Dr. Ben Carson’s 1990 memoir “Gifted Hands” is being picked apart by the press. On Friday Carson objected to CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota’s line of questioning, and was summarily dismissed. “It’s called vetting in politics."
It was so predictable. In 2012, every single Republican who moved into the number one slot during the primaries was filleted by the leftist press using their fine-tuned art of personal attacks. Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney -- all went through the character assassination ringer. Even non-candidate Sarah Palin came under withering media fire, just in case.
"It's called vetting in politics." Understood in that declaration is the presumption that what is being vetted is pertinent to the presidential campaign conversation.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This vetting process is not designed as a disinterested pathological examination of a pertinent statement or significant event. No, the objective of the vetting process is to impair, even to fatally damage, the image of the conservative target du jour.
This vetting process is not designed as a disinterested pathological examination of a pertinent statement or significant event.
No, the objective of the vetting process is to impair, even to fatally damage, the image of the conservative target du jour.
Dr. Ben Carson recently topped the charts in some national polls, and immediately the long knives came out. In 96 hours there were three media bombshells:
1. CNN reported breathlessly that contrary to Carson's assertion that his youth was plagued by anger, it had located no less than nine acquaintances that maintain he was a nice kid a half century ago.
2. Politico published a national broadside suggesting Carson's campaign had admitted he'd "fabricated" a story about applying to West Point.
3. The Wall Street Journal disclosed it could find no records validating his anecdote about a Yale course called "Perceptions 310" and in fact there is no evidence of a course by that name taught.
Ben Carson is a fraud.
Except that he's not.
CNN's piece in no way contradicts the idea Carson had anger issues.
Politico's piece was flat out untrue: The campaign never admitted to a fabrication because Carson never applied, or has ever claimed to have applied to West Point.
As for the Wall Street Journal, the correct name of the course was "Psychology 10."
It continues to amaze me that the national "news" media believe anything, no matter how trite, or how old, is newsworthy -- if the author is a conservative Republican. If the author is a Democrat, everything is unimportant and anything in the past should remain there.
Consider Barack Obama's autobiographies “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” During his 2008 campaign there was nothing but fawning praise for these books.
Years after they were published – and after he'd safely won election -- a couple of journalists finally decided to vet him.
Contrary to Obama's oft-repeated claims that his mother was denied health care because of a pre-existing condition, she was denied disability insurance. That lie was finally uncovered in 2011 yet not once was it reported by the networks throughout the entire 2012 presidential race.
What if Marco Rubio lied this way?
Obama wrote about his first job after Columbia, at Business International. "I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank... I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors -- see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand, and for a split second, I would imagine myself as a captain of industry..."
Years after the campaign was over the Washington Post's David Maraniss reported these were untruths.
Obama had no secretary. His office was the size of a cubicle, and he "dressed like a college kid," said his supervisor.
He lied about everything, including the elevator that had no mirror.
What if Trump lied this way?
Obama claimed his step-grandfather died in Indonesia fighting the Dutch in the anti-colonial war. Again, according to Maraniss: "In fact, the man died of a heart attack falling off an ottoman changing the drapes in the living room."
What if Cruz lied this way?
So what. Why vet when there's a president to elect?
So Obama was showered with accolades instead. According to Time magazine's Joe Klein: "’Dreams from My Father’ may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews found it "unique" and "refreshing." "It's almost like Mark Twain. It's so American, it's so textured. It's picturesque."
Years later they're still at it. Matthews’ MSNBC colleague Lawrence O'Donnell recently stated he believes “’Dreams from My Father’ stands today as the finest literary work ever authored by a president of the United States. The book doesn’t contain the whole truth of Barack Obama’s life. Books can’t do that, but it is, by far, the most honest and open book, an artful book, ever written by a president.”
And then there's Hillary Clinton. It was Hillary who explained she turned a $1,000 investment into a $100,000 profit in one year by studying the Wall Street Journal; whose missing Rose Hill legal documents mysteriously re-appeared in her White House bedroom one day; who claimed to be shocked and "befuddled" at the news of her husband's trysts with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; who lied about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia; who slanders her GOP opponents as "terrorists"; who has repeatedly lied about not having classified files on her private server (so far, 700); whose private emails now conclusively prove she was publicly and most deliberately lying to the American people about a video causing the Benghazi slaughter; who --
None of that matters to the press. What does matter is that anyone in her way be destroyed.
L. Brent Bozell III is founder and president of the Media Research Center.