But CNN is taking different line of attack against Dr. Ben Carson. It wants to derail the good doctor by showing that he was a nice boy.
Why? Because Carson has said that before he found God, he had a terrible temper. So angry was the young Carson that he once tried to hit his mother with a hammer and once tried to stab a friend (apparently a relative). He also had the occasional fight in junior high school.
CNN felt compelled to look into these claims. Its hope was to clear Carson of his misdeeds. That way, it could call him a liar. The nicer CNN could show Carson to have been as a child, the more it could smear him as an adult.
So what did CNN discover? It discovered that of nine people Carson knew as a youngster, none knew anything about his attempt to bludgeon his mother and only one had heard about the attempted stabbing. In addition, Carson’s acquaintances remembered him as a quiet, studious young man.
These findings prove nothing. One wouldn’t expect Carson’s acquaintances to know about him assaulting his mother. It’s not something Carson would brag about, nor something his mother would publicize. His friend/relative might publicize the altercation with Carson, and word of this incident apparently did reach at least one of the people CNN talked to. Thus, CNN has no basis to dispute that these episodes occurred.
Moreover, there is no inconsistency between being quiet and studious and having a bad temper. As I understand it, Carson’s claim was that he was usually mild-mannered but would have occasional major flashes of temper when things weren’t going his way. Since Carson wasn’t ordinarily angry, it’s easy to believe that not many would know of Carson’s temper.
It’s possible, of course, that Carson has made up or exaggerated this aspect of his biography. If so, he is following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, whose autobiography contains more than a little fiction.
Did CNN fact-check Dreams From My Father when Obama was running for president? If so, I must have missed it.