Cruz, Carson and a Chain of Confusion

Barb Wire

CNN gave an unclear tweet. Cruz’ team concluded wrongly from the tweet. Carson’s group discovers the problem.  Cruz apologizes for the error. Carson accepts the apology. Carson still casts aspersions on Cruz’ team (whole stream found here).

It is a winding chain of bad decisions and sloppy handling of truth.

First there is CNN. They were the root of the problem. Their tweet was confusing, seemingly implying that Carson was bowing out of the race:

“Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.”

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The problem with tweets is that they are short. They are fine for communicating simple ideas. The CNN writer put too much into one tweet. Sloppy. And they have yet to apologize for the tweet. That is worse.

Next, Cruz’ team was at fault. They read into the CNN tweet their own desires. Instead of passing on the CNN message verbatim, they elaborated with “Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz”.

They should have asked for clarity from Carson’s camp. They should know better than to trust mainstream media for such important news.

Then, there is Cruz. He apologized to Carson. But he also admitted they should have forwarded the correction tweet from Carson’s team.

And, I believe, he should fire the staffer that too eagerly passed on a bad report.

Lastly, we have Carson. He “played the gentleman,” as O’Reilly phrased it, by accepting Cruz’ apology.

But did Carson fully accept Cruz’ apology? I do not think so.

Why? By their fruit you shall know them.

Carson: “I have to accept at his word that he didn’t know”.

O’Reilly pushed back, insisting CNN was the guilty party: “It looks like it came from CNN. That’s what it looks like.”

Carson replied: “Yeah, but Bill, here’s the issue. A culture exists within the Cruz camp that would allow people to take advantage of a situation like this in a very dishonest way. Isn’t this the same thing that we see with the Obama administration, the IRS scandal? No responsibility. Let’s see, what, in fact, the Cruz campaign will do about those individuals who inappropriately disseminated this information, knowing that the caucus were not over. They were awfully anxious to get it out there, weren’t they?”

If Christians are called to forgive one another for sins committed against us, how much more should we forgive for simple errors?

Forgiveness is modeled on Christ’s forgiveness. And that means not bringing up the trespasses against the other person. It means casting it away as far as the east is from the west.

And it does not mean bringing up the matter in some backhanded way either. Carson did just that.

How? By implicating Cruz’ leadership. His camp’s culture was likened to the IRS scandal. Any conservative knows that even if the President did not direct the IRS, he was still culpable for allowing such a culture to develop.

Leaders are in charge of those under them, both by what they do and what they don’t do.

If Carson accepted Cruz’ apology, he should have left that comment out. At the same time, Carson has every right to look for proper fruit from such an apology.

This chain of confusion was forged from sloppy reporting (violating the Ninth Commandment) and sloppy apologies (violating the Sixth Commandment).

Hopefully, this little analysis will help Christians become aware of their obligations to one another. Then, maybe, we can stop creating chains of confusion before it is too late.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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