Portions of this article are taken from the author’s upcoming book on the Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal, to be published by BarbWire Books.
Whether or not you support Dr. Ben Carson for the Republican nomination for president (and the jury is still out in my case), all reasonable people should be able to agree that he is a man of laudable accomplishments. He arose from childhood poverty, fatherlessness and apathy and succeeded in obtaining a first-rate education. He then went on to become a world renown pediatric neurosurgeon, performing near-miraculous feats like separating conjoined twins.
But none of this is doing him any good right now. That’s because, until quite recently, Carson has never had to wrestle with the most formidable demon of our time—the media matrix. Dr. Carson has wandered into this fight ill-equipped because he is armed with real-world skills. But the media-matrix program does not operate in the real world.
“The media matrix” is a term coined by David Kupelian to describe the soul-sucking effect the modern mainstream media is having on the masses. The elites in the media carefully cultivate how information is presented to the public so as to give a skewed view of the world. The cumulative effect of this constant misrepresentation of events is the projection of an almost alternate reality, like the computer program in the movie The Matrix.
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The media matrix consists of a suite of narratives, each of which is designed to condition Americans to think and feel a certain way about particular issues. Occasionally, this calls for twisting facts or outright lying, but only seldom. Usually, the narratives function by downplaying certain stories and amplifying others.
Every day, this wild world of ours offers up a ceaseless parade of stories like the ocean tossing up waves on the shore. Which stories get told and which go unreported will partly determine our perception of the world. In order to promote their favored narratives, the media will sometimes let a big story go ignored while another story of lesser importance gets completely blown out of proportion.
A recent example of this happened when Ahmed Mohamed, a Muslim teen in Texas, was suspended and arrested for bringing to school a homemade “clock” that was mistaken for a bomb.
There have been dozens of examples of children being suspended and/or arrested in recent years due to “zero-tolerance” policies over perceived threats of violence in American schools. In fact, in one instance, a young child was suspended simply for biting his pop-tart into the shape of a gun. Another was suspended for saying, “God bless you.” But these kids were not named Mohamed so their story did not hit the national spotlight.
Ahmed’s story, however, fit nicely into the media’s desired narrative, which is that Americans should feel bad about associating Muslims with terrorism. It got several day’s worth of attention.
Emotional conditioning is the name of the game. Whereas the duty of the press was traditionally understood to be to inform the public with facts, today the media operates by trying to make Americans feel good about some things and bad about other things. Stories that damage the desired narrative can be suppressed by depriving them of oxygen, while those that highlight the narrative can be kept on life support.
For example, since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year, the media narrative has focused on making Americans feel bad about racism and the police. However, they failed to adequately report the fact that more white suspects are killed by police each year than black suspects, even in spite of the fact that blacks are 3 times more likely to have a criminal encounter with the police.
Furthermore, the massive drop in crime over the last twenty years, which has certainly saved the lived of thousands of African-Americans, is largely the result of more effective policing techniques.
Now back to Dr. Carson. The media hit-job that has been perpetrated on him in recent weeks has played out very predictably. The media was bound to attack him eventually for a very obvious reason: he is a black conservative.
Imagine, for a second, if a man with Carson’s resume and life experience was a vocal Democrat rather than a Republican. We would never hear the end of the media singing hosannas to him. That is because a liberal Ben Carson would make people feel warm and fuzzy about one of the media’s favorite narratives. This narrative says that for African-Americans to be successful, everyone must embrace the liberal fiction that America is implacably racist.
But as a successful black conservative, Dr. Carson’s very existence is an intolerable rebuke to this narrative. He does not blame racism for the challenges he faced in life, nor does he advocate demonizing white American as a solution to the problems in the black community. For these reasons alone the media was bound to try to knock Carson down a peg even if he never became the Republican front-runner.
And the mode of the media attack has been similarly predictable. There has been relatively little criticism of Dr. Carson’s policies. He is clearly a highly intelligent man, but this does not oblige everyone to agree with every one of his policy positions. For example, he supports a flat-tax rate. This may or may not be a good idea (I for one don’t know, I’m not an economist), but certainly reasonable people can disagree about issues such as this.
However, the media matrix is not a world of mature adults and there is nothing reasonable about it. Rather than critiquing Carson’s policies, the media has decided to go after him by smearing his character. This has entailed several news outlets combing through the doctor’s childhood to find embarrassing details.
Again: the media matrix operates through emotional conditioning. In order to resuscitate their racist liberal narrative, it would simply not suffice to criticize Carson’s economic positions. Because even if everyone came to agree that those positions were wrong, they still might have positive feelings about Carson the man.
In order to disabuse the public of the notion that a black American can be successful without conforming to or championing the racist liberal narrative, Carson must be knocked off his perch. People must come to have nasty feelings toward him. And only character assassination (accusing him of being a liar and a loon) will do the trick.
The second sin is the crime of disproportionality. The media has been combing through Carson’s past and harping on his claims to have been offered a scholarship from West Point. Strictly speaking, this is false—West Point does not offer anyone scholarships. But imagine if the media applied this same standard to Democratic candidates? There would not be enough space on the internet to analyze all the parsing and prevaricating of the Clintons alone.
Carson himself pointed out this double standard as he was trying to fend off the media attacks last week. Where was this media scrutiny over Barack Obama’s sealed college records or his relationship with Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers?
During this campaign cycle, the media has been mum about a college essay written by Senator Bernie Sanders in which he says that women fantasize about rape. Yet if a Republican candidate had written the same words, debate moderators would be throwing their feces at him on live TV.
All these reasons are why so many Republican voters are turning to Donald Trump, in spite of his flaws; because, unlike the other candidates, he has the uncanny ability to walk through the media fire without getting burned.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.