Saturday, November 07, 2015


Ben Carson's life story is being scrutinized again, this time by Reid Epstein, an evil liberal at ... The Wall Street Journal:
The day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968, Ben Carson’s black classmates unleashed their anger and grief on white students who were a minority at Detroit’s Southwestern High.

Mr. Carson, then a junior with a key to a biology lab where he worked part time, told The Wall Street Journal last month that he protected a few white students from the attacks by hiding them there.

It is a dramatic account of courage and kindness, and it couldn’t be confirmed in interviews with a half-dozen of Mr. Carson’s classmates and his high school physics teacher. The students all remembered the riot. None recalled hearing about white students hiding in the biology lab, and Mr. Carson couldn’t remember any names of those he sheltered.

“It may have happened, but I didn’t see it myself or hear about it,” said Gregory Vartanian, a white classmate of Mr. Carson’s who served in the ROTC with Mr. Carson and is now a retired U.S. Marshal.
There's more. Epstein examines an anecdote in Carson's memoir about a moment of stick-to-it-iveness on Carson's part: A Yale professor claimed all the exam papers in a class called Perceptions 101 had been burned, then compelled the students to endure a much harder test. All but Carson walked out, in his telling. A photographer from the Yale Daily News recorded Carson's persistence, which was also rewarded with a cash gift. (No such story ever appeared in the News, and no such class existed at Yale at the time.) (BUT SEE 2ND UPDATE BELOW.)

So is it all over for Carson now that so many of the tales he's told about himself seem to full of holes? To the contrary -- being the victim of hate-filled media liberals (even, presumably, those from The Wall Street Journal) makes Carson more popular on the right, as we learn from National Review's David French:
Let’s begin with two propositions: There is a difference between an admirable man and a perfect man, and there is a difference between “vetting” and viciousness. The collective goal of the liberal media is now clear -- to take one of America’s most admired and brilliant men and somehow transform him into a dishonest, stupid extremist....

Hovering over the feeding frenzy is the absurd media spectacle of mainstream reporters claiming they’re merely “doing their job” by diving into 50-year-old details of Ben Carson’s childhood. The same reporters who were not just incurious about the details of Barack Obama’s background in 2008 but actively hostile to those who asked reasonable questions about his relationship with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and his years of religious instruction from Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.

... he’s a direct threat not just to leftist narratives regarding race and class but also to the leftist stranglehold on the black vote. And for that reason alone he must be destroyed.

A “high-tech lynching” is again underway, but if recent history is any guide, the Left’s attempt to strike down Carson will only make him stronger. The media can launch its attacks, but it cannot change the fundamental facts: Ben Carson is a good and decent man, an American hero.
Carson is just going to rise in the polls for as long as this vetting takes place. He's getting all the media attention, the way Donald Trump did a couple of months ago. Trump thought he'd win the weekend by hosting Saturday Night Live (and by being the object of anti-racists' wrath for getting that gig). Chris Christie hoped his viral pro-drug-treatment video would get him back into the race. Jeb thought he'd get praise for his campaign reboot. Marco Rubio thought he'd be the big liberal-media victim of the week, because the press is still scrutinizing his financials. But Carson is out-martyring Rubio and Trump by a wide margin. And Bush and Christie can't compete with a "high-tech lynching."

This comes at a terrible time for the candidates trailing Carson and Trump, because there's no obvious opportunity for any of them to claim victimization until the December 15 CNN debate, when they can whine about the questioners' liberal media bias, and may the best whiner win.

But wait -- isn't there a Republican debate next week? Well, yes -- but it's on Fox Business, and, as we learned when the candidates were circulating ideas for remaking the debates, no one wanted to rewrite the rules for this debate because it's on Fox:
Any changes would be applied to debates after next week’s Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that "people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad," a reference to the network’s chief.
Trump, of course, is an exception to that rule -- he's happy to complain about any media outlet, including Fox. So this debate could be good for him. But Carson goes into the debate with so many martyrdom points that he could easily remain in the lead even after a mediocre debate. (Mediocre debates never seem to hurt him in any case.)

Because the other candidates won't dare to complain about the bias of the Fox moderators, and because GOP voters' sole criterion for a presidential candidate this year seems to be how angry the candidate is at "political correctness" and liberals (and at the GOP Establishment, which is presumed to be full of quisling enablers of liberal PC), the Fox moderators probably should try to help the non-front-running candidates by just asking question after question about the persecution of right-wingers: Senator Cruz, do you believe most members of the secular-progressive media receive money directly from Hamas and the Communist International, or do you think they simply have a personal vendetta against conservatism? Really -- all the questions should be like this. That's what would give most of the candidates their best opportunity to break from the pack.

I'm joking about that question, but I think there really could be a question along those lines in the debate: During the past week, Senator Rubio's financial history has been subjected to intense scrutiny from the media, as has Dr. Carson's biography. What limits, if any, should there be on candidate vetting by the media, and do you think there's a double standard on vetting, with liberal Democrats receiving more favorable treatment? That question, if it's asked, will lead to the highest level of candidate engagement in the entire debate. The answers will be all anyone will talk about the next day. Because these days, Republicans hardly care about anything else.


UPDATE: Yup, Carson's the king of the hill.




Uncle Mike said...

Excuse me, but the media went all the way back to Obama's birth to investigate him.

mlbxxxxxx said...

I'm waiting for the Carson/Reagan comparisons. Making up valorous stories about yourself is very Reaganesque. This may show he's really got the right stuff.

Seriously, I think this stuff is going to be part of what stops him from breaking away from the pack. But it will not stop him from being the VP pick, if he continues in the race and is a proven vote-getter.

Yastreblyansky said...

Here's another bit, from the Detroit News: General Westmoreland was nowhere near Detroit any time near Memorial Day 1969, so he certainly didn't have dinner with young Ben, with or without reference to West Point.

I'm trying to open up a new line of inquiry, about that time George Bush gave Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom not for the stated reasons but because he was such a great foreign policy advisor.

Yastreblyansky said...

He could have met Westmoreland at a banquet in February that year (and it's likely he did, I believe), but either way it would be too late, you need to start the admissions process in spring of junior year at latest. Any of his classmates who were admitted would have got their letters the previous January.

brett said...

What's their choice? To admit they're all frauds, all the way down?

Feud Turgidson said...


You should expect to encounter difficulty in finding records on Dr. Carson's Presidential Medal of Honor. That's because 2001-09 time period is covered by the time embargo which Congress grants to presidential administrations to impose over their records.

You'll want make a special mental (or even brief written) note to yourself, making sure to include this date: January 20th, 2033. That's the first day from which the so-called presidential library hold-back begins to expire*, calculated in this instance from the last day of the second term of the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush (The rule of thumb is to add 25 years to that date, then get busy.).

Eventually in due course, you'll probably need to contact the offices of the Director of NARA - that's N.A.R.A., which is an acronym for the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). I recommend you consider putting up your note (with a reliable adhesive; quality can be important here) near eye-level to your PC's screen, or else somewhere prominently within your line of sight or that of anyone else authorized to use your PC.

Also, you may wish to (carefully) tuck a similar note under one of those often colorful &/or creative magnetized business cards designed to be attached to the (outside) doors of kitchen refrigerators (Again, they tend to work better at or near eye-level.),

Typically there can also be quite a bit of potentially helpful information "online" (on the "World Wide Web", a.k.a. the "Internet", "Net" for short), including in particular the NARA agency's website for full contract information particulars and regular office hours. Wikipedia, as well, has an entry for NARA, together with some general information on its origins & history, and a number of hyperlinks which, assuming they work, have been known to lead to fascinating, intriguing and occasionally informative & useful articles.

(Should you encounter difficulties either in connecting the NARA website, or with any of the hyperlinks on the Wikipedia site on NARA, the chief online research officer at your own blog may be able to provide assistance.)

* Presidential administrations & the official libraries of former P.O.T.U.S.'s (standing for "President of the United States") are, you can expect to find out, but a few among a surprisingly large & often bewilderingly varied number of government agencies & offices with, or at least purporting to have, the power to forestall release of such records even beyond that minimum period of time. By way of example, should some authorized successor to the interests of former Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney - typically a close family member or still-embedded operative at the State Department or in the CIA - learn of your inquiry (They will.) & object to release of any and/or all pertinent, relevant or connected document(s), it could well be some (currently unknowable) additional time before the process of dealing with & (possibly) overcoming that objection is complete. Experienced hands at this process strongly recommend retaining the services of an accredited firm of attorneys with one or more specialists in this area, as well as a registered lobbyist & possibly even a federal district court judge (Can't hurt.).

Ten Bears said...

Lying, like murder, child molestation and profit at another's expense, is okay if you're a "christian".

Ten Bears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CF2K said...

Here's a new game called "High-Tech Lynching." Whenever you hear a Ben Carson apologist say "...but what about Obama!" you take a sip. When you hear "liberal media" then take a gulp. And when you hear a Ben Carson apologist say "high-tech lynching!" then shotgun whatever it is you're drinking. OK? Oh, and I almost forgot: when you hear "is a *real* African-American," then the next round is on you.

Glennis said...

Ben Carson's life story is his claim to fame - it's what got him invited to that prayer breakfast where he disrespected President Obama and thus earned the adoration of conservatives. So now it turns out his life story has been embellished, if not completely fabricated.

Here's another thing that's different - Obama's life story was investigated and it turned out to be true. The right wing is just upset that no one has taken seriously the shit they made up about Obama.

"How come you guys don't look into the fact that Obama did XXXXX?" Answer: Because he didn't.

Ken_L said...

I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but I can't think offhand of any story more likely to endear a black man to the typical Fox viewer than "Courageous black student saves a bunch of white kids from rioting black mob". No wonder they all find him trustworthy.

Vixen Strangely said...

Ben Carson is basically an often-forwarded Facebook story come to life. He's personified right-wing tropes. Until the actual vetting, the best thing he represented was an actual person who could claim some of these scenarios being real.

Still not sure if people will prefer "real to them" over "factual" when presented with the actual person presenting these claims being less-than-truthful.

MO Blue said...

In his book Carson claims he was a junior when the professor awarded him $10 for being the most honest student in class.

"Mr. Carson, then a junior, and the other students in the class--identified by Mr. Carson as Perceptions 301--that their final exam papers had "inadvertently burned," requiring all 150 students to retake it. The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.

The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture," Mr. Carson wrote. "`A hoax,' the teacher said. `We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.'" Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $10 bill.""

Yes, there was a Parody issue of the News published by the Yale Record that stated exams had been destroyed and a retest would be held. That issue was published on January 13, 1970.
Yale archives

Let's review some dates. In Feb. and May, 1969, Ben Carson was a senior in High School. In Jan. 1970, Ben Carson would have been a freshman at Yale and not a junior. Records show he got his B.A. from Yale in 1973.

Unknown said...

"In Jan. 1970, Ben Carson would have been a freshman at Yale and not a junior."

So just in time to file this anecdote away in memory for deployment latter. Just changing dates, times, course names, and participants.

So contra Andrew Kaczynski not a hoax he actually fell for. Just one ripe for exploitation later on. Kind of like the good old days when I was banging every great looking chick in Hollywood. No wait that was Warren Beatty. Instead I was getting my Seal Badge and conducting secret operations back then. No wait that was a movie. But hell who doesn't like a good story.