There is an old saying in journalism that there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers. The proof of the pudding came when Ben Carson foolishly answered a hypothetical question about Islam to say he could never support a Muslim for president.

His answer was a self-inflicted wound — he should have sensed the trap and sidestepped it. But the media reaction also proved another point. No sooner had Carson spoke than virtually all other Republican candidates were asked to react to his comment.

Fair enough, but here’s the rub. The same rules don’t apply to Democrats.

Consider that Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal is the subject of an FBI investigation, a congressional probe and two significant lawsuits. One of her aides is taking the Fifth Amendment rather than tell Congress everything he knows about classified information and the private server she used.

Why doesn’t the media demand that Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb either defend or criticize Clinton’s conduct? Why are her party rivals not burdened with her behavior and forced to declare their opinions in the same way all Republican candidates must answer for Carson’s far-lesser sin?

So why doesn’t the media demand that Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb either defend or criticize Clinton’s conduct? Why are her party rivals not burdened with her behavior and forced to declare their opinions in the same way all Republican candidates must answer for Carson’s far-lesser sin?

Easy answer — media bias and a double standard. There’s nothing new in that, but moments like this are telling. They are a reminder, if any were needed, that the leftward tilt of the mainstream media still has enough power to set the agenda, or silence it.

The feverish focus on Carson, and the lack of interest in how her opponents see Clinton’s scandals, have an impact. Even voters who know better often are influenced by the steady drumbeat of biased journalists.

There is no cure — only awareness. Be smart and remember what matters.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.