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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Obama Official: We Controlled The News

 

      President Obama’s presidential campaign focused on “making” the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was “controlled,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.
 
      “Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn’t absolutely control,” said Dunn.
 
      “One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters,” said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama’s chief campaign manager.
 
      “We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it,” Dunn said.
 
      Continued Dunn: “Whether it was a David Plouffe video or an Obama speech, a huge part of our press strategy was focused on making the media cover what Obama was actually saying as opposed to why the campaign was saying it, what the tactic was . making the press cover what we were saying.”
 
      Dunn was speaking at a Jan. 12, 2009, event focusing on Obama’s media tactics and hosted by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, which seeks to promote collaboration between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. Video of her speech was released by this reporter this past week and has since been played extensively by the news media.
 
      Dunn has been facing some criticism since she led a White House campaign last week against Fox News, slamming the top-rated network as an “arm of the Republican Party” and “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
 

      Fox hit back this past Friday, releasing a video of Dunn speaking to high school students last June in which she lists her two “favorite political philosophers,” one whom was Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong, whose draconian policies are blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of people.

 

Ayers, Obama Officials

Speak At Same Conference
 
      Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Undersecretary Martha Kanter keynoted an education reform seminar where William Ayers was a major speaker and participant, this column has learned.
 
      Earlier this month, Duncan and Kanter discussed their education initiatives at a convention for the Renaissance Group, which defines itself on its website as “a proactive force for the improvement and reform of education, locally, regionally and nationally.”
 
      Kanter spoke Oct. 5 after a breakfast reception. After taking questions from the audience, Kanter was followed by a brief break and then a lunch session took place with Ayers. The next day, Duncan was the morning’s first speaker. The conference lasted three days.
 
      Michael J. Giovannetti, executive director of Renaissance, told this reporter in an interview that both Duncan and Kanter were fully aware that Ayers would be speaking and had no problem speaking at the conference at which the unrepentant radical also was a presenter.
 
      Giovannetti praised Ayes as “one of most outstanding professionals in education.”
 
      Ayers sparked controversy during last year’s presidential campaign when this reporter revealed that the former terrorist worked closely with Obama for years.
 
      Ayers, along with his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was one of the main founders of the Weather Underground, which bombed New York City Police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972. The group was responsible for some 30 bombings aimed at destroying the defense and security infrastructures of the U.S.
 
      Characterizing Weathermen as “an American Red Army,” Ayers summed up the organization’s ideology: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents.”
 
      Ayers’s radicalism was not confined to the 1970s. In a now notorious 2001 interview with the New York Times, published one day after the 9/11 attacks, Ayers stated, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”
 

      Ayers posed for a photograph accompanying the New York Times piece that showed him stepping on an American flag. He said of the U.S.: “What a country. It makes me want to puke.”

 

Obama Apparently Not Happy With Israel

 

      U.S. officials recently told the Palestinian Authority that President Obama’s administration is “disgusted” with Israel, a top aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas told this column in an interview.
 
      Nimr Hamad said the White House was dismayed by Israel’s refusal to halt all settlement activity as a precondition for restarting talks with the PA over the creation of a Palestinian state.                           
 
     Hamad said the term “disgusted” was used more than once in recent meetings with U.S. envoys to describe the administration’s attitude toward Israel. Hamad did not name the U.S. envoys using the terminology.
 
      George Mitchell, Obama’s envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just this week wrapped up a series of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders over re-starting talks.
 
      Senior PA sources said the Obama administration told them the U.S. may begin publicly pressuring Israel, starting in March, to immediately withdraw from key areas in the West Bank and peripheral eastern Jerusalem sections in which the Palestinians currently maintain administrative control.
 

      The sources specified that as a confidence-building measure with the PA, Israel will be asked by the Obama administration to hand over security control to territories designated in the 1993 Oslo Accords as Area B – cities administered by the PA but largely controlled by Israeli security.

 

 

      Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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