Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Doctor and the President

As anyone who watches anything on television besides Dancing With the Stars knows, the media has been having a field day making up stories about Ben Carson's alleged mendacity. Joe Scarborough at MSNBC has recently called Carson a liar. Politico has tacitly admitted to fabricating a story about Carson's having lied in his autobiography. Much of the rest of the media can't get enough of the sheer pleasure to be derived from casting aspersions on Carson's memories of his violent youth or of his poorly phrased reminiscence of an alleged "scholarship" offer to West Point.

The media stories over the last week range from ridiculous to libelous and amount to asseverations that because they have searched diligently and can't find any eye-witnesses to events Carson claims happened fifty years ago therefore Carson's claims are false.

Okay. Character assassination is what the media does, especially to Republicans, but as low as their professional standards are, they'd be somewhat less contemptible were they not so obviously one-sided about their hit pieces. A microscopic examination of the candidate's past, undertaken for the sole purpose of discrediting the candidate, was certainly nowhere to be found in 2008 and 2012 when the candidate was Barack Obama. Instead what the media gave us during Mr. Obama's campaigns was idolatrous hagiography. Yet, while evidence is turning up to vindicate Dr. Carson, Mr. Obama's track record for honesty remains pathetic.

For example, Kyle Becker at Independent Journal discusses nine falsehoods that Barack Obama promotes in his autobiographies and elsewhere that are demonstrably untrue, yet scarcely any of those journalists currently taking to their fainting couches over Dr. Carson's alleged unreliability raised any objection to Sen. Obama's dissimulations seven years ago and certainly did not call him a liar.

Here are a five of the nine that Becker summons to our recollection. You can find links to the sources at Independent Journal:

Mr. Obama claimed that his uncle helped liberate Auschwitz in WWII:

In response to a question at a Memorial Day appearance in New Mexico, Mr. Obama said an uncle helped liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz during World War II. However Auschwitz, evidently unbeknownst to Mr. Obama, was liberated by Soviet forces.

Mr. Obama claimed that the civil rights march in Selma served somehow as the inspiration for his conception:

[W]hen the president spoke before an audience in Selma back in 2007, Mr. Obama credited the civil rights march as the inspiration for his conception. Remarkably, however, the president was already three years old when the march occurred in 1965.

Mr. Obama claimed that his grandfather was tortured by the British in Kenya:

David Maraniss, the author of Mr Obama’s most comprehensive biography so far, claims that while “incidents of that sort certainly happened”, it “seems unlikely” that Mr Obama’s grandfather was one such victim. “Five people who had close connections to Hussein Onyango [Mr. Obama's grandfather] said they doubted the story or were certain it did not happen.”

Mr. Obama claimed that his step-grandfather died while fighting Dutch troops in Indonesia:

Mr. Maraniss notes that the story about the death of Mr. Obama’s step-grandfather was “a concocted myth in almost all respects.” Mr. Maraniss writes that the man died trying to hang drapes.

Mr. Obama claimed that his mother, while suffering from cancer, was denied insurance coverage:

However, a new book by New York Times reporter Janny Scott has revealed this story appears to be a fabrication ... and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.

There are more such tarradiddles by the president at the link, and these, of course, don't include his claims that his health care plan would make insurance cheaper and allow everyone to keep their plan and their doctor, none of which is true.

Becker goes on to say that,
At least 38 false accounts of President Obama’s life story were documented in just the Maraniss biography, as counted by Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith.

Additional falsehoods have been detected in Obama’s biographies, many of them apparently designed to further a narrative of overcoming racial adversity and an underprivileged life.
Despite this record of factual errancy afflicting the president, the media snores. If, though, Dr. Carson, or any other Republican had told these whoppers, you can bet that the media would be all over it.