This Week In Stupid: Conservatives Claim Google Endorses Obama/Ayers Book Conspiracy
Sometimes you just have to marvel at the almost-transcendent inanity of the conservative blogosphere. For a few years now, some conservative media figures -- led by conservative bloggers like Jack Cashill -- have been obsessed with proving that Bill Ayers is the true author of President Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father.
If you were under the impression that this conspiracy theory couldn't sink any lower  than Cashill's column in February highlighting how Obama and Ayers both use words like "skillet" and "ice cream" in their writing, you were mistaken.
This week, seeking to add more "evidence" to this theory, some conservative blogs are running with the claim that Google has joined in on the conspiracy and is now listing Ayers as the author of Dreams on Google Books.
That might be somewhat interesting if it actually happened. But it didn't.
In a post  yesterday at the frequently -embarrassing  American Thinker website, Thinker publisher Thomas Lifson got the ball rolling, alleging that "Google Books lists Bill Ayers as author of Dreams from My Father." In what we in the business call "making a journalism," it appears the extent of Lifson's research for this piece involved doing a search for "Bill Ayers" on Google Books and then taking a screenshot of the first page of results.
Lifson ponders "what data are its algorithms sifting through to come to the conclusion that yes, the stylistic parallels to Ayers' other books are formidable" and includes this screenshot as proof that "Google Books lists Bill Ayers as author of Dreams from My Father":
Unfortunately for Lifson, while his screenshot does show that Dreams from My Father appears on the first page of book search results for Bill Ayers (likely a product of conservatives' years-long crusade to link the two and Google's search algorithm closely associating them as a result), it also quite clearly lists "Barack Obama" as the author of said book:
I suppose a post titled "Google Books lists Barack Obama as author of Dreams from My Father" would have been more accurate, but likely wouldn't have gotten this exciting scoop picked up by WorldNetDaily  and Gateway Pundit .
But if we're to follow Lifson's line of reasoning here, I think he missed out on a bigger story.
Using the daft standard that "Bill Ayers wrote every book that appears in Google Books search results for 'Bill Ayers,'" by sorting through the pages of results Lifson links to, it becomes apparent that Ayers has been quite prolific over his career.
Not only has he written several books we were led to believe had been penned by WorldNetDaily writers, including The Obama Nation by Jerome Corsi, and Red Army by Aaron Klein, but he also ghost-wrote books by Ann Coulter, Keith Olbermann, Michael Savage, Pam Geller, Hugh Hewitt, and Dinesh D'Souza, among others.
Perhaps most startling is the revelation that Ayers wrote  Jack Cashill's Deconstructing Obama, one of the books credited with popularizing the theory that Ayers is the true author of Dreams from My Father.