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Politico Edits Ben Carson Hit Piece, Drops Claims of ‘Fabrication’

Politico has rewritten the headline, lede, and several portions of the text of an article accusing Ben Carson of “fabricating” part of his personal biography involving the Military Academy at West Point.

The story, bearing the byline of reporter Kyle Cheney, now omits the original version’s declarations that Carson’s statements were false or fraudulent, as seen in an archive of the article.

The original headline reads: “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.”

The updated headline reads: “Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied.”

The original lede reads: “Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated.”

The update reads: “Republican hits POLITICO story, later admits to The New York Times he wasn’t offered aid.”

The article’s original first paragraph reads:

Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The updated first paragraph reads:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday conceded that he never applied nor was granted admission to West Point and attempted to recast his previous claims of a full scholarship to the military academy — despite numerous public and written statements to the contrary over the last few decades.

Later on, the original draft states: “When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.”

The updated story has amended this story to: “When presented by POLITICO with these facts, Carson’s campaign conceded he never applied.”

Politico has taken a drubbing on social media and from outlets on the left and right since the original article was published and subsequently questioned on Friday morning.

As Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro characterized the backlash:

Politico went for a hit and came up short. In the end, they stepped on a rake. Carson, whose campaign is largely built around bashing the media as biased attack machines for the left, will emerge not only unscathed, but stronger.

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