New York Times Tried to Slam Gary Johnson on Aleppo, Embarrassed Itself Instead

(ANTIMEDIA) This presidential election cycle has placed Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson in the spotlight as the nation struggles to find reasons to support the Democratic and Republican nominees. But as Johnson gains more popularity, news outlets are rushing to report any missteps, as small and insignificant as they may be.

During Thursday morning’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, a network owned by Comcast, panelist Mike Barnicle asked the former New Mexico governor, “What would you do if you were elected, about Aleppo?

At first, Gary Johnson appeared to have misunderstood the question and asked what Aleppo was. After demonstrating awe at Johnson’s gaffe, Barnicle finally said, “Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the – it’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.

Johnson quickly bounced back, aptly analyzing the dire situation in Syria, but all the Internet talked about following the incident was the Libertarian nominee’s lapse.

Among the many publications to have covered the story, the New York Times stood out for its own lack of understanding. Much like Gary  Johnson — or perhaps worse than him — the publication allowed a piece go live claiming Aleppo was the “de facto capital of the Islamic State.” But Raqqa is the Islamic State’s de facto capital. Aleppo is Syria’s largest city prior to the war and the central battleground in the civil war fought between the Syrian government and rebel groups.

But that mistake wasn’t the only approved by the prestigious newspaper. In a rush to discredit the Libertarian candidate, the publication also reported Aleppo served as the capital of Syria.

The result? Two correction notes at the bottom of the article and a widely varied series of responses from other publications and personalities:

After the debacle was over, Johnson issued a statement apologizing and claiming he “blanked.”

From Gary Johnson’s official announcement:

Yes, I understand the dynamics of the Syrian conflict — I talk about them every day. But hit with ‘What about Aleppo?’ I immediately was thinking about an acronym, not the Syrian conflict. I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign.

“Can I name every city in Syria? No. Should I have identified Aleppo? Yes. Do I understand its significance? Yes.”

He closed his statement by asserting this type of mistake is common and will happen again, noting that, as president, he would “surround [himself] with the right people, getting to the bottom of important issues.”

It seems that in the end, the New York Times is the one missing some important information on history, geography, and, of course, current events — not Johnson.


This article (New York Times Tried to Slam Gary Johnson on Aleppo, Embarrassed Itself Instead) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alice Salles and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit: Gage Skidmore. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

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