Saturday, November 7, 2015

Response to Trusting the Doctor

(See: Just Above Sunset: Trusting the Doctor)

Ben Carson didn't really make up that whole thing about being offered a full-scholarship to West Point, he just elaborated on something, and did it in a way that's fine for just chatting with your friends, but not in a way that you would want to include on your resume. I'd give him a pass if it were the former, except that, at this point, he's no longer just chit-chatting, he's applying for the most important job in America, and he's lying on his resume.

But if you're sitting in a job interview and someone mentions that they've looked and looked but can't find any record of any of this West Point stuff you listed, you'd best not get nit-picky with them, such as Carson did in this snippy little back-and-forth as reported in the conservative Washington Examiner:
“Politico, as you know, told a bald-faced lie,” Carson said. “I never said I received a full scholarship. Nowhere did I say that.” 
A member of the media interjected: “You just told me you got scholarship offer.” 
“I never said I got a scholarship,” Carson replied, making a distinction between “scholarship” and “scholarship offer.”
Although Politico corrected its original story to clarify that Carson only said he got a "scholarship offer" to West Point, the fact is, he never got one of those either.

And about those pyramids, here's an article from Science Alert entitled "Here's how scientists know the pyramids were built to store pharaohs, not grain":
Pyramids aren't hollow: They're incredibly solid and usually only contain a few claustrophobic chambers, connected by long, sloping pathways and concealed entrances, in order to confuse potential tomb raiders. Not a very efficient place to store grain.
And also that:
Ancient Egyptians actually had granaries: And they've been studied by archaeologists. "These were normally dome-shaped buildings open at the top, which stood near houses and government buildings," said [archaeologist Deborah] Sweeney.
Should all of this stuff disqualify Carson from the presidency? Not necessarily.

I remember back when I was publishing my newsletter, "TV News Journal", one big issue was whether the media had a responsibility to report on all those suspicions that Senator Gary Hart, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, engaged in extramarital affairs. I polled subscribers on the issue, and found the majority of the respondents, all journalists, said the private sex lives of the candidates are none of the public's business. I'm guessing they were living in the world where reporters protected presidents -- never publishing anything about FDR's polio or even JFK's dalliances. I went in the other direction, arguing that our job, as journalists, is to provide information to voters on matters they think important, not what we news-types think is worthy of their attention. 

So once again, should all of Carson's weird stuff about pyramids and West Point and over-reliance on the Bible and trying to make himself look like a badass when he was young and all the rest, keep him from getting that White House job?

Unfortunately, I'm sure there are plenty of people on the "search committee" who will take a chance on him, in spite of all his obvious fruitcakiness, but I will not. Even if it were an absolute necessity that our president be a fruitcake, I'm sure there are probably better candidates than this one to pick from.

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