As we reported yesterday, Politico published a ridiculous story zeroing in on exactly how Ben Carson phrased an offer to attend West Point. Immediately afterward, the story took to a familiar pattern:
Someone lies about a Republican.
Mainstream media repeats the lie.
Republican defends himself.
Pundits wonder aloud if his campaign is over.
Lie is discovered, story retracted or edited.
Mainstream media continues to pursue the lie as if it’s true.
In this case, Politico even went so far as to edit their story but not admit they did, which is against a commonly accepted journalistic standard, and is referred to as “stealth-editing” a story:
Politico has made significant changes to a report claiming 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson “fabricated” his story about being offered full scholarship to attend West Point, and there is nothing in the story to indicate that the article has been edited.
The story’s original headline read, “Ben Carson Admits Fabricating West Point Scholarship.”
The story’s opening paragraph also stated originally that, “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.”
However, the supposed scoop encountered heavy pushback Friday afternoon, as several reporters noted quickly that Carson never said he applied to enroll in the prestigious military school. Carson never claimed that he was accepted.
The issue is that Politico made it appear as if the Carson campaign ADMITTED that there was a lie in his autobiography, when they didn’t do anything of the sort.
And there’s more:
Politico has since amended its story to remove language that accused Carson of lying about the whole story.
The article’s new headline reads, “Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied.”
The report’s opening paragraph has also undergone significant changes.
It now reads, “Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday conceded that he never applied nor was granted admission to West Point and attempted to recast his previous claims of a full scholarship to the military academy – despite numerous public and written statements to the contrary over the last few decades.”
After many people criticized Politico for stealth-editing the story, they eventually added a note admitting their changes.
But the damage is done. Smaller media markets are repeating the lie and ignoring that the story has been severely amended by Politico. And the Carson campaign is on the defense about the story, and on the attack against the media.
Just another example of how the mainstream media has a policy of left-wing Napoleonic code – a Republican is guilty until proven otherwise, and sometimes not even then…