I remember reading that William Ayers biography (the name of which escapes me, but I am sure you can find if you care) was an imaginative piece of history, which is to say the reviewer thought Ayers changed the facts of history to suit his (Ayers) own cognitive dissonance (my phrase). That came to me as I read Ayers' essay in the NYTimes this morning (www.nytimes.com/2008/12/06/opinion/06ayers.html), titled "The Real Bill Ayers". We probably all do that, change our personal history to assuage our conscience. As I was reading Ayers saying he never killed anyone, I thought of the (blog) commenters who had accused Ayers of being a murderer, instead someone who had just damaged property (did he also steal or rob to stay on the run; I'm not sure). During the election, Obama was also accused of various failings, being a communist, a Muslim, a terrorist.
I could say something about how none of us (bloggers) profit from the accusations we make or the praise we give, but to avoid facing my own issues here I will avoid addressing the culpability of others (the beam in my own eye). I will just say that I thought Ayers essay is probably largely true, and certainly a worthwhile read in any case.