alleged actions of the Weather Underground continue to reverberate today.”

Student groups had announced last night that administrators had agreed to allow Ayers to deliver his lecture from Chicago at 6 p.m. via satellite, but administrators today said they had never approved the talk.

Boston College said it had received hundreds of complaints about Ayers since Boston radio host Michael Graham discussed Ayers’ visit on air during his Friday program. Many of the complaints were Boston police officers who threatened to protest the event, said college spokesman Jack Dunn.

Many local critics cited the Weather Underground’s alleged involvement with the murder of a Boston police officer, Walter Schroeder, during a 1970 bank robbery in Brighton.

“The emotional scars of the murder of Boston Police Sergeant Walter Schroeder, allegedly at the hands of the Weather Underground, which left nine children fatherless in the shadows of this campus, was an issue that we could not ignore,” Dunn said in a statement. “Our student organizers, who are in their early 20’s, cannot fully understand the reaction that this painful chapter in our history evokes in this community.”

For his part, Graham is relishing the second wave of publicity he’s received locally in recent weeks, especially since this one doesn’t involve his mug shot.

But this issue had been out there for a couple of weeks, did any other local host have the good sense to jump all over it? It was truly up for grabs.

Meanwhile, the worst coverage seen of the controversy emerged from student newspaper BC Heights, which whitewashes some of the controversy, leaving out his Obama ties and playing up Ayers’ phony “education theorist” credentials.

In the last post, I told you about our November confrontation with Ayers over his Sirhan Sirhan book dedication. That came after sitting through a mind-numbingly awful hour-long speech on “education theory” which contained almost no substance of any kind other than constant reassurances that he “loves children”.

I didn’t get the sense that anyone in the audience was attending for this reason, it was his radicalism and Obama ties that clearly drew several hundred to the DC church. That was made clear during the Q & A session afterward and subsequent book signing. The education issue is obviously a smokescreen.

The bottom line is that Ayers is little more than a garden-variety terrorist and full-fledged creep who got a second 15 minutes of fame thanks to his friendship with budding dictator Barack Obama. The real question is why anyone in politics or the academic field would want to be associated with this pathetic has-been.

Ayers image: This Ain’t Hell blog

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Terrorist’s BC Visit Cancelled, Local Talker Claims Victory

With a local talker taking credit for the withdrawal, an invitation extended to violent terrorist / Obama associate William Ayers has abruptly been cancelled.

Ayers was scheduled to address Boston College on Monday, but two student associations were apparently notified by campus officials that it could not proceed as scheduled, according to today’s Boston Herald:

Dunn, director of public affairs, indicated he was unaware that Ayers had been invited to BC when first contacted by the Herald yesterday. Student organizers who had confirmed the speaking engagement in the afternoon called back shortly afterward to report it was canceled.

Ayers was a founding member of the violent radical-left anti-war group the Weather Underground, which was blamed for a series of bombings that killed several people. Ayers, though a fugitive for several years, was not directly implicated in those attacks. Federal riot and bombing conspiracy charges against him where later dropped, The New York Times [NYT] has reported.

Ayers figured in the 2008 presidential campaign as conservatives criticized Barack Obama for his association with the former radical.

Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, was due to speak at Boston College on education reform and civic engagement at the invitation of Americans for Informed Democracy and the College Democrats. Ayers could not be reached last night, but before the decision was announced, he said: “This isn’t Saudi Arabia or Cuba. Speech is something we believe in in a democracy.”

Funny how the college is pretending it was unaware of the event, given the number of emails I’ve personally received in past days. At the very least, wouldn’t they have had discussions regarding security?

As a colleague confronted Ayers about his book dedication to RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan, I filmed the response during a November appearance in Washington:

http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=e4qG2G4zDk

In person, Ayers gives off a creepy vibe, even more so than the fringe activists I’ve encountered on the West Coast. In the clip, he abruptly changes his story, but it seems not to trouble him in the least. Why Obama would want to be associated with this sick man is difficult to understand.

In fact, I found the confrontation downright eerie, as his mannerisms and behavior are strikingly similar (if not nearly identical) to that of murdered liberal talk show host Mike Webb, a former co-worker in Seattle.

Here at home, WTKK host Michael Graham is claiming credit for the BC cancellation. From his blog:

At 9:00 Monday morning, nobody in Boston knew Bill Ayers was coming to BC–certainly not the Schroeder family of Brighton. By 9pm last night, the listeners of 96.9 WTKK had single-handedly stopped this unapologetic advocate of violence and stupidity from disgracing the reputation of Boston College.

Claims that BC didn’t know he was coming are dubious at best (see below). Either way, William Ayers has been turned back. His decisions to start a terrorist group that would go onto to kill four people, detonate a dozen bombs against American targets and try (and, thank God, fail) to blow up soldiers at Ft. Dix–these decisions have had consequences, despite the fact that Barack Obama thinks Ayers is a great guy.

Ayers says he doesn’t regret what he did. Fine. But now he knows the people of Boston haven’t forgotten, either.

UPDATE! From the “No News Is Good News To the Boston Globe-Democrat” File: I just did a site search of the Boston Globe’s website, and I couldn’t find a single mention of the Ayers story anywhere. Hey, I guess no BC grads bother to read the Globe-Democrat. Yeah, who wants Catholic readers in Boston? Way to go, guys!

Glick’s Passing Underscores Talk Radio’s Power

The intimacy of talk radio is a powerful force, a bond that can be sustained long after a talker gives up his headphones.

Former WHDH and WBZ overnight host Larry Glick’s passing yesterday at 87 underscores this point: though he left the latter station 17 years ago, listeners are remembering him today as though his final show had aired last week. Do you know of another medium with that kind of permanent connection to our lives?

Clearly, Glick made talk radio fun, as Steve LeVeille notes in today’s Boston Herald:

WBZ’s current overnight host, Steve LeVeille, grew up listening to the talk show pioneer. “He was very funny, very personable and he would say the opposite of what you excepted,” LeVeille said.

LeVeille said Glick was known for his sound effects, including a machine gun sound effect, that he used to get rid of callers. “This became so popular that people would beg him to shoot them off the air,” said LeVeille, who had Glick on his show several times.

“It’s instant talk show – just add water – when you have Larry on,” LeVeille said.

While TV teleprompter readers are sometimes forgotten a week after departing from a station, good talk hosts connect with the listener in a way that can last a lifetime. There’s little doubt many in New England are mourning the loss of someone who felt like a family member, a bond not diminished even slightly by 17 years off the air.

Bombshell Poll Finds Patrick = Toast

Just how badly has Governor Deval Patrick’s public standing deteriorated? He’s now running five points behind a guy who’s facing a state ethics inquiry for allegedly rewarding his buddies with lucrative “consulting” payouts.

Deval’s bad news was delivered via a bombshell poll courtesy of WHDH-7 and Suffolk University and reported in today’s Boston Herald. It has Patrick securing only 30% of the vote, compared to 35% for newly-embattled state treasurer Tim Cahill:

Only 34 percent of those surveyed in the poll conducted for 7News by Suffolk University say the governor deserves re-election, while a stunning 47 percent say it is “time to elect someone else.”

Voters gave Patrick a 43 percent unfavorable rating and a 44 percent favorable rating. The rest are undecided.

Cahill, meanwhile, had only an 8 percent unfavorable rating and 40 percent favorable. One caveat: The poll was conducted before headlines this week that the treasurer faces an ethics probe over a Lottery contract.

Asked about Patrick’s job performance, 49 percent disapproved, 40 percent approved and 11 percent were undecided.

Cahill outpolled fellow Democrat Patrick in a general election match among Republicans and independents and among voters in all age groups except 18-35, and easily defeated him among male voters – yet 23 percent of voters surveyed said they have never heard of the treasurer.

“The wiseguys always say you can’t beat somebody with nobody,” said Andy Hiller, chief political reporter for 7News. “Now nobody has a name . . . and it’s Tim Cahill.”

Patrick’s dismal poll numbers come after battering in the press over his naming of a senator pal to a costly plum post, raises for sheriffs, addition of two pricey staffers to the Pike payroll, embarrassing comments by his transportation secretary and his own dismissal of the controversies as “trivial.”

Voters, the 7News poll shows, appear to have had it with Beacon Hill politics, with a whopping 72 percent calling for the state to add a recall vote for “underperforming” pols.

The chance to recall elected officials, common in other parts of the country, would do Massachusetts a world of good. But there’s another, even more potentially devastating approach voters could take if given the opportunity: the addition of “none of the above” to the ballot.

This has been in place in Nevada for over 30 years, with this option sometimes generating thousands of votes. Just two years ago, there was an attempt here in Massachusetts to provide the same option. Imagine having the ability to truly vote against unopposed candidates in our one-party state.

As for Patrick’s declining popularity, I believe Barack Obama is to blame: until the Dear Leader assumed power, Deval was wisely keeping a low profile and seeming to recover from his early missteps. Since January, however, the governor has seemed to adopt Obama’s arrogant “I won” attitude, greatly affecting his standing.

It’s more than the crazy tax-and-spend schemes, Deval’s approach and delivery is clearly a factor. His best re-election hope is now built around a competitive three-way race where the unenrolled candidate steals votes away from the Republican. First, he’ll have to secure the Democratic nomination, which now appears anything but assured.

2007 Patrick – Cadillac image: Mark Garfinkel

Walls Closing In On Patrick, Hacks

How often are Howie Carr and Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy making virtually the same observation? Both are pointing to widespread media outrage (not just from the Herald or Carr’s own program) over Deval Patrick’s performance.

On today’s show, Carr also noted statewide coverage of the hackorama’s continued excesses, from newspapers, television to radio outlets from one end of the Bay State to the other. Tax and tollpayers are fed up and the media has received the message.

The Globie Suck-Up Method

*** UPDATE BELOW ***

How does a little-known weekend talk host with no past experience, hired for now-forgotten reasons (apparently, a one-time “cult following” on YouTube) generate the kind of attention needed to break out of obscurity?

There are two potential paths:

1) Despite the difficult time slot, build a surprisingly substantial audience with a consistently entertaining, substantive and informative program

2) Suck up to Boston’s liberal media-politics establishment, finding ways to let them know you’d like to join their club, pleasing radio managers who share these views

Clearly, Joe Ligotti, also known as “The Guy From Boston”, has chosen the latter route, scoring a mention in what passes for a Globie gossip column:

Joe Ligotti, the WTKK talker who goes by the name The Guy from Boston, attended the Headlines and Headliners event in New York the other night. The annual ‘do raises dough for the the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

Ligotti chatted with Joy Behar from “The View,” Geraldo Rivera, “Today” host Meredith Vieira, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, and drag queen Lady Bunny.

It’s exactly the sort of must-attend event sure to impress radio managers and Globies alike. They love these left-wing establishment celebs and likely see the need to give this peculiar “charity” a financial boost (even if they didn’t have a chance to attend themselves).

But what about talk radio listeners? How popular is any of this with the average WTKK listener?

To again use the FM music analogy, this is a country DJ attending a hip-hop social event and promoting it in a newspaper the station’s fans despise. Talk radio is a format, but that simple concept continues to elude some of broadcasting’s corporate suits.

UPDATE: wonder if the Globies, gay activists and Greater Media suits have seen this clip (WARNING – EXTREME CONTENT):

Yikes.

Howie, Meet Margery

Talk about strange political bedfellows- between Howie Carr and Margery Eagan’s respective Sunday Boston Herald columns, one might never guess they are normally at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum.

But two years of Deval Patrick as governor and a mere two months of his buddy in the White House is apparently all it takes to unite left, right and center in a state of mutual disgust. While WRKO’s Carr tackles Patrick’s shrinking re-election prospects, WTKK’s Eagan wonders how the Obamists could have derailed so quickly.

From Carr’s column:

You know about Deval’s latest meltdown – when he dismissed the endless stream of hack stories in both newspapers as “trivial.” They’re a distraction – one of his, and Barack’s, new favorite words. He can’t be bothered with all those “trivial” stories when he has to deal with issues that are “meaningful.”

Trivial: stories about Deval’s hack hiring spree. Meaningful: doubling the gas tax to keep those six-figure jobs for campaign contributors and unemployed neighbors coming. Dukakis called them“good jobs at good wages.” Deval calls it “stimulus.”

Trivial: writing about no-show jobs at the State House. Meaningful: appointing a “blue-ribbon” ethics commission to have lunch and write a report that no one will read about how to stop the proliferation of no-show jobs at the State House.

Deval has the same blindspot as most of his supporters. Everything has always been handed to him, from his free rides at Harvard to his $1.35 million book contract. He has no idea what it’s like to be sweating a layoff or wondering how you’re going to deal with an unexpected expense, like, say, an extra $100 a month in tolls. There’s a bloodbath going on out here, and he’s as oblivious to it as Marie Antoinette.

So, Deval thinks these hack exposes are “trivial?” He ought to be asking himself why both papers are full of them, every day. It’s because the rank-and-file state workers are leaking like a sieve.

And Eagan:

Yet even I, as Obamafied as can be, have to wonder: Where is that little voice in his head that should stop his mouth, as it stops most of us most of the time, surely when we’re on national TV?

What if Mr. Silver Tongue, Mr. Perfect Pitch, Mr. Talk a Dog Off a Meat Wagon in fact is Mr. Tone Deaf, Mr. Tin Ear, Mr. Can’t Talk Anybody off Anything, including that aforementioned abyss?

Will the Chinese demand all their money back tomorrow?

We all remember those nerve-racking George W. Bush speeches and press conferences. Flubs, gaffes and mispronunciations came so fast and furious, it was like watching that old anti-drug ad. You remember: They cracked an egg into the hot frying pan and said, “This is your brain on drugs.”

For a few blissful weeks into the reign of Obama, I thought those drug-addled, white-knuckle days were past. But tonight he’ll be on “60 Minutes” answering questions far tougher than Leno’s. Will it be an uh-uh-uh-uh-uh night? An um-um-um-um-um night? Will he go after oldsters or maybe chubbettes?

Who knows?

I do know my shattered nerves can’t take it.

By now, I’m sure Margery has seen the coverage of Obama’s tact-free responses to Steve Kroft’s questions on the economy and the resulting suffering of many around the world.

Though it would be fun to engage in a round of see-I-told-you-so, Eagan’s blunt honesty makes that difficult to justify. Let’s hope we’re done hearing about Michelle’s arms and Barack’s pecs.

If Obama had any decent advisors, they’d be telling him to disappear for the next month or two. But even then, he might not listen. Barack is still in “I won” mode and it could prove extremely damaging to Democrats in the next round of elections.