April 9, 2013

Dr. Ben Carson, the prominent Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon who denounced President Obama’s policies to his face at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, showed up on “Hannity” last night with a bit of media criticism. After the host noted how Carson’s life has changed, the doc responded: “The thing is, once the media gets finished parsing every word and dissecting, maybe they’ll start listening to what I’m saying.”

Huh, now there’s a nice little slam. Let’s open up Nexis to do a little fact-checking. One thousand and forty-two news results pop up under Carson’s name since his controversial appearance at the prayer breakfast (some of them, to be sure, are duplicates or relate to other Ben Carsons). And yes, the coverage does indeed feature no shortage of parsing and dissecting, which is, of course, the job of the media.

There’s some listening in there as well. Take this March 9 piece from the Hinterland Gazette, “Your source for breaking U.S. & international news, political & social commentary from a centrist’s point of view”:

With black unemployment hovering at 13.8 percent and the continuing sequestration stalemate, President Obama’s economic policies are under a microscope again. Dr. Ben Carson, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told the Christian Post that the economic policies being pursued by the Obama administration has resulted in an ‘abominable’ unemployment rate in the black community. There is some truth to his statement borne out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that black unemployment for February is more than double the unemployment rate for whites for the same period. As the sequestration cuts gain traction, long-term unemployed will be adversely affected when their unemployment benefits run out or dwindle. The Republicans are calling for subsidy cuts. Well, up to 3.8 million people without jobs are facing larger financial woes as these cuts take hold. This will, undoubtedly, have a larger impact on the black community.

[...]

The politicians come around when an election is near. When will we as a community demand more accountability from our elected leaders? The GOP is clamoring for the Hispanic vote and have all but given up on the black vote, which means they will not propose any policies favorable to helping the black community. Dr. Ben Carson is absolutely right and I applaud him for his courage in standing up and saying what some in the black community believe but choose not to utter.

Carson may want to cite an exemption for the Hinterland Gazette the next time he takes a broad swipe at the media.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.