By Sean Noble
Let the smear campaign against Dr. Ben Carson begin! Today’s New York Times features an article introducing readers to Dr. Carson. From headline, “Neurosurgeon’s Speeches Have Conservatives Dreaming of 2016,” to finish, the piece seeks to discount Carson and the conservatives who love him.
Using words like dream, fantasy, and lofted, the Times paints Carson’s newfound fame as a flash in the pan. Out-of-touch, old, rich, white, conservatives are desperately grasping at straws; Carson is a straw.
Take a look at the opening paragraph:
“Then with a single speech delivered as President Obama looked stonily on, he was lofted into the conservative firmament as its newest star: a renowned neurosurgeon who is black and has the credibility to attack the president on health care.”
It’s the same tired argument that the Left trots out every time a black conservative appears on the national scene: conservatives are attracted to Carson not because he can convincingly and succinctly extoll the virtues of conservative thought, but because he is black. Give me a break. This statement also strangely seems to imply that only those with a medical degree can credibly attack the president’s disastrous health care law. According to this reasoning, only those with a medical degree should be able to argue in favor of the law as well…I forget, where did Obama go to med school?
Carson’s inspiring American success story is a testament to conservative principles of individual responsibility and personal achievement, so the article attempts to degrade that story by framing it as a self-serving political prop:
“In an interview in his office at Johns Hopkins University, he said he had been told for years that he could have a political career. It would be built on his compelling personal story that began in poverty in Detroit, leading to fame through pioneering work separating conjoined twins and his own self-help and inspirational books, including “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”
The Times devotes an entire paragraph to a detailed account of Carson’s office voicemail recording and depicts the doctor as arrogant, writing that Carson is not shy or self-deprecating. The article reveals that Carson attributes much of his success to his mother’s high expectations for him and her insistence that he read. Then, insults Carson’s mother and, in a beautifully executed trick of bias, makes it seem that the condescension comes from Carson, “But his mother insisted that he and an older brother turn off the television and read, writing weekly book reports that she could only feign understanding.”
Next, in describing Carson’s formidable success, the article notes, “He gained fame for a series of operations separating conjoined twins, long and risky procedures that did not always succeed.” A surgeon without a 100% success rate—we knew he was too good to be true!
Carson acknowledges that, like so many misguided youngsters, he was a “flaming liberal in college,” and explains that he became conservative because “One thing I always believed strongly in was personal responsibility and hard work…I found the Democrat Party leaving me behind on that particular issue.” But, the Times characterizes his change in philosophy a bit differently, “[Carson] became conservative through his own climb to success.”
A proponent of a flat tax, Carson famously exclaimed at the prayer breakfast, “You make $10 billion, you put in a billion; you make $10, you put in 1…Now some people say that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made 10 billion as much as the guy who makes 10. Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy?” After which the Times notes, “Dr. Carson said that he was in the new top federal bracket for family income above $450,000.”
Yep, he’s just another greedy rich guy.
In reality, Carson is a committed philanthropist. Since 1996, Carson and his wife have been giving scholarships to promising students and promoting reading in schools throughout the country. The Carson Scholars Fund awards 500 scholarships annually and has provided more than $2 million to 5,200 scholars in all 50 states. The Ben Carson Reading Room Project has provided more than $850,000 to establish 85 Reading Rooms at schools in 12 states. How does the Times describe this remarkable undertaking? “With his wife, Candy, Dr. Carson founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards $1,000 to students to help pay for college. He has also endowed Ben Carson Reading Rooms at schools that serve disadvantaged students.”
The article closes, “As for politics, [Carson] said, “I would like to have a voice.” The New York Times and those on the Left will try hard to silence that voice, but something tells me they won’t have much luck.