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The Ben Carson Flaps

Dr. Ben Carson’s whole life has been very unusual, so perhaps we should not be surprised to see the latest twist — the media going ballistic over discrepancies in a few things he said.

Years ago, when I was writing some autobiographical sketches, I dug up old letters, to check out things that I remembered — and was surprised more than once to discover that my memory was not always exactly the same as the way things had happened and were recorded at the time.

In the current flap over some things that Dr. Carson said, the biggest discrepancy has been between the furor in the media and the irrelevance of his statements to any political issue.

For example, in a video that someone dug up, Dr. Carson said to an audience that his “theory” about the Pyramids is that they were used as storage facilities. He was smiling as he said this, so it is not clear whether he was using this theory just to illustrate some point. But, in any case, he was not claiming this as a fact.

More important, the Pyramids are not an issue in today’s American political campaign, except as a “gotcha” gimmick.

Yet the media have paid far more attention to Ben Carson’s speculation about what the Pyramids were built for, thousands of years ago, than to outright lies that Hillary Clinton told about tragic American deaths in Benghazi, within days after she knew the truth, as her own e-mails now reveal.

Another media tempest in a teapot has developed because of the mild-mannered Dr. Carson’s recollections about some childhood incidents in which he depicted himself as violent toward another child. Some people who knew the young Ben Carson have said that such behavior would have been out of character for him. But has no one ever acted out of character, especially in childhood?

Albert Einstein, as a child, once threw a heavy object at his little sister that could have injured her or even killed her. Yet Einstein grew up to be a mild-mannered pacifist, and no one ever brought up that incident to try to discredit Einstein’s scientific work.

What has been far more disturbing than anything Ben Carson has said or done has been the media’s search-and-destroy mission against the renowned brain surgeon. The utter irrelevance of the issues raised by the media, at a time when the country faces monumental challenges at home and overseas, makes the media hype grotesque. It tells us more about the media than about Dr. Carson.

By contrast, the media showed no such zeal to expose Barack Obama’s associations and alliances with a whole series of people who expressed their hatred of America in words and/or deeds. Here was something relevant to his suitability to become president. But the media saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

Nor have the media launched such attacks on President Obama as they have on candidate Carson, even after Obama proceeded to abandon existing American commitments to provide defensive aid to countries in Eastern Europe and to directly promote the destruction of governments in Egypt and Libya that posed no threat to American interests — all the while undermining Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Meanwhile he cut back on our own military defense so drastically that even former Secretaries of Defense who had served during his administration have publicly criticized his policies. So have former top generals and former top intelligence officials.

But the media largely circled the wagons to protect Obama — and now to protect Secretary of State Clinton, who carried out the foreign policies that left America’s position in virtually all regions of the world worse than when the Obama administration took office.

It was much the same story on domestic issues. Obama’s outright lies, that people would be able to keep their own doctors and their own health insurance under ObamaCare, were far more consequential than Dr. Carson’s offhand speculation about the Pyramids. But did the media try to destroy Obama’s credibility?

Unfortunately, the moment Dr. Carson entered the political arena it became inevitable that the media would try to discredit him, since any prominent conservative black figure is a threat to the left’s vision and the Democrats’ voting base. The flimsy basis for the current attacks only demonstrates the media’s bias and desperation.


Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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  • FloridaJim

    Please talk with Bernie Goldberg.

  • Justin Klingler

    Thomas Sowell is one the most brilliant men of our time. So is Dr. Carson, and because the two don’t align with the left, they are brutally attacked by them. More and more the media proves itself to be “all in” with the lefts agenda. Instead of reporting the news, they perpetuate and regurgitate their nonsense.

    • mmmjv

      If Sowell is such a genius then why is he unable to comprehend that when somebody claims to have been offered a full scholarship that means they claim to have been offered a full scholarship

      • Justin Klingler

        Idiot, he was never offered a scholarship, nor did he say he was offered a scholarship! He said, he was told he could go to West Point if he wanted, he, in turn, said that he did not wish to go to West Point. Listen to the actual facts, not the liberal media!

        • mmmjv

          “Ben met General William Westmoreland, had dinner with Congressional Medal of Honor winners, marched at the head of a Memorial Day parade, and was offered a full scholarship to West Point”

          That’s from page 49 of Gifted Hands. What part of “was offered a full scholarship to West Point” are you too dumb to comprehend?

          For the record “Gifted Hands” wasn’t written by the liberal media

          • Justin Klingler

            Never officially offered a scholarship from West Point, is that better? Someone saying you could get a scholarship, is not the same as being offered one from the institution.

          • mmmjv

            No it is not better. He said he was offered a full scholarship to West Point and he was not.

          • Sunset

            Semantics involved here. Dr. Carson has said the sentence means he could have applied and been accepted to West Point.

  • The media despise and fear Dr. Carson because he is everything that they hoped our first black president would be but wasn’t. They went all in for Obama with total disregard to his actual suitability for the job because he was a black liberal who shared their values. Dr. Carson is the liberals’ worst nightmare, a conservative black man who has demonstrated by example how a black can leave the liberal plantation and make a good life on his own without their help. In the bad old days runaway slaves were lynched, actually lynched. Today any black who dares to flee the plantation is subject to what Supreme Court Justice Thomas characterized as a “high tech lynching”.

    • CarolinaBreibartGirl

      I had forgotten about our illustrious Vice President Biden’s FALSE narrative re his supposed “full academic” scholarship…

      “Vice President Joe Biden told some whoppers while he was running for Senator back in 1987. Here is one:

      “I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship…”

      It was a big fat lie.

      As reported at the LA Times, Biden “had a partial, need-based scholarship as well as student loans.”
      Ref: Trevor Loudon’s blog

      • mmmjv

        Did Joe whine like a cry baby when he was called on it?

    • Lardo140

      You are wrong, Nose. Dr. Carson is NOTHING like what they hoped our first black president would be. Dr. Carson is an honest, hard working, American who loves this country. Barack Obama is everything the media hoped our first black president would be. And angry, bitter, resentful, leftist snob, who would work diligently to destroy this once great nation.

      They just can’t come out and publicly state that. Because they know “the people” would turn on them en-mass.

      • I agree with you in so far as the media’s unspoken hopes for the first black president. Publicly they acted like they wanted Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact” which is close to Dr. Carson’s persona. Instead what they got was more like President Camacho in “Idiocracy”.

        • betterboy

          The show “24” opened the door for a black president. The black president in the show was a really good guy with high integrity – who wouldn’t be open to that. What we got was a low class sociopath willing to lie for his puppet masters in the most despicable way. Ben Carson is definitely above OLiar, but would not be able to beat super liar and corrupt Hillary. Trump is our only real choice.

    • mmmjv

      Ben Carson is an idiot. How the hell is he going to be able to handle the Presidency? Anytime anything goes wrong he’ll blame it on the media

      • Question: How did an idiot get to be a world renowned neurosurgeon?

        • mmmjv

          It’s called idiot savant

  • Lardo140

    Funny, ain’t it? When Bill Clinton perjured himself, under oath, the left claimed it was “no big deal”. After all, it was only about sex. A personal matter. So what that it deprived another citizen of their right to due-process. But now, Ben Carson tells a story of his childhood that some CLAIM is out of character, for him, and the left treats it like he has committed the grandest lie of all time.

    You are right. Dr. Sowell. It does say more about the media, than it does about Ben Carson.

  • jdbixii

    The fundamental divide and conflict between liberalism and conservatism is the law, morality and ethics. Every divisive and controversial, politicized issue which liberals champion is a violation of law, morality or ethics. It is that simple and that costly.
    The idea that there will be no “equal justice” on this earth because of their fundamental opposition to the moral and ethical basis for law is, essentially, justice denied because it is the cost of what they do which differs so dramatically from what conservatives would do or, because of a lack of morality and ethical behavior, be compelled to do to deal with the consequences of lawlessness, immorality and unethical behavior.


    Heck. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with Ben Carson. Not once has he promised me FREE STUFF. He even advocates PAYING TAXES IN A FAIR WAY instead of letting the rich do it all. This black man has a wife! Doesn’t he know that’s against the rules? I guess I’m just going to have to LIKE and RESPECT the man.

  • justinwachin

    Liberals hate conservative blacks. They seek to destroy them at all costs. Clarence Thomas, who is one of the great jurists of our day, pointed this out during his confirmation hearings. Herman Cain was barraged by the Democrats four years ago. I’m beginning to think the only blacks the Democrats like are ones who march to their beat.

    Last week Kentuckians elected a bunch of Republicans in its statewide elections. Among those winners was Janeen Hampton, Kentucky’s next lieutenant governor and the first black American to win a statewide office in Kentucky. Mrs. Hampton seems to be a hard-working, intelligent woman. Hopefully she will inspire black Kentuckians to reach out and excel. We need their abilities to lift our state out of its current economic state. I’m look for great things from Mrs. Hampton. Maybe we will have the opportunity to see the same thing from President Carson.

    • mmmjv

      You mean like what conservatives do with liberal blacks?

      • justinwachin

        A person’s skin color doesn’t matter to me. My problem with liberals is not related to their skin color but to the flaws in the agenda and programs they push. Liberals on the other hand seem to reserve an extra amount of spite for conservative blacks. They seem to think all blacks should embrace their agenda.

        Some blacks realize that the Democrats policies have generally created more problems for blacks than they have solved.

        • Moki

          Well said.

  • Moki

    Yes, it is not surprising and it is very tiresome. However, one bright spot is that perhaps, just perhaps, the American public will finally begin to comprehend that the MSM is perpetuating a false narrative that benefits the left, all the time, and they should not ever be believed.

    • mmmjv

      His claim is on page 49 of his book. How the hell is that a false narrative?

      • Moki

        When it comes to Republicans, conservatives, climate change, abortion, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and the success of their policies and actually far too many things to list here, the MSM generally offers a false narrative or puts a spin on something that misrepresents it. That’s what they’re doing here.

        • mmmjv

          You can babble on all you want about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats and whatever. That doesn’t change page 49 of his book. A page that you and Thomas Sowell et al want us to pretend doesn’t exist

          • Moki

            So what if it is on page 49 of his book. That was his understanding, and he was a young man and didn’t actually comprehend how it worked. It was a misunderstanding on his part, rather than a lie. The false narrative part is the MSM portraying it as a deliberate lie.

            How exactly and accurately do you recall each and every detail of each and every conversation and event in which you participated 40 to 50 years ago?

          • mmmjv

            Then why the hell didn’t he say that when asked instead of acting like a two year old and attacking the “liberal media” for doing their job and whining about gotcha questions? But no, he had to be a dick about it.

          • Moki

            I don’t know if you realize this, but the liberal media was not “just doing its job.” In attacking (yes, attacking) Ben Carson; they went through his public statements and writings with a fine-toothed comb in an effort to find something, anything, to discredit him. They were becoming alarmed at his increasing popularity.

            Their goal, in the 2016 election, is to make sure that a Democrat, in their books preferably Hillary Clinton, is elected president of the United States. To achieve that goal, they have to shoot down any truly conservative Republican and usher in the most liberal Republican possible as the GOP candidate. They do this by working to discredit any conservative until the only one left standing is the least conservative choice. They have the help of the Republican establishment in this effort.

            In the last two elections, they have actually been crucial in the selection of the GOP nominee, Romney and McCain. They repeatedly referred to them as the “frontrunner” long before either of them was the frontrunner, and even when another GOP candidate had more votes.

            That’s why the Republican grass roots are fed up and are determined not to allow it to happen again.

            It the MSM had really been doing its job, Obama would probably not have been elected. He was not qualified in the least to be president of the United States, and his seven-year tenure has more than adequately demonstrated that. He was nothing but a community organizer, read that, rabble-rouser. That was his claim to fame.

            It’s curious how they never actually vetted Obama. They certainly didn’t attack him the way they’ve attacked Ben Carson or Donald Trump, or indeed, any of the Republicans. They never do attack Democrats that way.

            And the reason for that is that the overwhelming majority of journalists agrees with Democrats, votes for Democrats and supports Democrats’ ideas and policies. And they have a tendency to report Democrat talking points as fact.

            Lest you think I have no idea what I am talking about, let me assure you I do. I have worked in the mainstream media for 30 years now.

  • rbblum

    Addressing conflicting issues in an eloquent manner should be a challenge to pursue due diligence on a daily basis . . . becoming ever more free and confident.

  • ABBAsFernando

    I am a Viet Nam combat veteran. Our veterans were treated to this same treatment knowing exactly what Ben Carson is experiencing. As is so typical VILE LIBERAL [Progressive] SCUM do this sort of thing to all they FEAR!

    LIES repeated over and over again become the truth in what loosely called a brain of the average liberal. Ben Carson is living proof of the advantages that all in America have access to if they try. Counters Communist propaganda.

  • mmmjv

    Sowell is full of crap. If Obama had claimed to have been offered a full scholarship to West Point and was called on it he wouldn’t be calling it “the media going ballistic over discrepancies in a few things he said”

    “Ben met General William Westmoreland, had dinner with Congressional Medal of Honor winners, marched at the head of a Memorial Day parade, and was offered a full scholarship to West Point”

    (Page 49 of Gifted Hands.)

    That’s not a “discrepancy” that’s Ben Carson claiming to have been offered a full scholarship to West Point

    • Justin Klingler

      He was not offered a scholarship, nor did he say he was. Listen/read the facts, instead of liberal media

  • mmmjv

    “More important, the Pyramids are not an issue in today’s American political campaign, except as a “gotcha” gimmick.”

    Oh yes they are in issue in todays American political campaign. They are a huge issue. Don’t try and pretend they’re not. We have a leading Presidential candidate who has made them a huge issue so don’t try and tell me they’re not.

    A big problem with Carson is he seems to think that the experts don’t know what they’re doing and that the amaturs can do a much better job. Seems to be? Hell, he’s said that outright (Ark vs Titantic) and he has no problem at all just ignoring the experts and just coming up with his own wacky theory regardless of how idiotic it is. The Pyramids for example. Joseph wasn’t even born yet when the pyramids were built. Joseph lived somewhere between 2000 and 16000 BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built “over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC”. The Pyramid of Khafre was built as the tomb of the Pharaoh Khafre who ruled from around 2558 to 2532. The Pyramid of Menkaure was built sometime around the 26th century BC.

    So what’s going to happen when President Carson is in the Situation room, because there’s been a situation, and there’s all sorts of career military and intelligence people in there with like 20 or 30 years experience all giving the President their advice? Is President Carson going to think hey these people are just experts they don’t know what they’re talking about? And then come up with his own wacky theory and go with that?

  • jrj90620

    What about Obama’s promise,when he ran against Hillary,that his health care program would be voluntary,unlike Hillary’s?

  • 7818TD

    He’s so decent and such a Gentleman, they have no idea what to do with him. Then to top it all off, he is the proof of their lies, Black People can achieve, and be successful. Doesn’t fit Liberal narrative.

  • Wayne Peterkin

    I think the GOP has several excellent presidential candidates and Dr. Carson is certainly one of them, That said, Dr. Sowell is right on target here and should send a copy of this column to Trump. It isn’t just the media who is trying to denigrate a highly intelligent and honorable man!