Dr. Ben Carson is not happy with the media scrutiny that his life story — as told by him — is getting. West Point scholarship, violent youth, his relationship with a snakeoil company, even his time at Yale, have all come under the microscope. And it’s all the fault of the “librul mudia.”
Known for his calm demeanor, Carson appeared unusually agitated during the press conference, accusing the press of engaging in a “witch hunt” to tarnish his reputation.
“There is a desperation on behalf of some to try to find a way to tarnish me,” Carson said. “They have been looking through everything. They have been talking to everyone I have ever known and everybody I have ever seen. There has got to be a scandal.”
Now that Carson is neck-and-neck with real estate mogul Donald Trump in both national polls and in several key primary states, details of his personal history have come under the spotlight. The retired pediatric neurosurgeon, who has never held elected office, has leaned heavily on his inspiring life story during the 2016 campaign, but even he concedes that some details are “fictitious.”
This week, he admitted to CNN that he had changed some facts in an often-told story about his attempt to stab a friend at age 14 after the network was unable to corroborate the incident.
This is how it works: Get a ghost writer to cobble together some bits and pieces of your life, string them together with a compelling theme of up from poverty in the Detroit ghetto to go to Yale and become a renowned doctor, and throw in some embellishments that don’t stand up to fact-checking because you never expect people to actually look into them. Then when they do, blame it on the fact-checkers because they have it in for you because you’re an outsider and won’t give in to The Man. Right on.
This really works well when you’re pitching your story to the folks who think the media is already biased against conservatives anyway; it’s an oldie but a goodie because it always works. Pay no attention to the fact that the same technique was used to great effect on Democrats such as Joe Biden’s speeches, Gary Hart’s vacations, and any number of political hopefuls regardless of party.
Maybe the fact that the Republicans try to sell themselves as the ones who are honest and faithful and without sin so it’s always more schadenfreude-inducing when the sanctimonious are shown to be just as imperfect as the rest of us. Or maybe it’s just because now Dr. Carson is the front runner along with Donald Trump, and unlike the real estate magnate, can’t say “Yeah, it’s all bullshit but people love me anyway.”