When Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson committed his jaw-dropping gaffe Thursday on MSNBC, The New York Times was there to point it out - but the Old Gray Lady made the same mistake, not once but twice.
Asked by "Morning Joe" panelist Mike Barnicle what he would do about Aleppo, Johnson stared blankly and said, "And what is Aleppo?"
The correction of the correction. pic.twitter.com/jqXWhDiAip— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) September 8, 2016
"You're kidding," replied a stunned Barnicle.
Johnson wasn't, and the fumbled foreign policy question about the embattled Syrian city sparked a Twitterstorm of ridicule and speculation that Johnson's fantasy of elbowing in between GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton was over.
But mistakes can happen, as The New York Times proved. A subsequent story titled, ‘What Is Aleppo?’ Gary Johnson Asks, in an Interview Stumble,' screwed up the same issue, and the first effort to correct it only made it worse.
First the paper called Aleppo the capital of Islamic State. That's wrong, the black-clad jihadists' stronghold is Raqqa. Then, the story changed Aleppo's descriptor to "the capital of Syria." Wrong again.
Maybe the Times will find it in its heart to go a little easier on the next candidate who "stumbles."
As for Johnson, he issued a correction of his own.
“This morning, I began my day by setting aside any doubt that I’m human,” Johnson said in a statement. “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.”