Fools Rush In (When will They Ever Learn?)

Once again the corporate media tars a conservative candidate and those who should know better rush in without waiting at least 24 hours for the half-truths and lies to unravel. This week the target was Dr. Ben Carson and the reason and charge were patent: He’s a Black Republican so obviously honest and sincere the media wolves tried to knock him out of contention by claiming he lied. This time I’ll spare those pundits who fell for it. If you are a naïve dummy, someone ought to point that out publicly. Fair warning -- next time I won’t hold back. You can’t attack the media as dishonest most days and then uncritically accept -- even for a few hours -- their “bombshells”. Keep your skeptic’s hat on for heaven’s sake. On the one hand there’s what I call “the white toga” conservatives who flee their colleague’s side as soon as the wolves approach to prove their own spotless moral perfection. On the other hand there are the conservatives who fall for every claim against their own even when they should know better. It almost makes you wish you were a Democrat whose media pals emulate Helen Keller at even the strongest proofs of wrongdoing. (Hillary didn’t drool or faint during her Congressional appearance even though caught out in big lies so they say she nailed it, for example.)

This week the fools rushed in -- if however briefly -- when both CNN and Politico attacked Dr. Ben Carson.

CNN went first, suggesting Carson was a liar and nuts for having claimed in his autobiographical accounts that he had once been a rage-filled adolescent and given examples of his bad youthful behavior. No, said CNN, which said it can’t find any evidence of that. What kind of attack is CNN’s? That Carson had actually been a nice guy, not a thug, all along?

In any event, he went on the network and responded quickly before too many fell for that tale.

Because no one can remember a few fights and a non-stabbing that occurred more than fifty years ago, CNN is smearing Carson as a liar and crazy. Imagine that: growing up in a violent ghetto and not being able to remember someone throwing a rock 57 years ago?

In a 30-minute CNN interrogation by an alternately patronizing, belligerent, and defensive Alisyn Camerota Friday morning, Dr. Ben Carson stayed on offense. He attacked the network based on facts: The fact CNN did not vet Barack Obama; the fact that CNN’s so-called investigative reporters have not talked to people from the era when the incidents occurred; the fact that CNN and the rest of the DC Media only seek to personally destroy Republicans while Hillary Clinton is awarded The Best Week Ever after it was proven she had lied to the American people about Benghazi.

In an interview with Breitbart News on Sirius XM radio, immediately after CNN’s interrogation, Ben Carson promised to fight CNN tooth and nail. “Absolutely, I am going to fight CNN tooth and nail,” Carson said. “They will see, believe me, they will see.” 

Soon after the CNN nonsensical scoop, Politico lobbed another nerf ball over the plate. Started by two former Washington Post reporters Politico has a small newspaper circulation but a wide reach. “Politico is a partner with several news outlets that co-report and distribute its video, print and audio content. Partners include CBS News,[9] Allbritton Communications's ABC station WJLA and cable channel NewsChannel 8,[10] radio station WTOP-FM,[11] and Yahoo! News election coverage.”

They asserted disingenuously that Carson’s autobiography falsely claimed he’d been admitted to West Point on a scholarship and turned it down. Even some conservative pundits fell for this untruth.

Here’s what Carson said about West Point:

At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.

Under the headline  “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship” it claimed that Carson said he’d applied for West Point and been admitted with a scholarship but turned it down. In fact, as the quoted passage reveals he never said that.

The Politico story lacked foundation. In Carson’s autobiographical account  he made clear he’d never applied to anywhere but Yale (where he was accepted) because he knew even then he wanted to go to medical school and a postgraduate military obligation would have made that difficult. When this was pointed out, without notice, Politico changed the header to “Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied.” It changed the lede, too to soften the claim but readers kept screenshots of the unannounced edits: 

So what was left was an assertion that Carson lied when he referred to the possibility of a free ride at the military academy as a “scholarship”.

In a series of posts, Just One Minute’s Tom Maguire demolished that trope:

As to splitting hairs on whether the full room and board deal at West Point is a "scholarship", please. As examples of common usage here is the Military.com and two Congressfolk kicked up by Google. Quickly:

‪"The service academies annually award the biggest scholarships in the country. Each scholarship consists of four-years education, room and board, pay, exclusive benefits and training."

‪"The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000 which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary."

Maguire later added:

Congresswoman Lois Capps of CA actually makes these nominations to the military academies. And how does she describe them?

‪"The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000 which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary."

‪So, Frequently Unasked Questions: Why is she lying to her constituents and when will Politico get her on the line to remedy this?

Others pointed out that about this time, the service academies were actively recruiting qualified black candidates: and referred to  scholarships to attend. with flyers which read: "Each year about 1200 young men and women take advantage of the opportunity to attend West Point on a full government scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care, and an annual salary."

Politico added an editor’s note to the story but basically continued to stand by it although a number of people who originally fell for it are or should be red-faced today.

Ask yourself this -- is there any reason why General Westmoreland recruiting for West Point would not have wanted to encourage a Black academic star who was also the top ROTC cadet in Detroit? Would the lure to a poor kid of a free ride, at the time when the Academy was itself calling its benefits a “scholarship”, give him a reason to view this as other than a scholarship?

Well, hmm... Carson has presented this story in two books (here is Gifted Hands), recently on Facebook, and with Charlie Rose. The gist is always that as a top ROTC student with an impeccable resume Carson was assured he could get himself a slot at West Point.

Ahh, but is that a "scholarship"? Politico says no:

Carson would have needed to seek admission in order to receive an offer of free education from West Point. Also, according to West Point, there is no such thing as a “full scholarship” to the military academy, as Carson represented in his book.

Oh, c'mon -- would Carson have needed an offer of admission before a top General could say "Son, I like the cut of your jib -- you seem like the kind of guy that would sail into West Point" (yes, a very nautical general, go figure.) Would Carson need a formal offer to validate his belief that this advice was accurate?

Also ask yourself also how was Politico lucky enough to get a quick response from West Point as to whether Carson had ever applied there?

The third paragraph [in the Politico hit piece] contains this eye-opening revelation. “West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.”

How does this work now? Does a reporter just write off to a college or university for data on a given student, and the university, in this case West Point, coughs up everything it has? Would that this were so.

For years the conservative media have been trying to get word one out of any of Obama’s academic institutions without success. The major media have not bothered to try.

In any event, it’s small potatoes -- not like the claim in Obama’s autobiographical work that he was Kenyan born 

On Facebook, Charles Glasser scoffed:

“I've been very busy today and not had much time to look at the news, but it appears that Ben Carson lied about giving a haircut to a dog he tied to the roof of his car and then ate whilst under sniper fire. And he never had sexual relations with "that" dog. (*thumb pointing gesture*)

Do I have that right?’

After the surprise win in Kentucky by Matt Bevin (the first Republican governor elected there in 40 years) and his lieutenant governor, Jenean Hampton, the first Black ever elected to state-wide office in Kentucky, the Democrats have to be very worried. Their losses at the state and local levels are tsunami-like and if they can’t sustain the high numbers of women and Blacks and Hispanics whose votes they need to the urban enclaves they still hold they have nothing. The transgenders who want the right to use women’s restrooms just aren’t enough to pull them across the line into the winner’s circle.

The 2015 election is over. (You may not have known it was even happening.)  And it proved one thing: Republicans have an absolute stranglehold on governorships and state legislatures all across the country.[snip]

While the demographic and electoral challenges that Republicans must confront at the national level are very real, the idea, pushed in some circles, that those struggles are leading indicators of a dying party is absolutely wrong. In fact, at the state and local level the Republican Party is considerably more robust than its Democratic counterpart.

What this means is that maintaining the presidency is even more important to the Democrat’s failing fortunes than ever. “So long as the Democrats can continue to hold the presidency, and so long as the powers of the presidency continues to grow, this may be a solid electoral strategy. But it’s a risky bet. If a Republican is elected president, the vulnerabilities of the current Democratic coalition will be exposed. A strong national coalition is useless if it doesn’t give you the tools to wield actual power.”

Attacks on conservative Blacks and women in order to hang on to the Democrats’ urban base voters will continue and become ever more vicious. Bear this in mind when evaluating them.

Once again the corporate media tars a conservative candidate and those who should know better rush in without waiting at least 24 hours for the half-truths and lies to unravel. This week the target was Dr. Ben Carson and the reason and charge were patent: He’s a Black Republican so obviously honest and sincere the media wolves tried to knock him out of contention by claiming he lied. This time I’ll spare those pundits who fell for it. If you are a naïve dummy, someone ought to point that out publicly. Fair warning -- next time I won’t hold back. You can’t attack the media as dishonest most days and then uncritically accept -- even for a few hours -- their “bombshells”. Keep your skeptic’s hat on for heaven’s sake. On the one hand there’s what I call “the white toga” conservatives who flee their colleague’s side as soon as the wolves approach to prove their own spotless moral perfection. On the other hand there are the conservatives who fall for every claim against their own even when they should know better. It almost makes you wish you were a Democrat whose media pals emulate Helen Keller at even the strongest proofs of wrongdoing. (Hillary didn’t drool or faint during her Congressional appearance even though caught out in big lies so they say she nailed it, for example.)

This week the fools rushed in -- if however briefly -- when both CNN and Politico attacked Dr. Ben Carson.

CNN went first, suggesting Carson was a liar and nuts for having claimed in his autobiographical accounts that he had once been a rage-filled adolescent and given examples of his bad youthful behavior. No, said CNN, which said it can’t find any evidence of that. What kind of attack is CNN’s? That Carson had actually been a nice guy, not a thug, all along?

In any event, he went on the network and responded quickly before too many fell for that tale.

Because no one can remember a few fights and a non-stabbing that occurred more than fifty years ago, CNN is smearing Carson as a liar and crazy. Imagine that: growing up in a violent ghetto and not being able to remember someone throwing a rock 57 years ago?

In a 30-minute CNN interrogation by an alternately patronizing, belligerent, and defensive Alisyn Camerota Friday morning, Dr. Ben Carson stayed on offense. He attacked the network based on facts: The fact CNN did not vet Barack Obama; the fact that CNN’s so-called investigative reporters have not talked to people from the era when the incidents occurred; the fact that CNN and the rest of the DC Media only seek to personally destroy Republicans while Hillary Clinton is awarded The Best Week Ever after it was proven she had lied to the American people about Benghazi.

In an interview with Breitbart News on Sirius XM radio, immediately after CNN’s interrogation, Ben Carson promised to fight CNN tooth and nail. “Absolutely, I am going to fight CNN tooth and nail,” Carson said. “They will see, believe me, they will see.” 

Soon after the CNN nonsensical scoop, Politico lobbed another nerf ball over the plate. Started by two former Washington Post reporters Politico has a small newspaper circulation but a wide reach. “Politico is a partner with several news outlets that co-report and distribute its video, print and audio content. Partners include CBS News,[9] Allbritton Communications's ABC station WJLA and cable channel NewsChannel 8,[10] radio station WTOP-FM,[11] and Yahoo! News election coverage.”

They asserted disingenuously that Carson’s autobiography falsely claimed he’d been admitted to West Point on a scholarship and turned it down. Even some conservative pundits fell for this untruth.

Here’s what Carson said about West Point:

At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.

Under the headline  “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship” it claimed that Carson said he’d applied for West Point and been admitted with a scholarship but turned it down. In fact, as the quoted passage reveals he never said that.

The Politico story lacked foundation. In Carson’s autobiographical account  he made clear he’d never applied to anywhere but Yale (where he was accepted) because he knew even then he wanted to go to medical school and a postgraduate military obligation would have made that difficult. When this was pointed out, without notice, Politico changed the header to “Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied.” It changed the lede, too to soften the claim but readers kept screenshots of the unannounced edits: 

So what was left was an assertion that Carson lied when he referred to the possibility of a free ride at the military academy as a “scholarship”.

In a series of posts, Just One Minute’s Tom Maguire demolished that trope:

As to splitting hairs on whether the full room and board deal at West Point is a "scholarship", please. As examples of common usage here is the Military.com and two Congressfolk kicked up by Google. Quickly:

‪"The service academies annually award the biggest scholarships in the country. Each scholarship consists of four-years education, room and board, pay, exclusive benefits and training."

‪"The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000 which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary."

Maguire later added:

Congresswoman Lois Capps of CA actually makes these nominations to the military academies. And how does she describe them?

‪"The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000 which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary."

‪So, Frequently Unasked Questions: Why is she lying to her constituents and when will Politico get her on the line to remedy this?

Others pointed out that about this time, the service academies were actively recruiting qualified black candidates: and referred to  scholarships to attend. with flyers which read: "Each year about 1200 young men and women take advantage of the opportunity to attend West Point on a full government scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care, and an annual salary."

Politico added an editor’s note to the story but basically continued to stand by it although a number of people who originally fell for it are or should be red-faced today.

Ask yourself this -- is there any reason why General Westmoreland recruiting for West Point would not have wanted to encourage a Black academic star who was also the top ROTC cadet in Detroit? Would the lure to a poor kid of a free ride, at the time when the Academy was itself calling its benefits a “scholarship”, give him a reason to view this as other than a scholarship?

Well, hmm... Carson has presented this story in two books (here is Gifted Hands), recently on Facebook, and with Charlie Rose. The gist is always that as a top ROTC student with an impeccable resume Carson was assured he could get himself a slot at West Point.

Ahh, but is that a "scholarship"? Politico says no:

Carson would have needed to seek admission in order to receive an offer of free education from West Point. Also, according to West Point, there is no such thing as a “full scholarship” to the military academy, as Carson represented in his book.

Oh, c'mon -- would Carson have needed an offer of admission before a top General could say "Son, I like the cut of your jib -- you seem like the kind of guy that would sail into West Point" (yes, a very nautical general, go figure.) Would Carson need a formal offer to validate his belief that this advice was accurate?

Also ask yourself also how was Politico lucky enough to get a quick response from West Point as to whether Carson had ever applied there?

The third paragraph [in the Politico hit piece] contains this eye-opening revelation. “West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.”

How does this work now? Does a reporter just write off to a college or university for data on a given student, and the university, in this case West Point, coughs up everything it has? Would that this were so.

For years the conservative media have been trying to get word one out of any of Obama’s academic institutions without success. The major media have not bothered to try.

In any event, it’s small potatoes -- not like the claim in Obama’s autobiographical work that he was Kenyan born 

On Facebook, Charles Glasser scoffed:

“I've been very busy today and not had much time to look at the news, but it appears that Ben Carson lied about giving a haircut to a dog he tied to the roof of his car and then ate whilst under sniper fire. And he never had sexual relations with "that" dog. (*thumb pointing gesture*)

Do I have that right?’

After the surprise win in Kentucky by Matt Bevin (the first Republican governor elected there in 40 years) and his lieutenant governor, Jenean Hampton, the first Black ever elected to state-wide office in Kentucky, the Democrats have to be very worried. Their losses at the state and local levels are tsunami-like and if they can’t sustain the high numbers of women and Blacks and Hispanics whose votes they need to the urban enclaves they still hold they have nothing. The transgenders who want the right to use women’s restrooms just aren’t enough to pull them across the line into the winner’s circle.

The 2015 election is over. (You may not have known it was even happening.)  And it proved one thing: Republicans have an absolute stranglehold on governorships and state legislatures all across the country.[snip]

While the demographic and electoral challenges that Republicans must confront at the national level are very real, the idea, pushed in some circles, that those struggles are leading indicators of a dying party is absolutely wrong. In fact, at the state and local level the Republican Party is considerably more robust than its Democratic counterpart.

What this means is that maintaining the presidency is even more important to the Democrat’s failing fortunes than ever. “So long as the Democrats can continue to hold the presidency, and so long as the powers of the presidency continues to grow, this may be a solid electoral strategy. But it’s a risky bet. If a Republican is elected president, the vulnerabilities of the current Democratic coalition will be exposed. A strong national coalition is useless if it doesn’t give you the tools to wield actual power.”

Attacks on conservative Blacks and women in order to hang on to the Democrats’ urban base voters will continue and become ever more vicious. Bear this in mind when evaluating them.