Monday, October 03, 2016

Putting "the Aleppo moment" into context

Hey, person that's been duped into thinking Johnson's "Aleppo" moment is a big deal, let's chat.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say you didn't actually see the Morning Joe episode where he made the "Aleppo gaffe". If you did, you would have seen Johnson give a completely cogent policy stance on Syria. But more importantly, right after that segment, Joe Scarborough had on Christopher Hill, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq. While bashing Johnson for his gaffe, it became apparent that Hill himself didn't know where Aleppo is, when he claimed it was "the capital of ISIS".

This is a man whose career had him deeply involved in Middle Eastern politics, and who Scarborough invited on the show to be a subject matter expert. Hill even started off his rant by saying he didn't expect everyone to have the depth of knowledge that an insider like him has. And after all the exasperated outrage he directed at Johnson, Scarborough didn't bat an eye when Hill made the same mistake. Likely because he didn't even notice.

You're not aware of that, or of Johnson's actual position on Syria, because there's a clear establishment bias in the media most people consume. It's predisposed to marginalize outsiders whenever they get the chance, especially when a third-party is threatening the interests of one of the major parties. Johnson's "aw shucks" personality, coupled with his habit of actually owning up to his mistakes, plays right into this narrative that's being pushed about him.

Details can be found here: Media and pundits don’t know what Aleppo is, but they try to explain it to Gary Johnson.

If you're curious about Johnson's actual policy positions, I suggest listening to his appearance on Tom Ashbrook's program On Point, or reading his interview with the L.A. Times.

No comments: