Glenn Beck purported to link President Obama to the Free Gaza Movement and its recent flotilla by exaggerating his connections to individuals he says are involved in the movement, including William Ayers. Beck went on to claim that while there was no "conspiracy" between Obama and those individuals, "there is coordination" because they "think alike."
Beck links Obama to Ayers, Dohrn, Evans, who he says are "connected" to group behind flotilla
Beck uses Bill Ayers and Code Pink's Jodie Evans to imply that the Obama administration is connected to the Gaza flotilla incident. From the June 1 edition of the Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: The alert now is that Jodie Evans from Code Pink was over in Egypt to deliver humanitarian aid to Hamas-run Gaza, to mark the one-year anniversary of Israel's response, blah, blah, blah. Also, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, both former terrorists with Weather Underground, also joined her in Cairo. They are connected to the Free Gaza Movement, which is the movement that the ship is involved with.
Beck went on to detail purported ties between Obama and Ayers, Dohrn, and Evans.
Beck: "There's no conspiracy theory," Obama, Ayers, Dohrn, and Evans all just "think alike." From the June 1 edition of the Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Look, it doesn't matter if Barack Obama was tied, you know, to Bill Ayers and Code Pink and Dohrn. It doesn't matter. They all have mutual friends. Have you seen Shore Bank? This is the way it works. They launder people and they keep the ones that just can't be laundered clean at an arms length. But they're still connecting. I'm not saying that Obama is picking up the phone and calling Bill Ayers by any stretch of the imagination. But there is coordination because people think alike. There's no conspiracy theory here, there's none! You don't need a star chamber. They think alike. And they're moving in the same direction. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Beck claims that the connections between Ayers and Obama have not been discredited. Reading from a blog post by Media Matters' Jeremy Holden, Beck stated, "Here's what Media Matters is saying: 'Right-wing efforts to portray Obama as close associates with Ayers and Dohrn have been repeatedly discredited.' When?" Beck producer Stu Burguiere replied: "No they haven't. They just keep saying, 'no, no. He was eight years old when that bombing occur...' That doesn't distance him from Bill Ayers today, that hasn't distanced him. 'He was eight years old when that happened.' And?"
Beck links Evans to Obama because she was a bundler for his campaign. After tying Evans to the Gaza flotilla, Beck and his producer Stu Burguiere linked Evans to Obama on the basis that she was a bundler for the Obama campaign:
BECK: Evans, she's with Code Pink, right? And Stu, was she not a bundler for Obama as well?
BURGUIERE: By the way, confirmed, that was a Politico story that reported that Jodie Evans was a bundler for Obama, meaning that she was raising over $50,000 for the campaign.
Beck urged his listeners to "look for the connections" between President Obama and the group associated with the Gaza flotilla. Discussing the Gaza flotilla, Beck further stated: "Let me tell you how this is going to play out, in my humble opinion. You look for the connections to anybody, anybody, around this President to this group."
Media reports: President Obama does not have close ties with Ayers
New York Times: President Obama and William Ayers "do not appear to have been close." After reviewing the records of a school reform board that connected Ayers and Obama and interviewing "a dozen people who know both men," an October 3, 2008 article reported that friends stated that "Mr. Ayers was never a significant influence" on Obama. The Times further reported:
"The suggestion that Ayers was a political adviser to Obama or someone who shaped his political views is patently false," said Ben LaBolt, a campaign spokesman. Mr. LaBolt said the men first met in 1995 through the education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and have encountered each other occasionally in public life or in the neighborhood. He said they have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005 and last met more than a year ago when they bumped into each other on the street in Hyde Park.
NYT: Obama has never "expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers." The Times also concluded that "the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers."
CNN: Obama and Ayers have not had "an ongoing relationship." Following accusations launched by Sarah Palin in October of 2008 that Obama was "palling around with terrorists," CNN investigated the purported friendship between Obama and Ayers. The report found that "there is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now 'palling around,' or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years."
Evans was one of hundreds of bundlers to the Obama campaign
More than 300 bundlers directed more money to Obama's campaign then did Evans. Beck ties Evans to Obama solely on the basis that she was a bundler for the Obama campaign. OpenSecrets.com lists 560 Obama bundlers of $50,000 or more; at least 324 of those bundlers directed more money to Obama than did Evans.