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Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground far-left radical who Sarah Palin made famous in 2008 by suggesting he was a “pal” of President Barack Obama, will make his first appearance on the Fox News Channel on Monday. Megyn Kelly will press him on the bombings and deaths he has alleged to have been involved with.
Sitting next to Ayers in Kelly’s studio was Dinesh D’Souza, who arranged for the interview, insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter. D’Souza was invited on The Kelly File to tape what might become a one-hour special on his upcoming movie, America, the follow-up to his surprise hit 2016: Obama’s America, which was released two years ago and is the second most successful political documentary in history based on box-office returns.
According to insiders, Kelly wanted to include in the special someone else from the movie, and D’Souza arranged for it to be Ayers, whom D’Souza is seen debating in the film, the premise of which is to respond to left-leaning critiques of the U.S.
The movie America also includes some scenes of Ayers as a young man in his most radical years. “We will build a revolutionary youth movement capable of actively engaging in the war against the imperialists,” Ayers says, referring to the U.S. “We will escalate our attacks until imperialism is defeated in Vietnam.” See video of the scene below.
Kelly might stretch the Ayers interview over two nights, Monday and Tuesday, then dedicate most or even all of her July 4 show to America, a very unusual move for the host, though not unprecedented at Fox News. Sean Hannity, for example, once dedicated an hour of his show to Son of God, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
“For months, [Ayers] dodged the press until after his friend was elected president of the United States,” Kelly told her audience Thursday night while promoting her upcoming segment. “It has been six years, and for the first time ever, the man who is personally believed to have set several bombs off in this country comes into the Fox News headquarters and answers for his acts.”
In a clip of the promo, embedded below, Kelly is seen peppering Ayers with questions. “How many bombings are you responsible for?” she asks. Ayers answers 20, though he is careful to attribute them not to himself but to the Weather Underground, the leftist group he co-founded in 1969.
While Ayers says he’ll never talk about what he personally did in regards to the bombings, he admits to Kelly that he stole money and “ripped off” the identities of dead babies.
Kelly also asks Ayers to defend his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, from comments she made in 1969. “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson,” Dohrn said, according to The New York Times. “This is your sweetheart? This is your soul mate?” Kelly asks Ayers.
Ayers has also said more recently that he wouldn’t “dismiss the possibility” of bombing America for political purposes, and Kelly presses him on what he thinks would justify such actions. His answer to that question and others Kelly poses, though, are not included in the promo clip.
Lionsgate opened America in Houston and Atlanta on Friday and releases it in 1,000 theaters nationwide on July 2.
While Ayers acknowledges in his 2001 book, Fugitive Days, that the Weather Underground was responsible for bombings — including a nail bomb that exploded prematurely and killed three of the group’s own members — he says he has never been arrested for anything more than a misdemeanor.
In 2008, GOP vice presidential candidate Palin said of Obama at a fundraiser, “Our opponent, though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” Her reference was to Ayers, who lived in Obama’s neighborhood and served on a charitable board with him. Ayers and Dohrn also once hosted a political fundraiser for Obama.
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