Ben Carson: Walter Cronkite was 'left-wing radical' but fair

Carson: Some journalists are 'dishonest'
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Carson: Some journalists are 'dishonest' 09:40

Story highlights

  • Carson called the media "dishonest"
  • He said Walter Cronkite kept personal views out of his reporting

(CNN)Ben Carson praised legendary newsman Walter Cronkite Monday as a journalist who kept his personal politics out of his reporting -- something the former presidential candidate said is lacking in the media today.

Carson, who supports Donald Trump, called Cronkite "a left-wing radical" but said those views never crept into his reporting.
    In an interview on CNN's "New Day," Carson referenced a New York Times piece over the weekend that slammed Trump's treatment of women in the past, and a recent Washington Post article that criticized his own work as a Trump campaign surrogate.
    "It should give the media pause when they see members of their own group doing things in a dishonest way like that," the retired neurosurgeon told host Chris Cuomo. "The only reason that the press is the only business protected by our Constitution is because they're honest and even-handed."
    Carson went on to cite Cronkite as someone whom he believed was an honest journalist, albeit with a strong personal bias.
    "You could really trust him, even though Walter Cronkite was a left-wing radical, you would never know that," Carson said.
    Cuomo took exception to some of what Carson said.
    "I don't accept that about Walter Cronkite," Cuomo said. "I happen to have known him, he was a mentor to me. He was trusted because he was even, and he covered things from both perspectives, shading as he thought appropriate. That's the job right?"
    "What I said about him is actually complimentary," Carson responded. "This is the way it should be. Your personal feelings should not enter into the way you disseminate the information."
    "I'm just saying Walter Cronkite in my experience was not a radical left-wing guy who was just hiding it on TV," Cuomo followed up. "The compliment should be offered plainly, which is he did the job the right way."
    "He did a very good job, we can agree on that, " Carson said.
    Although the retired neurosurgeon is a part of a committee vetting vice presidential candidates for Trump, his name also has been floated as a potential VP pick. However, Carson said he is not interested.
    "This is something that is extremely undesirable to me, as is any government post quite frankly," Carson said. "I believe that citizen-statesmen can work from outside the government at a capacity where they can contribute to the well being of the country."