Red Faces at RedState

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The publication Politico still won’t admit it, but evidence shows that it fabricated a story about Ben Carson and the West Point scholarship he was offered. Politico says it “stands by its reporting” when it changed the headline and content of the story. This is one of the most dishonest cases of media bias we have ever seen.

The Politico headline went from “Ben Carson Admits Fabricating West Point Scholarship,” which was false, to “Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied,” which is true but not news. Carson never claimed he applied. For Politico, the incident will go down in media history as a classic case of a false report being redone in such a way as to attempt to conceal the falsity of the original piece.

A post at Free Republic called the reporter, Kyle Cheney of Politico, a “graduate cum laude of the Dan Rather school of journalism.” But perhaps some of Politico’s editors were in on the deception. Only an apology followed by a full investigation will determine this.

At the same time, it’s important to go back and see how conservatives at such outlets as RedState were duped.  “Certainly we all got burned by Politico on Friday,” said RedState writer Leon H. Wolf, a reference to the false Politico story about Carson “fabricating” the offer of a scholarship.

But only those people who accept Politico as Gospel got burned. One of them was RedState’s “Dear Leader” Erick Erickson, who thinks he is a mover and shaker in the Republican Party and is planning to create a multimedia empire with himself at its core.

RedState is the conservative media group which hosts the RedState Gathering, a forum that is supposed to determine who is and who is not a legitimate conservative candidate. Next year’s event is in Denver, Colorado.

Erickson, a Fox News contributor, disinvited Donald Trump to this year’s affair because he had said some nasty things about his colleague, Megyn Kelly, of Fox News. He didn’t invite Ben Carson at all.

For Erickson, the Politico story about the scholarship must have seemed like a perfect opportunity to destroy Carson. Lifting directly from the erroneous Politico headline and story, Erickson wrote that the Carson campaign was “admitting” a fabrication. Erickson predicted it was the beginning of the end of the Carson for president campaign.

Linking to the Politico story, he claimed “the media just drew serious blood.”

In the end, Erickson’s blood was all over the floor of RedState. It was a self-inflicted wound.

In much the same way that Politico rewrote the story and changed its headline, Erickson subsequently rewrote his story, putting lines through inaccurate statements he had made in his previous comments.

RedState managing editor Leon H. Wolf admitted as much in a story under the RedState headline, “Politico Outright Lies about Ben Carson.” But RedState had accepted and publicized the lies.

In his clarification, Erickson conceded, “The Politico’s representation of that [the scholarship] is demonstrably false and is not something Carson claimed.” It’s too bad Erickson didn’t read the Politico story before accepting its headline as true. As we noted, the allegation that Carson “fabricated” the offer of a scholarship was not backed up by facts in the story itself.

So why did Erickson swallow the phony story in the first place? Either he didn’t read the story and didn’t understand the facts were not what Politico claimed, or he jumped to conclusions based on what he thought he had read or wanted to be true. The latter means that he was looking for a way to force Carson from the Republican field for president. Either way, Erickson comes out of this looking like a total buffoon. So does his sidekick, Leon H. Wolf.

In fairness, Erickson took the bait like many others. But Erickson is supposed to be more sophisticated than that.

Politico on October 5 had referred to Erickson as the “influential conservative radio host and RedState editor” who was announcing that he was leaving the RedState website by the end of the year to focus on his radio career.

Erickson apparently thinks he’s so great that he’s going to become another Rush Limbaugh. Indeed, he sometimes substitutes for Rush Limbaugh. He has announced that he has a “vision” of “blending radio, the internet, and conservative activism.”

The flattering press clippings must have gotten to him, such as the magazine cover story about “The uncompromising conservatism of Erick Erickson.” It would be nice for his brand of conservatism to include a commitment to reporting the facts.

Erickson seems to think of himself as a major power broker in the Republican Party. But his ambitions are in the gutter as he attempts to recover from his smears of Ben Carson, garnered from a fraudulent story in Politico.

Politico owes Carson an apology, and so does Erickson.


Carson Performs Brain Surgery on the Media

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Last May we published a column, “Why They Must Destroy Ben Carson.” It has been determined that a black Christian conservative, especially a political outsider with credentials as a life-saving physician, just cannot be allowed to succeed in politics. Carson must be destroyed.

His life as a poor boy with a temper is now coming in for serious media scrutiny. Who did he hit? And why?

In an attempt to defend this assault on the character of Ben Carson, Alisyn Camerota of CNN told the candidate on Friday that the media are fair and balanced because they “vetted” Barack Obama as a candidate by checking out reports that he once had a girlfriend, who “may have been a composite character.”

All of this is happening now because Carson is doing very well in the presidential polls and could actually capture the GOP presidential nomination and threaten Hillary Clinton’s election to the presidency. However, our media are determined to have the first black president, whom they failed to vet for his communist connections and Muslim background, succeeded by the first woman president, no matter how corrupt and how tainted by the Benghazi massacre she may be.

But in going after Carson, a decent man who has saved countless lives as a surgeon, the media are getting downright mean and silly. And typical of the bias they pretend not to have, they don’t seem to realize how ridiculous they look.

Carson, who grew up without a father, has credited his mother, teachers, a band director and the choir director at the church he attended while going to Yale for helping turn around his life and becoming a success. After his career as a doctor, he then became a philanthropist, setting up reading rooms in schools and awarding scholarships to students. His adult life is a success story by any objective measure.

But none of that matters because Carson is a black conservative who threatens the progressive, or dialectical, view of history and he must be destroyed.

Rather than highlight the positive influences in Carson’s life, our media are now sifting through some controversial incidents in his past which Carson has acknowledged that he had to overcome to get his life in order.

Enter CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who is either one of the dumbest people on television or totally dishonest. She claimed on the network on Friday that President Obama had been thoroughly “vetted” by the major media when he ran for president. So I entered the words “Frank Marshall Davis” in the CNN search engine on Friday. Interestingly, I pulled up a column, “Frank Marshall Davis—Communist mentor of Barack Hussein Obama,” written by yours truly but submitted by someone else, and posted with a disclaimer, “not verified by CNN.”

You’re kidding me. Seven years after we exposed the Davis role in educating and raising Obama, CNN still has not “verified” the facts? It’s true. CNN has had seven years to verify what is an established fact—and which helps explain Obama’s transformation of America—and still won’t report, let alone investigate, the President’s relationship with a member of the Communist Party. Unfortunately, that’s fairly typical of the liberal media.

The media save their “vetting” for insignificant facts about Republicans that are designed to be blown out of proportion and make the candidate look bad.

Camerota made the vetting claim about Obama when defending the network’s investigation into Carson’s life as a young person. Carson is not accused of having a relationship with a communist. Instead, questions are being raised about some of the people he had violent encounters with as he grew up. Carson is protecting the identities of those people and, in any case, the incidents are not directly relevant to his presidential run, since the point is that he grew beyond these behavior problems to become the calm and professional person he is today. His demeanor is something that attracts people to him. He tells these stories about his past so that other young people facing similar problems can understand that it is possible to hold your temper in check and become a responsible adult.

CNN assigned Scott Glover and Maeve Reston to investigate Carson’s life as a young person. After their scrutiny of his early life, CNN admitted that none of the people they interviewed challenged the veracity of Carson’s accounts.

CNN has not only decided to go ahead with the “story” through more smoke and mirrors, but they now want Carson’s campaign to drop everything and bring forth people out of his past, so they can be embarrassed and tripped up with gotcha questions. Carson has told the media to get lost.

Carson has even discussed these incidents in his books and public appearances. The only conceivable purpose of this line of questioning from CNN is to portray Carson as a liar. Since they can’t challenge his amazing career as a doctor, they have to go back in time, to make up this or that controversy, based on conflicting accounts or questions about details.

But Carson understands the game the media are playing, and has turned the tables on them. This is another reason why ordinary people like him. He doesn’t take the garbage from the “journalists” in the major media who have already exposed themselves as partisan hacks.

Responding to Carson’s excellent point about Obama getting the soft and easy treatment from the media, Camerota said, “President Obama’s autobiographyDreams of [sic] My Father was also vetted.” With a straight face, Camerota said Obama had been vetted by reporters trying to find out whether he had had a girlfriend in his younger years, as he claimed in the book, actually titled Dreams from My Father. She said the media discovered the girl was a composite.

So what? The issue with Obama wasn’t a girlfriend. The issue was that Obama named “Frank” as his mentor and concealed the fact that he was Frank Marshall Davis, the communist. That was a far more serious matter. We exposed Frank as Davis in the 2008 campaign, but most of the media didn’t want to cover the story. They were too busy trying to elect the first black president and carry out his “hope and change” agenda.

Consider the furor if it had been determined that John McCain or Mitt Romney had been influenced by a member of a Ku Klux Klan or Nazi group. But Obama’s relationship with a communist who had a 600-page FBI file was not deemed newsworthy.

Carson understands how the media treated Obama, saying to Camerota, “The vetting that you all did with President Obama doesn’t even come close, doesn’t even come close to what you guys are trying to do in my case, and you’re just going to keep going back, ‘He said this 12 years ago’—it is just garbage. Give me a break.”

Carson understands how the media play their game, and he also understands the role played by Saul Alinsky, the community organizer, in Democratic Party politics. Alinsky wrote a book, Rules for Radicals, dedicated to Lucifer. But that’s not supposed to be controversial, either, as far as CNN is concerned.

In another media-manufactured controversy, Carson’s recollection that he was offered a scholarship to West Point has been challenged. Carson joined ROTC in high school and became a leader of Detroit’s ROTC program, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Instead of applying to West Point, he pursued a medical career.

Politico headlined its story by Kyle Cheney, “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship,” when Carson did not admit anything of the sort. A close reading of Carson’s book indicates he talked about an offer of a scholarship, perhaps from an ROTC official or a general he met at an ROTC affair. But he never claimed to have been admitted or to have applied. However, considering his background in the ROTC, it’s likely Carson could have gotten the scholarship if he had applied for it. Perhaps that’s why he considered it an offer. In any case, this is much ado about nothing. What’s more, the issue is Politico’s use of the term “fabricated.”  The Carson campaign did not admit fabricating anything. Doug Watts of the Carson campaign told The Daily Caller News Foundation that “The Politico story is an outright Lie.”

While Carson joined the ROTC and then decided to go to medical school, a young Barack Obama left his mentor Frank Marshall Davis only to fall under the influence of Marxist professors, become an Alinskyite community organizer, and then make friends with communists and terrorists in Chicago.

What a contrast. If only the American people had known who they were voting for in 2008.

Carson is not the fabricator. Our media are fabricating the news, making stories out of little or nothing. With a man whose career has been characterized by integrity and hard work, it’s hard to make him look bad. But the media won’t stop trying. Their double standards of scrutiny are so obvious.

In going after Carson, they have met their match. Rather, they have met someone willing to go after the media’s lack of ethics and standards. He is not willing to be a victim in their campaign of politics of personal destruction.

Carson is performing brain surgery on the media. It’s not intelligence he’s finding; it’s garbage.