You wouldn’t think this has any political ramifications whatsoever, but it does. Here’s how presidential candidate Ben Carson eulogized him:
Now, here’s the thing. America’s love affair with Ben Carson was brief and basically ended when he started sounding more like a late ’90s conspiracy theorist who’s way too interested in the Branch Davidians than a serious presidential candidate. In quiet discursive rambling after quiet discursive rambling, he simply proved too fringe to capture America’s heart.
But maybe not. Here I posit that he’s simply applying for the wrong damn job. That tweet got a huge response, and his lilting adventures in public speaking are fascinating. They’re just not presidential. But they’d be perfect for late night AM radio. What creates hostility, confusion and groans among the early-riser pundit class is perfect at 1 a.m. on a highway somewhere between towns. In that setting, listening to weird and wrong ideas about Egypt is exquisite ambiance.
Paranormal radio has been in a tail spin since Art Bell left the airwaves and got replaced by huckster Art Bell impersonator George Noory. The market is wide open. All Ben Carson has to do is talk about Egypt and Bigfoot and it’d be a stone cold home run. Nobody wants to hear Ben Carson talk about tax policy, but everybody would want to hear Ben Carson talk about the Patterson-Gimlin Film and whether or not it depicts the real Bigfoot.
It’d be dynamite. He’d hypnotize you and put you in that 1 a.m. trance where you type “credible UFO sightings” into Google and don’t have the critical faculties to be skeptical; that magical place where you can watch Ancient Aliens without literally yelling “bullshit!” every fifteen seconds. He would easily dominate the wasteland of late night AM radio.
And let’s examine his decision to eulogize Glenn Frey like he’s gunning to be an adult-contemporary DJ who’s eventually going to give away tickets to a Michael Bolton Cruise. As a presidential candidate, that’s a huge, laughable mistake. If he said that on stage, it would immediately end his career. But if he said that before playing an Eagles number when you’re about to collapse from exhaustion or zoning out on horrible marijuana? It’d be the exact right thing to say. It would code as schtick. You’d smile one of those fleeting “what the hell is this?” smiles and drift off.
The format for his show presented itself fully developed. Midnight to three in the morning. “The Edges of Perception with Dr. Ben Carson.” Talk about Egyptian hieroglyphics. Talk about whether the Phoenicians got to America first. Talk about the face on Mars like it’s real. Take calls from truck drivers and guys who got laid off at the Home Depot in Toledo and mistook a helicopter for a UFO when they were getting blitzed outside their mobile homes, and take them seriously. Then play an Eagles song. Christopher Cross. Laura Branigan. Mark Knopfler solo deep cuts. Post-coke late ’80s AOR ballads poisoned by reverb and Yamaha DX7s. That’s what Ben Carson should be doing. Somebody get a damn Kickstarter going for him to cut a demo tape.