Ben Carson is tied with Donald Trump as frontrunner among the Republican presidential candidates, and has successfully disproven a slew of hit pieces concocted by the liberal mainstream media ahead of Tuesday's debate.
"There's no question I'm getting special scrutiny," Carson said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday
. "They've seen the recent head-to-head polling against Hillary and how well I do. And, you know, they're worried. There is no question about it."
Gathered below are six lies the media has spread about Ben Carson, and evidence that disproves them.
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1. Carson fabricated a West Point scholarship story
— Politico.com was forced to change its headline
and issue a lengthy correction after reporter Kyle Cheney wrote, "Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from Politico, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point."
Carson, however, never claimed that he applied, or claimed he was extended admission. In his autobiography, "Gifted Hands," Carson wrote that he was "offered a full scholarship to West Point" as the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit when he was in high school. He declined to take up the offer, however, because he knew he wanted to go into medicine. As Carson's campaign manager put it, "He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission." Carson offered further evidence of his story by posting a copy of the material West Point used in those days
to recruit African-American high school students. The words "Full Government Scholarship" are printed on the front page.
2. Carson never met with General Westmoreland
— In Politico's corrected report about Carson's scholarship offer, it also called into question whether or not Ben Carson really ever met the four-star general. In his book "Gifted Hands," Carson said he was chosen to march in the city’s Memorial Day parade his senior year. His high school ROTC director "introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners."
Records show that Carson, or his book's ghostwriter, Cecil Murphey, likely got the dates of the nearly 50-year-old anecdote wrong by just a few months. Westmoreland was not in Detroit on Memorial Day 1969, he was in Washington, D.C., playing tennis. Westmoreland did visit Detroit in February of that year, and it's likely that Carson met the general at a 1,500-person banquet to celebrate Medal of Honor recipient Dwight Johnson.
3. Attempted knife stabbing and redemption
— On Saturday, CNN called into question Carson's story
that he was a troubled young man, attempted to stab a classmate when he was 14 years old, and was later redeemed through his faith. "Nine friends, classmates, and neighbors who grew up with Carson told CNN they have no memory of the anger or violence the candidate has described," wrote the news outlet.
To prove the story was true, Carson posted an excerpt from an interview his mother, Sonya, did with Parade Magazine on May 11, 1997. "Oh, that really happened. I sat him down and told him that you don't accomplish much by being a bully. You accomplish more with kindness than you ever do by being harsh," she said in the article. "Did CNN do any research at all?" Carson asked his Facebook fans
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4. He didn't protect white classmates during a school riot
— Ben Carson told The Wall Street Journal last month
that he protected white students, a minority at Detroit’s Southwestern High, when a riot broke out in response to the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Carson said he doesn't remember the names of the students he sheltered in a biology lab, as the incident occurred nearly 50 years ago. "It may have happened, but I didn’t see it myself or hear about it," Gregory Vartanian, a white classmate who served in the ROTC with Carson, told The Journal. While no evidence has emerged proving Carson's story, no evidence has disproven it either.
5. Joseph built Egypt's pyramids for grain storage
— In a 1998 commencement speech for Andrews University, a school associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Carson said, "My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain."
Last week, Carson confirmed that he still believes this theory about the pyramids. According to CBS, "What Carson has in mind
here is the seven years of plenty in Egypt, referred to in Genesis, when 'Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.' In the Bible, Joseph fed Egypt and the rest of the world during the seven years of drought that followed."
According to Carson, "the pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments . . . You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time." Joseph, the youngest of Jewish patriarch Jacob’s 12 sons, was an advisor to the pharaoh of the time, however the Israelites did not come into contact with the Egyptians until after the pyramids were constructed. Archeologists have determined that grain was stored in open-top, dome-shaped buildings during the time of Joseph, according to Haaretz
6. He made up a story about his time as a Yale student
— The Wall Street Journal on Friday called into question a story Carson told in his book, "Gifted Hands," about a prank that got him photographed by the Yale Daily News. On Monday, BuzzFeed spoke with Curtis Bakal
, an editorial assistant at the satirical Yale Record, who said that he was "99-percent certain the way Carson remembers it is correct." According to Bakal, "When I read about the story in The Wall Street Journal, I immediately said, to my wife and friend, ‘That was the prank we played at the Record! And Ben Carson was in the class.' We did a mock parody of the Yale Daily News during the exam period in January 1970, and in this parody we had a box that said: 'So-and-so section of the exam has been lost in a fire. Professor so-and-so is going to give a makeup exam.' We got a room to do the test in and one of us from the Record impersonated a proctor to give the test."
On Facebook, Carson offered further a snippet
of the article from 1970, and proof that the course he was in at the time did in fact exist.
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