Diary

Ben Carson VS The Press

I will straight up confess that Ben Carson is not at the top of my list for the Republican nomination. My number one preference this cycle was Rick Perry (with [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] as Vice President), followed by Scott Walker – (ED: Man, I do know how to pick ’em, right?) Since they both crashed and burned, I find myself divided; my head is with [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] – but my heart, of course, as it has always been, is with [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ].

Carson is no doubt a brilliant, accomplished and decent man, but there is also no doubt that he is not exactly prepared for the Oval Office – ideally he should have been recruited to run for the Senate in Michigan (given that he was born and raised in Detroit) last year, or filed to succeed Mikulski in the Senate next year. But I am beginning to warm to Carson for one thing – his campaign is actually fighting the media without pulling its punches; something every single office-seeking Republican very much needs to understand is necessary to succeed both in a campaign or in office.

The suspiciously coordinated-looking torrent of ill-researched, ill-reasoned and plainly fraudulent hit-pieces against him says it clearly; whether or not – as The Hill would have it – Ben Carson has actually declared “War on the Press”, it is obvious that the Press has declared war on him. Carson is punching back, and punching back hard, but the gloves are still on – I think it’s time he replaced them with a set of brass (or titanium) knuckles – preferably spiked and bladed.

Here’s how I’d do it.

I’d sit in front of a video camera, look into it and say …

Good evening my fellow Americans.

My name is Benjamin Carson.

In the past few weeks, you may have also seen numerous stories claiming that I lied about my past in the media, particularly by CNN, the Politico and the news pages of the Wall Street Journal. However, each and every one of those stories is false, based on bad faith, poor research and in no small part, on simple partisan politics by the people writing them.

First of all, CNN tried to verify incidents that happened in my home when I was in middle school, by talking to people who knew me in high school. Even then, one of the people they talked to said he remembered hearing about it. Still, on that flimsy basis, they claimed that I lied about what happened. But an hour of research would have shown them that I have told this story for many years, long before I ever considered running for President of the United States. An hour of research would have revealed a 1997 interview with my mother who told this same story. My mother today is suffering from Alzheimer’s but I can assure you that my running for President in 2015 was not a motive for her to lie in 1997.

Politico then claimed that I “fabricated” an application and acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Again, this was deliberately false. I wrote in my book that I only ever applied to one school, Yale. Politico had to change their story. They tried to claim that I lied about being offered a scholarship. Now it is true that West Point cadets do not pay for tuition, room or board. But West Point itself, calls it a scholarship on their brochures, on their website and in their advertisements. Again, an hour’s research would have shown Politico all this before publishing their story saying that I lied.

Then the Wall Street Journal claimed that I lied about a class I took and an incident that happened at Yale in 1970. They said the class never existed and the incident never happened. So my campaign provided them with an article from Yale’s own student newspaper in 1970 proving that the incident did happen, and a class brochure proving the course they said never existed, actually did exist. Again, all this information was available after a little research.

Remember that all these news organizations and their reporters and editors could have called and asked for more information. They did not. They could have spent an hour or two doing their research and found all this information that supported what I said and wrote in my book. They did not. Under normal circumstances, my campign would like to believe that these false stories were the results of rookie mistakes, sloppy research errors and pressures to meet deadlines.

Except that these stories were written by professionals, with many years of experience, who certainly know that it is better to get the story right than to get it first.

Second, this fits a disturbing pattern that we have seen far too often in recent years. In 2004, Dan Rather and his team at CBS tried to use fake documents to sabotage President George W. Bush’s reelection. In 2008, the New York Times published an article, without any evidence, claiming that [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ] was having an affair. In 2012, the Washington Post published an unverifiable story saying that Mitt Romney bullied a classmate 50 years ago when he was a teenager.

As we saw recently in the debate hosted by CNBC, it appears that many members of the media, including many working in the nation’s most influential news organizations, are increasingly becoming comfortable with using their positions of trust to engage in partisan politics.

After the 2008 elections, it was discovered that a group of at least 400 Left-Wing journalists, both in print and broadcast, and other liberal activists had been part of a secret mailing list, called the “Journolist”, where they collaborated on stories and made decisions about the stories they would cover and the stories they would ignore, for the express purpose of assisting then candidate Obama’s campaign and that of other Democrats across the country.

Given this precedent, and the remarkable coincidence of so many false stories by experienced journalists working for left-leaning news organizations, my campaign is forced to consider the possibility that this is a coordinated partisan assault on my character and my record.

We all know the saying that a lie gets halfway across the world before the truth gets out of bed. Similarly, we know that while many people see the false story on the front page, only a tiny few see the correction on page 41, or many days or weeks later, after the damage has been done.

So, as we approach one of the most important Presidential elections in our time, my message to you, my fellow Americans, is to carefully examine every story you hear or see about the candidates. Just because it’s in the newspaper or in a broadcast news program doesn’t mean it is true. Be skeptical. Look at multiple sources, seek out all the facts, look at the response from the campaigns – whether it be one of my fellow Republicans or on the other side and come to your own conclusions before you cast your vote.

Finally, let me be clear; I believe in the First Amendment. I do not believe the government, at any level, has any business to do with regulating what journalists do. I am a public figure, and therefore Politico, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and every other news organization, have the absolute First Amendment right to write whatever they want about me without government interference, just like I have the right to challenge them when they publish false information, whether inadvertently or deliberately, about me or my campaign.

Thank you very much.

God bless you all.

Now that would be a proper full-fledged Declaration of War, and better yet, it brings media bias front and center in the campaign.

I’ve written this before; being forced to drop the intelligence-insulting facade of “objectivity” and “independence” may actually end up being the best thing that could happen to the American news media. It would certainly be better for America. Rather than making their reporters change their party registration from “Democrat” to “Independent” and prohibiting them from donating to political candidates and causes, and attending protests and marches, it would serve them better to be open about who and what they are. To quote NRO’s Jay Nordlinger;

I’ve said it a million times: The anchorman of CBS News [Dan Rather] should attend Democratic fundraisers (as happened). The Supreme Court reporter of the New York Times [Linda Greenhouse] a.k.a. the paper of record, should march in abortion-rights rallies (as happened). And PBS news figures [e.g. Gwen Ifill] should be open partisans … What I disapprove of is pretending — the pretending that these news organizations are neutral and dispassionate, instead of on the left.

In Europe, papers are open about their partisan and ideological leanings and so are their reporters, without the people becoming immiserated and bereft of hope. In France, Le Monde is openly on the Left while Le Figaro is on the Right (such as it is in France). In Germany, Die Zeit / Die Welt are openly Left / Right and in the UK, The Telegraph openly leans Right while The Guardian is very much proudly hard Left.

And quite frankly, journalism in Europe is much more vibrant and competitive, and informative, because of it. It means there are no sacred cows, no common understandings, no consensus on what subjects are acceptable or not. So you don’t find The Guardian hiding information about Labour misbeavior because they know The Telegraph would not hesitate to roast them over the coals for it. Likewise, The Telegraph dare not conceal Tory misdeeds because Guardianistas would love nothing more than to whale on its reputation.

It’s time the partisans working in the nation’s newsrooms – starting from the Washington Post, the NYT, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, LAT, etc. – to simply own up to their partisanship and allow their staff to proudly register their party membership and openly donate to Planned Parenthood, Media Matters and the DNC, and march along with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

Of course, that would create room for and legitimize the existence of explicitly Right leaning news outlets. And I suspect, for all the whining protests and dire warnings about the news media disappearing or becoming irrelevant as it increasingly loses its legitimacy and trust, most of today’s liberal journalists would much rather see their industrty burn down to nothing, than see the Washington Times being viewed as a credible counter-weight to the Washington Post.