Amidst the firestorm of controversy surrounding both Ben Carson’s autobiography and the liberal media’s coverage of it comes an unlikely defender for Carson. This morning, Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders told NBC’s Chuck Todd the media’s close scrutiny of GOP presidential contender Ben Carson is unfair.
As The Blaze reports:
Sanders (I-Vt.) told NBC’s Chuck Todd Sunday morning that while the interviews with the Republican presidential candidate — who has recently found himself under fire for specific details about things he’s said of his past — have been “interesting,” the American people are more concerned with other issues such as the middle class and the economy.
“I know it’s a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying, rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of 30 or 40 years ago,” Sanders said on “Meet the Press.”
The Democratic presidential candidate did not miss an opportunity to blast his Republican opponent on issues such as Medicare and climate change, however. Yet when Todd first asked him if it was “fair game” for people to leak things candidates had written decades in the past, Sanders said no. “I think the reason that so many people are turned off to the political process has a lot to do with the fact that we’re not talking about the real issues impacting real people,” Sanders said.
Apparently, Sanders — who famously defended fellow contender Hillary Clinton and the controversy surrounding her “damn emails” in the recent Democrat debate — is an equal opportunity defender. And — putting aside any cynicism about Sanders’ potential self-interest in defending candidates from attempts to dredge up their pasts — he’s right. In part. Americans deserve –need — for their media to focus on the issues affecting real people and help illuminate the merits each candidate brings to the situation. And, yes, generally things that happened 30 or 4o years ago may be less relevant than a candidate’s more recent history.
But a candidate’s past can indeed be a window into how he or she might behave in the future, so it can be relevant. For example, Sen. Sanders’ choice to honeymoon in the former Soviet Union may provide insight into his world view. And, a candidate’s fabrication of life story — if in fact true — is a relevant reflection on his or her character.
The problem lies in the media’s uneven application of background scrutiny to candidates. We all shudder to remember the decided absence of this surrounding Barack Obama, and we shake our heads (and fists) about the same happening with Hillary Clinton today. Meanwhile, the lengths to which the media are going to unearth issues with the likes of Ben Carson can’t help but come across as rooted in ill intent — rather than an intent to surface the unvarnished truth to help voters decide.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]