In an article on Thursday, Morning Joe panelist & famed journalist Mike Barnicle asserted that though he asked Gary Johnson about Aleppo – the war torn city in Syria – he doesn’t “blame him for not knowing.” The statement in the article posits that it was just a simple question, and it doesn’t matter in comparison to the policies that the candidates will impose and push for.
Barnicle says “Gary Johnson could not answer a simple question. Here’s another one for the rest of the field (of candidates): What difference would it make to our lives and our children’s lives if you become president? Ask it and keep asking it.” He also notes that Johnson is “not alone” in his ignorance of just how bad the situation is in Aleppo, and isn’t the only one who doesn’t know what to do about it. Barnicle notes that “neither of the two major candidates – Trump and Clinton – have been asked the same simple question recently.” He asserts that Trump lies about questions he doesn’t understand or makes it up as he goes, and Clinton appears robotic and unable to speak cogently.
Not only does Barnicle note that it’s not a big deal for Johnson to not know, the media has shown quite well that they don’t understand the situation much either. The New York Times mis-described Aleppo as the “de facto capital” of ISIS, which is untrue. Then, to make matters worse, they mis-described it as the capital of Syria in their edit of the article. The former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, also described it the capital of ISIS.
It gets worse. Richard Grenell, the former longest-serving U.S. spokeperson at the United Nations also misidentified Aleppo as the capital of ISIS.
This all wraps around to highlight the irony of the facts: Gary Johnson may have shown that he didn’t know about Aleppo. But it’s not widespread knowledge, and the media and highly important figures involved in foreign policy all misidentified it as the capital of ISIS, showing they don’t know much better.
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