Belmont Club

American idle

The gatekeeperThe National Review has a long piece addressing two questions: a) whether examining a Presidential candidate’s public background is ever legitimate journalism and b) what happens when you do and the candidate is Barack Obama. Describing the importance of Kurtz’s look into the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) the National Review wrote:

The CAC was a major education reform project, proposed by Ayers, which was underwritten by a $49.2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, complemented by another $100 million in private and public funding. The project ran for about five years, beginning in 1995. As the liberal researcher Steve Diamond has recounted, Ayers ran its operational arm, the “Chicago School Reform Collaborative.” Obama, then a 33-year-old, third-year associate at a small law firm, having no executive experience, was brought in to chair the board of directors, which oversaw all “fiscal matters.” …

The CAC records, said to comprise 70 linear feet of files, have long been maintained at the library of the UIC, the public university where Ayers teaches. This summer, Kurtz made an appointment to review them and, after being assured access, was blocked from seeing them by library administrators, who stammered about needing permission from the “donor” — whom they declined to identify. Kurtz energetically raised public awareness to the stonewalling, and the library finally relented this week. That is, as Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democrats’ nomination tonight, the records of his only significant executive experience just became available for review on Tuesday.

But the third and unasked question the National Review should have raised is where the MSM has been in all of this. The major parties and the press are large components of the quality control process of  the political system. They are supposed to weed out the obviously inept, mentally distrubed, or treasonable candidates before they get too far, the idea being that once a candidate arrives on the national stage he/she can in the words of doctors, ‘do no harm’. One might have added, “to the ratings”.


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