What Ben Carson Can Learn from Brian Williams
Anyone who reads my columns knows that I’m not a fan of Ben Carson. He says too many nutty things – about America being like Nazi Germany and about ObamaCare being the worse thing to happen to this country since slavery.
And now he’s in the news, standing accused pretty much of being a liar – of making things up about his past, presumably to craft an image that he figures will do him well in the public arena.
I don’t know if the allegations against Dr. Carson are true, but let’s just say I won’t be shocked if we find out he either exaggerated about his past or went farther than that to make his rags-to-riches story of redemption all the more powerful. He wouldn't be the first person running for office to get things wrong.
Some conservatives say the media are bashing Ben Carson. But since his candidacy is based largely on his past, on his biography, his life story matters. And if he fabricated elements of that story, we should know. That’s not bashing. It’s journalism.
But it’s too bad the so-called mainstream media aren’t as passionate about exposing lies when it’s a liberal Democrat who’s fabricating stories for political gain.
The same media that are in a tizzy over whether Ben Carson really stabbed someone when he was a kid and whether he almost hit his mother in the head with a hammer and whether he really was recruited by West Point -- all things that happened or didn’t happen many decades ago – don’t get worked up very much by lies Hillary Clinton told much more recently.
We all know the story about how she blamed an anti-Muslim video for the violence in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. We now know – thanks to the House Benghazi hearing – that she lied. We know that she told her daughter that it was a terrorist attack and that she told the Egyptian prime minister that the video had nothing to do with what happened.
Yet many in the liberal media called the performance the best week of her campaign. They said it was a big win for Hillary and a big loss for the Republicans, who they more than suggested, were only trying to bring her down because she’s running for president. Journalists were too busy throwing rose petals at her feet to note that she was exposed as a liar.
And why was the lie important? Because Barack Obama was running for reelection telling voters he had terrorists on the run. He could deal with an anti-Muslim video but a terrorist attack might cause him problems.
So Hillary lied to the American people for base political reasons. Her loyalty was to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party, not to the American people. And the media said, “Nothing to see here folks, just move along.”
And remember when Barack Obama looked the American people in the eye and said if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor … and if you like your medical plan, you can keep that too. For millions of Americans that was a lie – a lie he told to get his signature piece of legislation through Congress.
The media couldn't ignore what the president said, but they didn’t dwell on those lies either.
And Ben Carson is right when he says that reporters who want him to account for what he did as a young boy in Detroit have not shown the slightest bit of curiosity about what Barack Obama did in New York, at Columbia University. Why are his college records still locked up? What’s in them that can’t be revealed to the American people? The media, Dr. Carson correctly says, are simply not curious.
I have often said that reporters will salivate more when going after a conservative Republican than a liberal Democrat. And yes, the double standard is infuriating. But if conservatives expect the media to hold liberal Democrats accountable for their stories, don’t complain when they hold people like Ben Carson accountable for his stories.
Ben Carson may be right, that he’s in the media’s crosshairs because he’s a “threat” to liberals in general and to Hillary Clinton in particular. But he has a great story to tell and doesn’t need to lie or exaggerate about it -- if that's what he's doing. Just ask Brian Williams what can happen when you embellish stories that don’t need any adornments.