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Friday, September 9, 2016



A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with limited knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong.  As always, please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!

Gary Johnson, third party candidate for President of the United States, did not understand the question, "What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?"

This story has been in the news now for several days, and still I’ll bet that if you walked up to 100 citizens and asked, “What should we do about Aleppo?” Ninety of the 100 would not have a clue about what you were asking.  Gary Johnson did not know.  The media made him look like a fool.  The media is very good at making someone look like a fool when they want.

I am not a Libertarian.  I have never had any intention of voting for Gary Johnson for President, but I am for fair media reporting. 

This Aleppo thing was a hatchet job.  The moderator’s reaction, “You’re kidding!” was a prepared part of the hatchet job.  The moderator’s tone of disgust as he talked down to Mr. Johnson in his explanation of Aleppo was a prepared hatchet job.  The moderator asked a question in a way to catch the candidate off guard, he got just the result he wanted and he was prepared to capitalize with his condescending attitude.

I watch the news a lot.  I read the news a lot.  I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier and I am not running for President, but still…I had never heard of Aleppo.  Maybe the media hasn’t been reporting on it very well.

I guess a Presidential candidate should know about Aleppo, but to be fair, even the President does not know every country in the world and all their major cities and all their leaders.  The President has people who know all this stuff and when they need to know specifics, he calls on those people.

Here is how a media hatchet job works.

If you want to make a candidate look stupid you have him monitor a child’s spelling bee and after the child correctly spells a word, “potato,” you ask the candidate in a tone that indicates the child spelled it wrong, “Is that the correct spelling Mr. Candidate?”  That is intentionally setting someone up for failure.

If you want to make a candidate look stupid you surprise him with an unexpected question out of context, “Mr. Candidate, who is the current leader of Uzbekistan?”

If you interview a favored candidate you ask, “Mr. /Mrs. Candidate, if you were President, what would you do with regards to the terrible situation in Syria, and specifically the refugee crisis in their major city, Aleppo.”

If you want to make a candidate look bad you discuss his third party run and equate it with previous third party candidate, Ralph Nader, then completely out of context you ask, What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?

If you believe that being able to spell potato is important.  If you believe a candidate should know the leaders of every country in the world, if you believe candidates need to understand a question by the mere reference of a name…Aleppo, then perhaps we should just put all our candidates on “Jeopardy,” and the winner becomes President.

“I’m sorry Mr. Johnson, the answer needs to be in question form, that should be ‘What is Aleppo.’ And that means our new President is Hillary Clinton!”

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.


Thursday morning libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson went on MSNBC and responded to a question about Aleppo, Syria, by saying he didn't know what Aleppo was.
The New York Times ran a story about Johnson's gaffe that itself misidentified Aleppo as the "de facto capital of the Islamic State." (The actual de facto capital of the Islamic State is Raqqa.)
The Times then revised its story to identify Aleppo as an "ISIS stronghold." Unfortunately, this is also incorrect: Aleppo is the site of fighting between Syrian government forces and non-ISIS rebel groups. ISIS does not have a significant presence in the city.

The Times then, finally, revised its story to describe Aleppo simply as "wartorn,"which is accurate.  (Excuse me NYT, shouldn't that be war-torn?  It's OK, a newspaper can't  be President.)


  1. Seeing that he is running as a Libertarian and, as such, not particularly interested in involving this country in the affairs of other countries, will give him a pass on his lack of knowledge, but not on his lack of humanity.

  2. Thank you, Joe. Most of my thoughts are as yours, with the exception - I'll admit it - that I am a big fan of Governor Johnson and still plan on voting for him. As Skip says, Johnson is not looking to involve our country in the affairs of other nations. Should he have had a better answer concerning Aleppo? Yes, without a doubt. Does it disqualify him, when compared to the other candidates? Not by a longshot, in my humble opinion.

  3. I am voting third party this year. Probably for Jill Stein, but regardless of whether it's her or Johnson, definitely third party.

    It's sort of weird seeing the mainstream media pay any attention to third party candidates, let alone play "Gotcha" with them.

    I was watching "Morning Joe" the day that interview took place and, although I missed the interview, I was sort of shocked by how depressed the roundtable was over the answer.

    I need to watch cartoons until the election is over.

  4. Aleppo was easily the most boring of the 5 Marx brothers.

  5. Someone is being paid big bucks to come up with questions to stump the candidates. I think we should turn off the TV, stop subscribing to newspapers, don't read Internet news stories, and study the platforms on line of the candidates instead. The media I believe is the 4th party running for government, even though their name won't be on the ballot this year.


  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I soooo hate the press. Ours is no better than yours. And whoever said the public has a RIGHT TO KNOW should be horsewhipped. If they can bring a man down they will do it, publicly and without heart.

      Sorry about the deletion, the spelling was atrocious!

  7. I had no idea about Aleppo and thought it was a person until I read your entire post.

  8. Unless he lied about it or made disparaging remarks about its women and disabled, I will still be voting for him.

  9. If only we could keep the media out of politics ...

  10. i knew aleppo meant syria and all the conflict they're having there and refugees trying to find better lives. but that's it.

  11. I guess "call in an air strike" would have gotten me the Big Hook, too, huh? ;)

  12. You make a good point about fair and unbiased reporting, or the lack thereof. We should all try to be nicer. And maybe we should all try to be better informed in decision making.

  13. The destruction of the ancient buildings and artifacts in Aleppo had a hundred times the coverage of Johnson's gaffe. I am not running for president, do not watch any television news and skim read the news, and I know the name, where it is, and how ISIS brought in heavy equipment to flatten their ancestor's artifacts.

    1. I too have read about ISIS senseless destruction of their ancestors artifacts, but from what I have read, ISIS has nothing to do with Aleppo:

      The Battle of Aleppo (Arabic: معركة حلب‎‎) is an ongoing military confrontation in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, between the Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front, People's Defence Units and Sunni militants against the Syrian government, Hezbollah and Shiite militants.[13] The battle began on 19 July 2012 as a part of the Syrian Civil War.[78] The battle's scale and importance led combatants to name it the "mother of battles"[79] or "Syria's Stalingrad".[80] The battle has been marked by the Syrian army's indiscriminate use of barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, killing thousands of people.[81][82][83]Hundreds of thousands have been forced to evacuate.

      The battle has caused catastrophic destruction to the Old City of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.[84]

      I still contend the question was posed to Mr. Johnson in a way designed for him to misunderstand.

    2. Joeh....
      If someone is that easily fooled, should they really be the POTUS?
      You've got one's choice, it seems to me in this election:
      Pick a probable sociopath, someone who admits an attraction to his daughter, lies most times when he speaks and denies it with a shrug and a knowing grin or a career politician, who's husband has the moral standards of most people in the US, if you check statistics, and has four good years as a SofState.
      About the only reason I think of voting for Trump is a bit of ill-humor. Let the US live with what they've voted into office; have fun with this. Go live in Barcelona or Lisbon, and watch from afar.
      It's incomprehensible to me how I've misjudged the american people these last years. The level of racism, of xenophobia, is unexpected by me.
      I don't think the press, the media, should ease off on any one of these people who want to be head boy for the next four years. They better know what's going on in the world, and not just have a one issue agenda.


  14. Yep, I've no respect for the media. They have an agenda and they do what they are paid to do. I've dealt with the media often when I was working and they rarely understood much of what you said. You had to make sure they did before they wrote their piece on whatever story they were after.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  15. I felt rather sorry for Mr. Johnson. It was so obviously a planned attack.

  16. Good post, Joe. The media is starting to rate right up there with politicians as least respected.

  17. I thought it was a hatchet job also. I remember the story but wouldn't have associated Aleppo to it. The good thing is that those of us who had not even heard of Gary Johnson, recognize the unfair attack and will maybe check out the guy. Could be a big plus in the long run.

  18. Hi Cranky Man,

    One thing I've noticed from the trips I've made to your wonderful country, is that the news is more about what is going in the US rather than what's going on in the rest of the world.

    I can understand that because the US is huge and there is much more home news. During my last trip there I was frustrated watching news because all I saw was US news and nothing about Europe at all. I didn't expect it - I was just frustrated by it.

    Consequently, there is a feeling elsewhere that some Americans simply know nothing about what is going on outside their own state, let alone outside the US itself, giving people th impression that the US is an insular country.

    I disagree with this but, exposing the lack of knowledge of Gary Johnson about Aleppo is a typical consequence. Still - as a politician - he should have know this - it was a stitch up.

    It happens everywhere though - even in the UK.

    It's all a big game!




  19. I'm sorry, but Aleppo is on the news nearly every night and is at the heart of the refugee problem engulfing the West. I understand that Libertarian candidates are typically uninterested in world engagement but his not even knowing what Aleppo was, was astonishing. I will say that his honesty about this slip was refreshing.

  20. Good thing I'm not running for President, because my answer would have been, "Give my dog half a can in the morning, and the other half in the evening."

  21. It would be nice to be able to identify one source of HONEST reporting in this country - or anywhere else. It really makes it difficult to make informed choices when we're being fed only what the media wants us to know. >.<