Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News and Wall Street Journal's respective parent companies, lashed out at media outlets for vetting GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson's autobiographical claims, stating CNN and The New York Times “hate faith based people,” after they published articles challenging some of the candidate's past statements. Murdoch's criticism came just one day after his own Wall Street Journal cast doubt on the veracity of several Carson claims.
The authenticity of several stories in Ben Carson's autobiography have come under media scrutiny within the past week, including claims that he was offered a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy and that he attempted to stab a childhood friend. After CNN reported that they could not “independently confirm” incidents described in Carson's autobiography including “stabbing, rock throwing, brick hurling and baseball bat beating,” right-wing media lashed out at the network, calling the report “ruthless” for “dissecting” Carson's life. The New York Times detailed Carson's questionable statements in a November 7 article writing, “Now it is Ben Carson who appears to have shaded the facts.” The Times went on to explain how Carson's response was to “engage in a practice that has become routine in this race: He harshly turned the questions back on reporters who asked them.”
Murdoch defended Carson on November 7, writing “Carson seems to have won by standing up immediately and answering doubters. Seems CNN/NYT etc all hate faith based people”:
Carson seems to have won by standing up immediately and answering doubters. Seems CNN/NYT etc all hate faith based people.
-- Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 7, 2015
However, a November 6 story that ran in Murdoch's own Wall Street Journal contributed to the scrutiny over Carson's claims. The Journal called a number of incidents described by Carson into question, including his assertion that he protected white students from a riot, and was identified by a professor as “the most honest student” in a Perceptions 301 psychology class at Yale University:
The day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968, Ben Carson's black classmates unleashed their anger and grief on white students who were a minority at Detroit's Southwestern High.
Mr. Carson, then a junior with a key to a biology lab where he worked part time, told The Wall Street Journal last month that he protected a few white students from the attacks by hiding them there.
It is a dramatic account of courage and kindness, and it couldn't be confirmed in interviews with a half-dozen of Mr. Carson's classmates and his high school physics teacher. The students all remembered the riot. None recalled hearing about white students hiding in the biology lab, and Mr. Carson couldn't remember any names of those he sheltered.
In his 1990 autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” Mr. Carson writes of a Yale psychology professor who told Mr. Carson, then a junior, and the other students in the class--identified by Mr. Carson as Perceptions 301--that their final exam papers had “inadvertently burned,” requiring all 150 students to retake it. The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.
“The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Mr. Carson wrote. " 'A hoax,' the teacher said. 'We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.' " Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $10 bill.
No photo identifying Mr. Carson as a student ever ran, according to the Yale Daily News archives, and no stories from that era mention a class called Perceptions 301. Yale Librarian Claryn Spies said Friday there was no psychology course by that name or class number during any of Mr. Carson's years at Yale.