Supplemental: Watching Ben Carson try to explain!


He's almost as bad as the Times:
"It’s hard to imagine some version of this is not true."

The statement was made by Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times. Baquet was delivering his assessment of a front-page news report in the Times on Sunday, August 2.

It’s hard to imagine that some version of the report wasn't true? In theory, it's Baquet's job to ensure that front-page reports in the New York Times are actually known to be true!

As such, his comment—made to the Washington Post's Eric Wemple—may end up in the Revealing Quotations Hall of Fame. The statement is being widely discussed as readers comment on Margaret Sullivan's new public editor column.

To read that column, click here. It concerns one of the most jumbled, revealing episodes in the Times' modern history.

This episode involves Maureen Dowd, the paper's Pulitzer winning columnist and apostle of Clinton hatred. It involves Amy Chozick, the paper's Clinton reporter. It involves the editor who handled Chozick's August 2 front-page report.

By now, the episode also involves Sullivan and Baquet. It also seems to involve Joe Biden. Let's throw in Norah O'Donnell, she of CBS News.

This latest episode at the Times is bizarre and complex. It's also extremely revealing. It involves a very basic concept—the concept of accurate statement.

Does anyone at the modern Times have any basic understanding of that basic concept? More and more, it looks like the answer is no.

This episode has quite a few parts; we want to do them justice. For that reason, we may not present a treatment of this episode until next week.

For today, we'll recommend Gene Lyons' new column, in which he sifts this subject. We also recommend the many comments to Sullivan's post, in which Times readers thrash the paper's performance in its latest dispiriting gong-show.

Tonight, the nation will be watching the third GOP debate. Donald Trump's vaunted ratings machine will be forced to go head to head with Game 2 of the World Series.

What will we be watching tonight? We'll be watching Candidate Carson to see if he's able to explain his all new and improved proposal for medical savings accounts.

This explains the source of our focus:

On last weekend's Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace made a valiant effort to extract an explanation pf the high-flying hopeful's various and ever-changing health care proposals. We don't know if we've ever seen a policy discussion which was so confused.

In the main, the problem wasn't with Wallace. The Fox host made a decent effort, but Carson's incoherence was cosmic.

If you want to watch the wrestling match, the videotape can be found here. The questions about Carson's health care plans start at the 4:30 mark. The transcript is also there.

Has there ever been a major party front-runner who was so incoherent? We're not sure, but the intellectual chaos at the Times has been brought into stark relief by the Dowd/Biden/Chozick episode.

In the realm of policy and politics, our nation's intellectual capital is astoundingly low. The chaos will be on display tonight.

It arrived at the New York Times first.

"It’s hard to imagine that some version of this proposal doesn't make some sort of sense!" Ben Carson could possibly shout that out tonight, if his attempts at explanation show signs of going south.

The way we were: During the [run-up to the] 2004 World Series, Doris Kearns Goodman had friends over to watch the Red Sox [play the Yankees] during the third Bush-Kerry debate. The next morning, she went on Imus anyhoo, to repeat GOP talking points.

We know; you think we're making this up! Go ahead—just click this.


  1. Margaret threw Chozick under the bus. Dowd should be down there too.

  2. Agree on the total incoherence of Carson's healthcare plan. He isn't able to explain it; and whatever the plan actually is, based on one's own comprehension of it, it is simply not a viable system.

    Huckabee is so far down in the polls that his healthcare plan won't get any attention, but he said at a town hall meeting that we should stop spending healthcare dollars on treatment, and spend them all on prevention. We should just go all out to find cures for all the major diseases.

    So the people who are sick now, stop their treatments and they are just fucked? Naturally no one at the town hall had any questions about it.

  3. Tonight's GOP debate - Marco "being a US Senator is a drag" Rubio:

    Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday night that Hillary Clinton got a free pass by the media in coverage of her testimony about the embassy attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

    "The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC — it's called the mainstream media," Rubio said at the GOP presidential debate.

    "Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee. She admitted she sent emails to her family saying, 'This attack on Benghazi was caused by Al Qaeda-like elements.' She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video. And yet, the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton's campaign ... It was the week she got exposed as a liar."

    Goddamn Liberals!

    1. Rubio is a coward. He knows he can just keep taking these cheap shots cause no one will ever challenge him on it.

      The stage was full of the cream of the crop of republican liars and cowards.

    2. What GOP candidate can compete with compulsive liar HRC?

      Repeating HRC's Benghazi testimony is a cheap shot? Not even David Brock's pro HRC Super PAC Correct The Record (Howler libs go to source for propaganda) can reconcile HRC's Benghazi emails with her comments tailored for public consumption.

    3. You guys lost the hearing and now you have lost the debate. You are just embarrassing yourself here.

    4. @12:05

      Lost the hearing? Thank you for proving Rubio's point. HRC was confronted with her conflicting messages depending on her audience and the media declares HRC a "winner."

      CNBC lost the debate and any claim to journalistic credibility.

    5. I am not the media. I declare the hearing lost because of the stupidity, venality and pettiness of the Republican committee members during their questioning. They made themselves a joke to the viewing public. No one needed to tell viewers what they were seeing -- it was obvious.

      As to the debate, the questions asked by CNBC were irrelevant because so few of the candidates deigned to answer them. It was one of the most disrespectful performances I've seen -- the arrogance toward the concerns of the viewing public should have put anyone watching on notice about whether Republicans care about their interests.

    6. @ 1:10

      If you combine portions of both of your paragraphs it becomes a lucid observation.

      "Because of the stupidity, venality and pettiness of CNBC, the moderators made themselves a joke to the viewing public. It was one of the most disrespectful performances I've seen -- the arrogance of the moderators toward the concerns of the viewing public should put anyone watching on notice about whether liberal media care about their interests."

    7. Of course the media declared HRC the winner.
      The corporate interests who own the media are liberal. Why wouldn't they be? They're trying to make money, They don't have time to waste with conservative fairy tales which don't hold up under the slightest scrutiny.

    8. @ 138 pm - I wasn't aware that Rupert Murdock, Carlos Slim, Oaktree Capital, JP Morgan Chase, and Jeff Bezos were liberals.

  4. How I Got Back My Lover (

    I never believed in spell casters until my life fell apart when my lover of 6 years decided to call it quit. I was so devastated that i had an accident that left me bedridden. After 9 months of emotional pain and languish, a friend of mine introduced me to a certain spell caster, this was after I have been scammed by various fake spell caster. I was introduced to DR EBOEHI. In less than 3 days i saw wonders, my Lover came back to me and my life got back just like a completed puzzle... Am so happy.. DR EBOEHI have all kinds of spells from pregnancy to love, from employment to visa lottery winning. He has spell to stop divorce, spell to make someone look attractive and others. Here's his contact for serious minded people only, it might be of help.... ( ) or call +1(785) 815-6319 or through his website: Wonderful Dr EBOEHI.... Thanks a lot, i am so grateful as you saved my life.

  5. Ben Carson's voice sounds a lot like Warren Jeffs.

    1. HRC's cackle sounds like the women's in the Tena commercial. That may explain why Anderson Cooper was waiting on HRC to rejoin the debate after the break.

    2. @ 11:28

      What happened to equality of bladders regardless of gender?

  6. How will B.S. defend the CNBC moderators ineptitude?

    "Debate Moderator Attacks Rubio With Claim He Already Admitted Was False"

    John Harwood Verified account 
    ‏@JohnJHarwood CORRECTING earlier tweet: Tax Foundation says Rubio benefits lowest 10% proportionally more (55.9) than top 1% (27.9%). Avg for all: 17.8%.

    1. That wasn't the question, stupid.

      HARWOOD: Senator, the Tax Foundation said after-tax income for the top 1 percent under your plan would go up 27.9 percent…And people in the middle of the income spectrum, about 15 percent.

      RUBIO: Yeah, but that—because the math is, if you—5 percent of a million is a lot more than 5 percent of a thousand. So yeah, someone who makes more money, numerically, it's gonna be higher. But the greatest gains, percentage-wise, for people, are gonna be at the lower end of our plan.

      That's completely wrong. Rubio's plan gives the rich more percentage-wise than the middle class. The Tax Foundation did indeed say this, right here. The median taxpayer gets 15 percent more. Rich taxpayers get 28 percent more. Hell, Harwood even gave Rubio a break by quoting the extremely dubious dynamic estimates instead of the more conventional static estimates .

      Poor little Marco, doesn't even understand his own tax plan.

      Have no fear, I hear rumor that republicans only want the debate moderators to be hard core right wingers who will never embarrass them with trying to explain their tax policy proposals. Yeah, I hear it could be Rush, Hannity and Mark Levin. What a trio!!

      We have reached the point where republicans are so insulated by the bubble world they have created that they are incapable of actually matriculating in the real world. Fascinating.

  7. In addition to the Lyon column, Howler could also recommend Joe Conason's take on Biden-Dowd controversy, where he points out that Biden's version on 60 minutes does not necessarily decide the matter.

    After months of picturing Beau in his hospital bed, we're reminded by the public editor that Dowd never used the term "deathbed." OTOH, "deathbed" does not have to be taken literally and Dowd was describing a "deathbed" scene, regardless of what word was used and what position Beau was assuming at the time. Biden declares "nothing like that" (what Dowd describes) happened. Oh no? The Veep says himself that late in his life Beau wanted his father to run and thought he could win. That's "nothing like" what Dowd actually reported? :"Nothing like"?

    After all the T's and I's are dotted and crossed and all the sentences are parsed, Conason said it's still impossible to know what happened and who said what to whom. Once again foxy Maureen has slipped the noose, but at the same time we seem to be mistaking Plagiarist Joe for Pope Francis.

    I've been a Lyons fan ever since the days of "Fools For Scandal," but his gift is for spotting very basic violations of logic and principle and giving it the good old "uncommon common sense" treatment.

    Consason is a much more subtle thinker and better equipped to take us through the thorny paths of complications and confusion for which there is often no pat explanation. Once again, it's "he said, she said," and Conason is warning not to close the case too soon.

    Dowd is the journalist and Biden's the politician. But we're supposed to believe Biden setting the record straight with the crystalline truth and Dowd is the liar by definition? Lyon is right when he says journalists should not employ the devices of fiction, but everybody knows that. Conason knows the situation's not black-and-white and keeps asking questions.

    Read both columns.

    1. Biden is now irrelevant.

    2. @12:04

      Now? He has been since taking VP job.

    3. Not according to Obama.

    4. @1:11

      Is that the same Obama who denies M/SGT Joshua Wheeler wasn't killed in combat?

    5. Leave it to scumbag cicero to piss on a hero's grave to snark Obama.

    6. @3:33

      How criticizing the Obama Administration for their usual word games is considered desecrating M/SGT Wheeler's grave could only be an example of venal liberal ratiocination.

    7. The gaudier the patter, the cheaper the troll.

    8. @Soapy

      Sounds like something Josh Earnest would say during his press conferences when dodging questions.

  8. 5 years ago I had warts, I was treated with some liquid applied to the warts they continued to grow and spread... The next 2 doctors did laser surgery to remove them. 1 year after the surgery, they grew back close to where the 1st ones were' so I was finally told it was hpv. I have had it for very long time, I contract it from my cheated boyfriend and I found out he was also infected and I end up the relationship between us. the warts was so embarrasses because it started spreading all over I have be dealing with this things for very long time the last treatment I take was About 2 years ago I applied natural treatment from Dr onokun herbal cure, a week after applying the treatment all the warts was gone. it's now 2 years and some months I don't have single wart or any symptoms of hpv. wow"" it's great, Dr onokun has finally cured me. Anyone living with hpv contact Dr onokun for natural treatment.
    His email address: