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The original remarks, via Media Matters
Dr. Ben Carson, who has currently been auditioning for a role as the new Republican savior, got into very hot water recently after an appearance on Fox News in which he seemingly compared same sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia. After a few half-apologies, he's out with a fuller one, sent to the Johns Hopkins University community. Politico obtained a copy:
“As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36 year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well. I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused,” wrote Carson, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.” […]

“There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words,” he said.

The dean of the medical faculty today called Carson's remarks "offensive", and a petition asking Carson to be removed as this year's commencement speaker had collected signatures from a "majority of the graduating class". So far there's been no word on whether this newest apology will suffice.

This is the problem with auditioning for a role in the conservative movement: What the movement likes to hear is not what the rest of America likes to hear, and trying to balance the two so as to achieve "hero" status while somehow not being perceived as a mean-spirited crackpot by everyone else is an act only a scant few can manage. I wish Carson the best of luck, but I don't know that he's going to be able to pull that off any better than any of the other "saviors" who've come calling, only to be dragged down again when the same rhetoric that made them appealing to the hardcore base comes back to haunt them when exposed to a wider, less vitriol-obsessed audience.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Dr. Carson, looking for a new gig after he retires (11+ / 0-)

      This was jut an audition to be the Herman Cain of 2016...

      Not a serious candidate for President, just running to make some bucks...

      He is trying out for the role as the resident black conservative bomb thrower replacing the lovely and talented Allen West.

      Who knows what Dr. Carson really believes EXCEPT that he will say anything for money...it's the oldest profession in the world.

      •  That's not fair. I don't think it's about money. (6+ / 0-)

        He has made plenty of money but that's not what makes him tick.

        Like many guys who rose from poverty, e.g. Bill Clinton, he emotionally needs attention and approval. Looks like he pulled an Icarus and flamed out in the spotlight.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:59:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An Emotional Journey Some People Don't Complete (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judge Moonbox, gffish

          And yes, he's looking for an ongoing source of attention and gratification.

          Also I think some professional men go into professions where there is essentially years of professional hazing and meanness directed at everyone and they take it all personally, because that meanness really is personal (but not necessarily racial).  They end up successful, but ranting angrily about other people as what has become a Republican stereotype (Alan Keyes, Allen West, Herman Cain)

          on the other hand, Obama wrote two books about how he worked his way through this .  He spent years processing what it meant to him, writing about it, moved on, and was free to do other things.  See? I'm not making that up as issue - Obama wrote books about that emotional journey.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:39:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not going to try to psychoanalyze this guy. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Overseas, Nada Lemming

            He's definitely a conservative, but it seems to me he's been dragged into the lunatic fringe - maybe by promises of glory, maybe worshipers, maybe power - I really don't think it was money, but who knows.  He really doesn't seem like a crazy person - maybe just a religious conservative.

            I'll say one thing for him - and this probably proves he hasn't fallen into complete lunacy yet - his written apology was a genuine apology.  There was no "I'm sorry if you were offended" bullshit the way the right wing usually apologizes.  On the other hand, this was not a public apology; I doubt his written mea culpa was meant to be directed to anyone outside the Johns Hopkins community.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:08:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He offered the "if anyone was offended..." (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, gustynpip, Nada Lemming

              Apology/non-apology while being interviewed by Andrea Mitchell.

              This latest version was issued only under the looming threat of losing his position as commencement speaker at the JHU School of Medicine later this spring.  

              Pardon my skepticism, but I have my doubts about the sincerity of his latest response to a self-manufactured crisis.

        •  I dunno - I think he sees big, big $$ to be made. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gffish, Roadbed Guy, gustynpip

          Worked for Palin, West, Cain, Gingrich.

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:10:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's rather racist. (0+ / 0-)

        There are a lot of differences between Cain and West and Carson. Do try to see something other than their skin color.

    •  Proves a high IQ does not make you a (7+ / 0-)

      leader. Or even a deep thinker. And he's a doctor. Unlike some surgeons, he knows he's not God. Just the only one smart enough to know what god wants.

      Bah. I'd like to hear him debate Andy Harris. Wonder where he lives? MD01?

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:09:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Blind Klansman gets corrective lenses nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, RJDixon74135, Plantsmantx

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:34:13 PM PDT

  •  A sincere apology (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, GrinningLibber, viral, Aunt Pat

    I do believe this is a sincere apology, even if it was a long time coming. I still think Carson is just a flash-in-the-pan though, and a few years from now we won't even remember him.

  •  He is apologizing for saying something. (13+ / 0-)

    His offense is in thinking and believing it.
    That is who he is.

    His many years of service included his beliefs, no?

    Get me that petition, I'll sign it.

    Honesty is not a policy. It's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:38:11 PM PDT

  •  There is no way to make that point less offensive (12+ / 0-)
    Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point.
    You are starting out from an offensive position (marriage is between people who love each other...PERIOD!)
    I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman
     As such, you INTEND to be offensive!

    People like Dr. Ben Carson truly piss me off. I am sure Dr. Ben Carson has at some point in his life been the target of bigotry, how he can have no empathy for others who would suffer this too is beyond me!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:40:26 PM PDT

  •  If you follow the links to the dean's (5+ / 0-)

    comments, at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/... - the dean's qualifications are interesting:

    Sincerely,

    Paul B. Rothman, M.D.

    Dean of the Medical Faculty
    CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

    so, medical schools are officially corporations now?  If not, why would they need a CEO?
  •  Difference between me and you. (20+ / 0-)

    I don't wish him luck at all.  A successful pediatric neurosurgeon (books have been written about this man), now seeking political power and influence, says ridiculous things to pander to the crazy Republican base.

    He made a choice to engage in hate speech for power.  Whatever he gets for so doing will serve him right.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:49:11 PM PDT

  •  He's going to need all the luck he can get. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Nespolo, gffish

    The Righties tend to reserve their sharpest fangs and most toxic poison for those among their own kind whom they believe have committed the sin of moderating their beliefs.

    Cue the take-down from the Right in 3, 2, 1...

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:56:05 PM PDT

  •  I feel sorry for the guy !!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, gustynpip

    He sounds more like a wimp now. He won't be invited on Fox News anymore. He won't be invited on Mark Levine show anymore. He won't be invited on Right Wing Talk Radio anymore. ... Poor guy.

    Wingers don't apologize, they double down.  They reload, they don't go down, they reload. Every time a Right winger gets caught making a dumb statement, they make an even dumber statement. This guy just crumbled ...

    He has revealed his true colors. He is NOT a true winger, he is an apologist ... Now, he might get invited on the various shows on CNN or even on Meet the Press.

    We don't even know yet, what is in his closet ... I'm sure they are skeletons there ... plenty.

  •  It's not a matter of poorly chosen words (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Eyesbright, Aunt Pat, Danali

    The problem is how his brain works. If he duct taped his tongue to the side of his face and uttered not a sound, he'd still be the same bigot. There are no better words to express what he believes.

  •  He'll be the speaker (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Aunt Pat, gffish, gustynpip

    After all it's just the students that don't want him, since when does their opinion matter? Administrators are all wise, and can't have uppity students telling them how to celebrate their graduation.
    I hope they turn their backs to him.

  •  Carson is a brilliant doctor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Loge, Denver11

    i volunteered*  at a lovely little church every Wednesday in the town i now reside where 99% of those who attend are Black (i'm  white)--  the kids all knew about Rosa Parks and Dr M. L. King, so  i wanted them to know about someone else
    for Black history month.

    so i introduced them to Dr Carson
    http://www.achievement.org/...

    impressive, imho.  

    but his dickishness pisses me off

    (*in 2010, i had to leave when i defended the GLBT community -- some in the church told me "teh gays are ruining our country --- i told them it was  1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil, IOW, GREED!)

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:09:55 PM PDT

    •  i too admire his background story (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      even more than his part, his mother's biography would be on my wishlist.  

      i don't know how he forgot the life-changing benefits his family received from heroic activism (that opened doors for his education pursuits) to social programs (housing and health care and HEALTHY public schools).  he will be speaking in michigan next weekend. now i want to hear him explain how people can succeed without adequate health care.  he needed glasses in 5th grade. how about all the 5th graders today who need glasses but can't afford them.  they are crazy expensive!!!

      and absolutely greed (and fraud) have damaged our nation and its people since the beginning.   nothing else compares.  even the historical mass murders and abuses are rooted in greed.

      it wasn't persecution by a liberal government that persuaded the earliest immigrants to escape to the Americas.

      by dunnjen on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:15:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Imagine attacking any other group by lumping them (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Eyesbright, gffish, gustynpip, Danali

    in with pedophilia and bestiality, e.g. Talibangelicals, TeaParty voters, anti-immigrant racists, or almost any other group. This was and is inexcusable hate speech - no apology should be accepted unless it follows an extended period of couseling and community service.

    I believe that all religionists are delusional but would never even think about them and bestiality at the same time, let alone say something like that out loud. This wasn't simply a poor choice of words on his part.

  •  Carson Panders To Neoconfederate Goobers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    In explaining why the GOP doesn't get the vote of minorities, Carson makes exactly the same argument found on any wingnut websites, which is that black people are too simpleminded and child like to not waste their votes.  Although he does not say it, it would be easy to conclude that kindly whites would be helping them by passing Jim Crow laws.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:14:11 PM PDT

  •  To me, his most idiotic comment wasn't (8+ / 0-)

    about marriage equality. That's a matter of opinion, and despite the fact he's on the wrong side of morality and history, he's entitled to his own opinion, misguided though it may be.

    The comment that tells me he's a complete fucking moron is his rejection of evolution on Biblical/religious grounds. How a man who has had to study science in order to become a tremendously talented surgeon can reject established scientific fact because of what he thinks the Bible says is beyond help. He's a natural Republican, and very soon he'll be putting in campaign appearances for Paul "Embryology is from the Pit of Hell" Broun down in Georgia.

    If I were a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, I'd be every bit as incensed about this as his asinine opinions about gay marriage.

  •  One criticism is the wait we've had (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank Dewey, Nespolo, Roadbed Guy, yonatan

    before the dean made his statement. Quite a number of the faculty have been stewing, waiting for something like this. Dean Rothman's statement and Dr Carson's were produced jointly, suggesting there was a negotiation between the two and that the delay was necessitated by working out Dr Carson's statement of contrition. If it weren't for the joint nature of the statements, that delay would have been a real problem for me.

    But I know Dr Carson, and admire him and his work over many years. He has done extraordinary things professionally and personally, and is an inspiration to many. People are complex, though, and though it may not seem like it, conservatives are people. While I absolutely abhor many of his expressed personal opinions (this isn't the first outrage -- as a member of Bush's ethics commission he defended the stem cell imbroglio), I think we do not help our cause by vilifying everything about him. Surely we can be more nuanced, and realize that staunch conservatives can indeed have many selfless and generous traits. I know he thinks of himself as someone who can be reasonable -- though I also think he has little insight into the wounding nature of some of his opinions, though now he knows of the potential harm in some language. So while I have strongly worked to counter the impression that Hopkins' faculty supports these statements,  I also very much want to do so not by demonizing the person. I hope that as a liberal community we can be better than that.  

    •  When one chooses to become a pundit on public (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, vcmvo2, LuvSet, gustynpip

      airwaves or any other sort of public figure one gets judged on what one chooses to say in  public.   He chose to say very strange things...not to mention that marriage was for a long time a matter of ownership: and women were chattel.    

      And as a grown man who has spent years dealing with people...don't you think he should have had some idea of the "potential harm in some language" by now?  

      He just sounds like a rigid jerk to me.  

      “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

      by leema on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:56:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure, if I were gay and a parent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      (I'm not a parent), that I would trust this man taking a knife to my child's brain. I would feel distinctly threatened by him.

  •  Good thing Carson's is getting some practice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, gustynpip

    with the apology thing. Limbaugh will expect some ring-kissing on Monday.

  •  Reminds me of Sheldon Cooper's (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, MsPlasmodesmata, gffish, dunnjen

    apology to his boss:

    Sheldon: Um ... as you know, several weeks ago in our first encounter, we may have gotten off on the wrong foot when I called you an idiot. And I just wanted to say that I was wrong ... to point it out.
  •  No apology for calling liberals the most racist? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, vcmvo2, dunnjen, gustynpip

    He recently said liberals criticizing him for the remarks he just apologized for were "the most racist." When is he going to apologize for that offensive statement?

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:55:28 PM PDT

  •  "...some poorly chosen words..." BS, Pure BS. (7+ / 0-)

    This person issued a carefully crafted statement equating GAYS (and not just marriage) to bestiality and NAMBLA (pedophilia).

    The exact quote was:

    Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.
    The statement culminates this person's long-held belief which he has voiced for more than a decade.
    In his book “The Big Picture,” Carson went even further than his recent remarks, calling homosexuality a sin comparable to murder and cheating.
    In his latest rant, the person condemned not a belief, not a political position, but an entire class of people (... be they GAYS...).

    His "apology," only given after continued scrutiny, is half-assed.

    He then whines:

    "...I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words,” he said.
    Yes, DO look at his previous rants on this issue - his more than a decade of hatred - before accepting his forced half-assed "apology."

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (John Boner, Paul Ryan, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:59:24 PM PDT

  •  Good Luck Dr Carson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirk McQuigley, gustynpip

    with putting that genie back in the bottle.

    I used to respect him, I have often had my daughter at Johns Hopkins for treatment, and I have to say this is not only an embarrassment but a problem.

    I have a problem with a Medical Doctor claiming evolution is not settled, I have a problem with someone who holds themselves out as a model for others but who cares little about the gay kids who also need that model.

    I'm a Nurse, He should do what he has a gift for and otherwise keep his opinions on contraversial issues to himself.

    He can say what he wants where ever else he wants but if he says it on TV he should expect to get pushback.

    He sounds like his problem is hubris. Catch a clue Dr. Carson, Fox News is using you.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:35:10 PM PDT

  •  It's a slippery slope, Sean! (0+ / 0-)

    Whites and blacks can marry each other.
    Whites can marry each other.
    Blacks can marry each other.
    Tall and short people can marry each other.
    Tall people can marry each other.
    Short people can marry each other.
    Heavy and light people can marry each other.
    Heavy people can marry each other.
    Light people can marry each other.
    Blue and brown eyed people can marry each other.
    Blue eyed people can marry each other.
    Brown eyed people can marry each other.
    Women and men can marry each other.
    ...
    Oh no!!!! What next!!!!!! We're going to hell for sure!!!

  •  People brought up Bestiality, and Pedophelia, (0+ / 0-)

    at our recent City Council Meeting.  This was the response from one of our local kids.  https://www.youtube.com/...

    "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

    by Bisbonian on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:47:48 PM PDT

  •  These people (0+ / 0-)

    sure seem to spend an awful lot of time thinking about bestiality.

    I've never found myself thinking "You know, women are great and all, but I really wanted a poodle".

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 02:45:12 AM PDT

  •  Someone pointed out to him (0+ / 0-)

    that in the lucrative arena of punditting, you shouldn't bite the hands that feed you.  And if you do, "say" you're sorry, so the cash-flow doesn't dry up.


    "Just because you win the fight, don't mean you're right," - Funkadelic

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:00:08 AM PDT

  •  Carson delivers "poor choice of words" UN-apology (0+ / 0-)

    So he's sorry for Johns Hopkins but not for comparing teh gay to bestiality and NAMBLA. What an asshole. He must run in 2016. He's a perfect GOPers. The question is will Republicans choose his brand of assholery?

  •  I accept his apology ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Moji

    I have a different take on Carson's apology than most of the comments here.  I don't know this man, but it seems to me that he has accomplished a lot - which is not easy to do as a person of color.  It also seems to me that you don't get to come this far in your career without building some character - meaning the guy is not likely one dimensional.

    My point is that, unless he has shown this pattern of behavior in the past, it is very unreasonable to pile on him for what could be an honest mistake.  I accept his apology.  If he was not sincere, then we won't have to wait too long before he puts his foot in his mouth again.

    A little humility on our part ...

    •  Sorry, but I'm not buying that (0+ / 0-)

      He did not make a "mistake" except that he expressed his grotesque, antisocial views in a public forum in which his words would be reported outside his own little extreme right-wing circle.

    •  Dunno, I'm kinda with you on this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yonatan

      and I am one of the group being compared to pedophiles and bestialists (?).  

      What differentiates Carson from flash-in-the-pan Herman Cain or idiotic Donald Trump is that Carson works for, and values, his association with a storied and venerable private institution of higher education.  He works for Johns Hopkins, that association has great value for him.  He's accomplished much during his career there and it's been his life's work - for as much as I hate his politics, he is a gifted surgeon.  And Carson has a direct boss, unlike Cain or Trump.  And his boss is responsive to the academic community they share.  That kind of language Carson used won't fly as defensible in any academic institution like Hopkins.  It's beyond the pale.  

      However, this restraint will not put him in good stead with the bomb throwers on the right who are paid to be asses, rewarded for outlandishness, and lauded for rude and churlish behavior.  

      Carson has to make a choice - does he want to be respected for his lifetime of achievement at a great academic institution, or enjoy the fleeting praise for pandering to the lowest basest elements within his own political party in return for an uncertain and probably tarnished legacy.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:39:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's scary to me (0+ / 0-)

    There seem to be a ton of people out there who really don't understand the difference between consensual sex and the various forms of criminal, immoral and harmful sexual exploitation and assault. How is raping an animal equivalent to a cozy old gay couple tying the knot? If this man is really incapable of understanding the difference he needs to stick to cutting people up and stay out of public policy.

  •  Martyr status in 3..2..1 (0+ / 0-)

    IF he makes the commencement speech (and if over half the graduating senors don't want him, why would they keep him on?  Commencement is about the graduates, right?), he is going to get booed and interrupted.  It will not go well.   Voila, martyr status!

    If he withdraws, or is forced to withdraw, martyr status!

    People seem to forget that "paying the price for saying something stupid" isn't worth becoming a martyr.  

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:39:44 AM PDT

  •  All gone bye..bye… (0+ / 0-)

    TOO LATE… YOU NOW OFFICIALLY SUCK !!

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