More Ben Carson news today! You remember Doc Carson's story about the psychology test hoax that proved he was the most honest man at Yale? Well, Carson says it really happened, and the proof is ... a piece from the Yale Daily News about a parody issue of the News published by the Yale Record. Apparently the parody issue announced that some psychology exams had been destroyed and a retest would be held in the evening. Hilarious!Once again, here's the story -- which, as Drum notes, is very, very different from Carson's version:
Seems Ben Carson test story did happen, contrary WSJ report. But it was a hoax he fell for? pic.twitter.com/Xxw7n2kdHB— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 8, 2015
Carson says in Gifted Hands that this happened in his junior year. The Yale Daily News story says it happened in 1970, when Carson was a freshman. (He graduated high school in 1969 and got his bachelor's from Yale in '73.) Carson says he took the new exam with "about 150 other students." The article says "several students" showed up for the retest. Carson says the questions on the second exam, unlike those on the first one, "were incredibly difficult, if not impossible... a brilliant psychiatrist might have trouble with some of them." The article says the second exam "closely resembled the psychology exam given on Monday morning."
There's no mention in the article of anything like this:
“What’s going on?” I asked. “A hoax,” the teacher said. “We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.” She smiled again. “And that’s you.” The professor then did something even better. She handed me a ten-dollar bill.I have a question about this that, depending on the answer, might lead me to feel a little sympathy for Carson: Did he actually fall for this hoax? I ask because I was a naive college student. Like Carson, I didn't have parents who attended college and I made it to one of the Ivies. It was an awkward fit. I look back and recall missing what to other people would have been obvious cues. Maybe that's what happened to Carson -- and, of course, he was a freshman. Maybe he turned a humiliating moment of naivete into gold in his memoir.
Or maybe not. Maybe he just read about this incident, or experienced it but shrugged it off, then mined it later -- it was just material he could spin into inspirational fiction, not a memory whose pain he could reduce by reworking it. Did he use the story because he's a cynic? A grifter? Or maybe just a well-meaning Christian who thinks tales of prayer rewarded, true or otherwise, will draw people closer to God?
Or did he later come to think this really happened the way he retold it?
Rachel Dolezal feels black even though the facts say she's white. Ben Carson might feel God blessed him in that classroom even though it never happened.
BY THE WAY: Garry Trudeau was the editor of the Yale Record around this time. Has anyone asked him to weigh in?