In a 2014 video recently uncovered by Mother Jones, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson called many Americans stupid and praised Fox News for preventing America from becoming Cuba by giving people like him an outlet to spout his beliefs.
A November 3 Mother Jones article published a video of an October 19, 2014 speech Carson gave at the Richard Nixon presidential library. During the speech Carson criticized what he claimed was the media's attempt to shut him down, while praising his then-employer Fox News, commenting that, “We'd be Cuba if there were no Fox News.” According to Mother Jones (emphasis added):
Carson made this observation while speaking at the Richard Nixon library on October 19, 2014, as part of a book tour. After a fifteen-minute talk--prior to a book-signing--Carson was asked if he might run for president as an independent. He vowed not to do so, noting this would fracture the Republican vote. He then pivoted to another topic: unnamed political foes--presumably liberals, progressives, secularists, Marxists, or whatever--penetrating key elements of American society to gain control of the nation:
“They can twist and turn things as much as they want. But what they don't understand--and they miscalculated. They were doing a great job in terms of fundamentally changing this nation. In terms of infiltrating the school systems. In terms of infiltrating the media. All of this--they've done a great job. Everything was perfect. Except they underestimated the intelligence of the American people. The people are not as stupid as they think they are. Many of them are stupid. Okay. But I'm talking about overall.”
In answering the same question, Carson also noted that he could escape the corruptions of conventional politics by deftly using social media, and, with no apparent sense of hyperbole, he suggested that Fox News was preventing America from becoming a totalitarian state:
“Even if all the media tries to shut you down--which they have tried very much to do with me. But they can't because the good Lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like Fox News. We'd be Cuba if there were no Fox News.”
And indeed, Fox News provided Carson a prominent spotlight before he became a presidential candidate. Carson was hired by Fox News as a contributor in 2013, where he repeatedly spouted inflammatory rhetoric, comparing the Affordable Care Act to slavery, calling the health care law "the keystone of the arch to the socialist state," and saying “I'm not sure that's true” that domestic violence is a “terrible plague.”
Since Carson announced his presidential candidacy earlier this year, Fox has continued giving Carson hours of airtime, with 53 appearances and over six hours of airtime so far. According to New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has been “promoting [Carson's] candidacy inside the network.” Sherman added that “Sources said this is a subtle strategy to undermine Donald Trump,” quoting a Fox personality saying “Roger has told producers to push Carson and put him on whenever he wants to go on.”