Some journalists are calling it a "gaffe," while others are not being so kind. They understand that it is rather hard to find either humor or forgiveness in the public humiliation of a fifth grade student.
Carson, the neurosurgeon turned politician, was speaking to a group of fifth graders in front of a campaign rally of five hundred people last week in Iowa when he inexplicably asked the kids from a local Christian school who was "the worst student in class?" Five or six of the kids, being kids, immediately pointed to one child - a young boy who was not expecting to be dumped on by his classmates - or by a respected political figure.
But dumped on he was.
One journalist described the moment that Carson asked the thoughtless question as a "humiliation bomb" hanging in the air waiting for its target to be identified.
Carson later tried to explain his bone-headed move by saying that he had been the worst student in his class but wound up doing just fine. He was, he argued, offering encouragement to one and all.
As bad as all of that was, however, it soon got even worse. Somewhere in the secret Republican playbook for campaigns is a suggestion that all mistakes be blamed on either Hillary Clinton or the liberal media. Carson told an interviewer after the incident that the media had been looking for something it could "jump on," and thus took advantage of his innocent remark. It wasn't his fault - it was that danged old liberal media.
The fifth-graders were from the Isaac Newton Christian Academy. That school has the motto: "Developing Christlike character and academic excellence." Perhaps the lesson on casting stones and finger-pointing comes later in the semester. Dr. Carson was obviously asleep or playing hooky the day it was taught at his school.