You Don’t Need Ben Smith To Know Which Way the Wind Blows

William Ayers used to be a member of the Weather Underground. He donated $200 to Barack Obama in 2001, and served on a board with him. This, according to Bloomberg and Ben Smith, “could be a real problem for Obama”.
This is really weak tea. Since when does receiving money from someone constitute an endorsement of their views? Since when does serving on a board with someone imply that you support actions of theirs taken 30-odd years ago? Seriously, Obama was 8 years old when the Weathermen were founded. Why some tangential, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style linkage of a former member and Obama is supposed to be disturbing is beyond me.
But what really irks me about the story is that line of Smith’s, that it “could be a real problem”. Well, Ben, it’ll only be a real problem if people like you report it as if it matters. Smith makes no judgment about whether it should be a big deal, and yet proceeds to spread the story, increasing the likelihood that it will be one. He acts like he has no agency in the matter, when he has a significant amount.

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