I’ve said it before. Journalism is dead.
This morning Politico posted an article with a headline that said Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson “fabricated” a story about West Point. If you follow the link, that’s not what the headline says now. In fact the Daily Caller has it’s own story about how much Politico has backed off of their original story. The first line of the original post was, “Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted … that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated” and it has been deleted, headline changed.
If you read the Politico story all the way through you can see that their initial inflammatory headline was way overblown. In fact, this is making a mountain out of a molehill. Carson may have the exact dates wrong, but he did meet Westmoreland and discuss West Point. Carson, like me and many others, apparently didn’t know that everyone gets a full scholarship at West Point. I didn’t know that, I would have expected an editor of the book to catch that detail.
Regardless, in a media driven by views and ratings more than truth, news organizations were off to the races. CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Newsweek, Fortune, USA Today and just about anyone else you can name all ran some form of the story. Carson’s campaign started crying foul, and the conservative news blogs started writing rebuttals. Fox is now running a headline that says the report by Politico has been called into question.
Now, I’m not sure Carson is our best candidate. He doesn’t seem to be the good at handling a media that wants to rip him and his candidacy apart. He’s said some strange stuff. (If reports are to be believed… he may not have tried to hit his mother with a hammer, or stabbed someone, or been robbed at gunpoint, and doesn’t know what the Pyramids are.) But this is just bad journalism. OK, Politico thought it had a story and blew it out of proportion. I could almost excuse that as over eager reporting on something they thought would be a huge story. (They should officially retract their initial claims instead of silently altering the story) But for every other major news organization to pile on without doing their own checking of the story? Come on.
This is just the latest in recent stories about Carson’s past life and statements. What did he do that made it open season on his past? He started leading the Republican polls and he criticized the media.
If the media were doing this to all of the candidates, Democrat as well as Republican, it would be easier to take. But no, this is the state of journalism in America:
In Benghazi hearing we see definitive proof that Hillary Clinton knew what she told the American people about the embassy attack was a lie.
Media: “Meh, why are the Republicans harassing her about this?”
Ben Carson leads some polls and said he was offered a scholarship to West Point, when in fact no one is ever offered a “scholarship” there because it’s free to attend if you can get in.
Media: “Carson’s a liar! Liar, liar, pants of fire!”
The double standard makes my head hurt.