The Slatest

New York Times Misidentifies Aleppo Twice in Story About Gary Johnson’s Aleppo Gaffe

The Times’ Gary Johnson/Aleppo story.

Screenshot/New York Times

Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today and admitted in response to a question about Aleppo, Syria, that he had no idea what “Aleppo” was. This was a pretty big mistake for someone who is likely to get millions of votes in the upcoming presidential election, so the New York Times wrote a story about it. Except that its story misidentified Aleppo.

ISIS’s de facto capital is Raqqa, not Aleppo. Whoops! But the paper realized its mistake pretty quickly and changed the story. From an archive site:


Here’s the problem: Aleppo is not an ISIS stronghold, either. It’s a divided city that doesn’t have much of an ISIS presence and is the site of heavy ongoing fighting between the Syrian government and other rebels. So the Times had to change its story again.

Screenshot/New York Times

Ruling: Finally correct.

Meanwhile, a gentleman named Christopher Hill who was the U.S.’s ambassador to Iraq under Obama also made the Raqqa/Aleppo mistake while ostensibly having a laugh at Johnson’s expense.

To be clear, I publish this post with full knowledge that, according to the Law of Cascading Condescension, I have made a ghastly factual error of my own somewhere within it.