Here’s what you call karma: Like all other media outlets on Thursday, The New York Times pounced on Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for sheepishly asking “What is Aleppo?” in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Unlike other outlets, America’s newspaper of record actually messed up on what Aleppo is, while mocking Johnson for not knowing it. After changing the article, the Times got it wrong again.
In the original report, the Times‘ Alan Rappeport called the Syrian city “the de facto capital of the Islamic State.” As the Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz noted, the real de facto capital of ISIS is Raqqa, or Al-Raqqa.
Even worse, the article began by declaring that Johnson “revealed a surprising lack of foreign policy knowledge on Thursday … when he could not answer a basic question about the crisis in Aleppo, Syria.” Did the New York Times itself reveal “a surprising lack of foreign policy knowledge”?
Here’s the evidence:
— Esoteric Jeff (@EsotericCD) September 8, 2016
But wait, it gets better!
After the Times realized its mistake, it edited the text — misidentifying Aleppo yet again! The second article described Aleppo as “the capital of Syria.” Yet again, this is incorrect, but this mistake is even worse as the real Syrian capital — Damascus — should be well-known to anyone with a preliminary knowledge of the Middle East.
Eventually, the outlet updated the story yet again, finally correctly identifying Aleppo as a “war-torn Syrian city.”
Ironically, the Times‘ gaffe is arguably worse than Johnson’s. Not only did the author clearly not know what Aleppo is, he didn’t even ask what it is. At least Johnson, when he was confronted out of the blue with the question “what would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?” simply and humbly asked, “What is Aleppo?”
He later admitted that this was a mistake: “For those that believe this is a disqualifier, so be it. But, you know what, I’ve been really well served in my life by always telling the truth. … And I think the one unforgivable in life is hypocrisy.” Again, we get the humble, soft-spoken Johnson as opposed to a lofty New York Times out to correct us all, only to get the facts wrong.
Here are the corrections, in all their glory:
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) September 9, 2016
Next Page: Check out the resulting mockery on Twitter, and how people misspelled the Syrian city…
Users on Twitter gleefully pointed out the Times‘ mistakes.
It was just fixed, but NYT report on Gary Johnson not knowing what Aleppo is initially confused it with Raqqa pic.twitter.com/ivkG8gGOsI
— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) September 8, 2016
Re: Gary Johnson, NYT mistakenly called Aleppo de-facto capital of Islamic State, then changed it (w/o correction) > https://t.co/laPvbNkpNv
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) September 8, 2016
Good quip: “Johnson’s in good company today.”
NYT just called Aleppo "the de facto capital of the Islamic State" so in Johnson's got company today. https://t.co/v3HpU69mBA
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) September 8, 2016
And of course, there was that time when “Allepo” was trending on Twitter, partially due to Mark Halperin’s misspelling of the Syrian city.
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) September 8, 2016
At least when you Google “Allepo,” the website corrects you to “Aleppo.”
— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) September 9, 2016
And this is priceless.
Joke all you want about Gary Johnson and Allepo but I bet you couldn't find Alrderaan on a map.
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) September 8, 2016
Have you been looking for “Allepo” in Alderaan places?
Did Gary Johnson really say, "What is Allepo?" when asked what he would do? I didn't see it.
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) September 8, 2016