Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 08, 2016

NYT Shaming Of Gary Johnson Fails With Four(!) Hilarious Mistakes

The U.S. election campaigns and their news coverage are generally embarrassing. But this incident of miss-coverage by the acclaimed paper of record beats many others. While attempting to criticize a candidate's lack of awareness or knowledge the NYT author and his editors demonstrate four times that they have neither.

The libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was asked a question of foreign policy relevance and did not know the answer. The question was about a city in Syria but, like it or not, no city in Syria has significant relevance in the general context of the U.S. presidential elections.

“What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson asked after he did not get some question about it.

The New York Times, which mocks any candidate but Hillary Clinton, found that small lapses remarkable enough to write a whole piece about it. But its reporter and his editors show a bigger lack on knowledge than Johnson did. The headline: ‘What Is Aleppo?’ Gary Johnson Asks, in an Interview Stumble. The reporter, one Alan Rappeport, did not know either.  Here is the first version he and his editors put out:

“What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the Syrian city that is the de facto capital of the Islamic State.

No. Aleppo is not the de facto capital of the Islamic State.

Some time later the NYT editors were made aware of that and changed the text. But check the result:

“What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the Syrian city that is a stronghold of the Islamic State.

This new version in the NYT was just as wrong as the first one. The largest parts of Aleppo city, as well as of its population, are within the realm of the Syrian government. Parts of east-Aleppo are in the hands of al-Qaeda. The Islamic State, an enemy of both the government and al-Qaeda, has no significant presence (if any at all) in any part of the city.

Later on someone told the editors that the once corrected version was just as wrong as the original one. Another correction was applied:

“What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the war-torn Syrian city.

That at least fits. But all the corrections do not explain why the NYT author describes Aleppo as especially significant to the refugee crisis. True, a lot of people have moved out of al-Qaeda infested east-Aleppo. But most of the moved into the government held west-Aleppo, not abroad. Other Syrian cities, like Idleb or Raqqa, have proportionally lost many more of their original population than Aleppo city did.

No immediate Correction note was added when the first change of the original text was made. (No Correction note was added for the second change.) Some time after the first correction was made the NYT added this note:

An earlier version of this article misidentified the de facto capital of the Islamic State. It is Raqqa, in northern Syria, not Aleppo, the Syrian capital.

Yes, the editors botched the Correction note. Aleppo is not the Syrian capital, Damascus is.

About an hour later this minor fact was made known to the NYT staff and a Correction of the Correction was added.

The NYT exhibits a serious lack of knowledge in a piece that is supposed to ridicule a politician for his lack of knowledge. It is:

  • making a major mistake in a central fact of the original piece,
  • applying a correction that is just as wrong as the original version,
  • applying a second correction but still getting the major basic fact wrong and
  • applying a correction note with a huge mistake that again demonstrates a basic lack of factual knowledge.

This embarrassing episode shows again that neither U.S. politicians nor U.S. media have any real knowledge of issues beyond U.S. borders. Despite that sorry fact deadly instruments of U.S. power are used abroad without much thought whenever this or that foreign interest bribes the right people in Washington DC. U.S. powers are often used simply because they can be used, not because it makes any sense to use them.

There is no reason for any U.S. politician to know about Aleppo but for the sorry fact that the U.S., through its proxies, kills the people of that city.

The U.S. should stop all interventions in foreign affairs. If only to spare its politicians, "experts" and media such demonstrations of their absurd incompetence.

Posted by b on September 8, 2016 at 16:34 UTC | Permalink

next page »

neither U.S. politicians nor U.S. media have any real knowledge of issues beyond U.S. borders

Don't forget the U.S. public, who knows even less.

Posted by: Mark | Sep 8 2016 16:44 utc | 1

Someone tell NYT that Google can be their friend too .

Posted by: Terry | Sep 8 2016 16:58 utc | 2

This is hilarious! Thanks!

Posted by: s | Sep 8 2016 16:58 utc | 3

"...whenever this or that foreign interest bribes the right people in Washington DC."
Sorry, this is just BS. If US foreign policy were being determined by bribes from foreigners, it would change with the change of personnel. Kerry wouldn't take the same bribes as Clinton, nor Bush the same bribes as Obama. On the contrary US foreign policy, military and otherwise, is astoundingly consistent, something wholly inconsistent with your assertion here. (Sorry but this seems to be unthinking parroting of right wing propaganda.)

So far as the Middle East goes, the US has consistently favored Israel and Saudi Arabia, no matter who is in power. Some may wish to hint Jewish bankers and financiers and tycoons have consistently bribed politicians in the US, but what of the Saudis? Even more to the point, is it really plausible that Zionists actually prefer Saudi and work with them in bribing the US? As opposed to Zionists being able to live with Saudi because they are both junior partners with the US?

Posted by: s | Sep 8 2016 17:00 utc | 4

Well, Mark, at #1, I'm part of the American public, and I knew all the correct answers about Aleppo that the NYT obviously didn't, but that's because unlike Gary Johnson, I have time to hunt up magnificent websites like MofA, instead of hoping the New York Times will TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW.

(Sorry about the capitalization, but it really needs to be shouted.)

Posted by: juliania | Sep 8 2016 17:05 utc | 5

Hehe, appalling stupidity and ignorance. It also shows that in today's world, competence or intelligence is not a requirement to be a presstitute, I mean journalist.

Posted by: syrious | Sep 8 2016 17:08 utc | 6

I echo juliania's remarks! Johnson's lack of knowledge can be given a pass, but not the NY Times as it's the latter's business to know such things.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2016 17:13 utc | 7

Glory days of American liberal education. There is a book with a collection of answers given by students on exams and term papers on history, religion etc. For example, students could put names of barbarian nations during the fall of Roman Empire on the map of Europe, with large swaths of the continent occupied by Visible Goths and Invisible Goths. Everybody knows who Goths are (at least, at the time, there were some in every high school, some of them patently visible, but other not so much). My absolute favorite from the book was "Greeks also had a goddess of whine, Diane Isis." Which explains why contemporary feminists still whine so often.
In short, we remember best by matching new facts to our real life experience.

Which gives me a puzzle: how does propaganda function? For days media was plying the pic of "Aleppo boy". Twitter and Facebook wars are waged over the image and competing images and videos. Yet, big majority seems totally impervious to all that. What do they think that they know, and what do they actually know?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 8 2016 17:13 utc | 8

watching the nyt make an idiot of itself isn't fun, especially when one thinks of the folks stupid enough to be caught reading it! a part of the usa population that are completely out to lunch on any matters outside their own borders.. the nyt and wapo help solidify this observation... ignorance reigns supreme.

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2016 17:27 utc | 9

I taught history for a while at the HS level ... my department chair criticized me for two things:
1. I did not follow the textbook (much less the curriculum), and
2. I had 50% of each test made up of essays (one for 35%, the other for 15%) which asked simple questions with complex answers. The kids had to think ...

Strangely, two other things of note: in a system in which kids picked teachers, my sections were always full ... and based on grades my students out performed all others, and did well on the stupid standardized test the district required as a pre-post test. Need I say my students had higher test scores on average on the post test while being roughly the same as other teachers on the pre-test. Some kids scored at 100% on the post test where as no other teachers had those scores ... and none of my kids were in the bottom 10% either.

What this tells me, and I don't know about you, is that kids want to learn and want to be challenged. It is the systematic dumbing down of materials that creates the phenomenon we see both at the NYT and at the candidate level.

Posted by: former teacher | Sep 8 2016 17:29 utc | 10

I just read an art review from the New York Times that is one of the worst pieces of writing I have seen published. If I was teaching an art history class and this piece of writing was submitted in it, I would ask the student to rewrite it.

Yet reasonable, educated and very very nice people still trust the NYT. Let's not bring up the Iraq War propaganda they NYT pushed, etc., etc., etc.. People still trust this screaming propaganda rag. Nice people. Smart people. People who pet cats and vote for Democrats and are very responsible recyclers.

Posted by: paul | Sep 8 2016 17:39 utc | 11

"All the Fake News That's Unfit to Print"

"The World Is What We Say It Is Because We Are the New York Times, Mental Vassals"

Posted by: blues | Sep 8 2016 17:39 utc | 12

"Posted by: s | Sep 8, 2016 1:00:14 PM | 4"

You are right s it is not this, or that interest since there is only one:

Posted by: ex-sarajlija | Sep 8 2016 17:44 utc | 13

Sadly all those NYT corrections mean nada.........the American public is still clueless......

Posted by: notlurking | Sep 8 2016 17:44 utc | 14

Oh dear, can American MSM ever recover? The Guardian is up to the same trick, they don't bother with correction notes but any tech savvy user can see that when they say 'updated' and then you check the document header time, you can cross check the doc to see where it has changed. If I had more time I would make a daily chronicle of these 'mistakes. The story, the facts, message no matter how wrong sticks in some peoples minds. Akin to the chemical false flag attacks that sock puppets continually reinforce as having been Assad fault. I imagine most of us are so sick and tired of it that we don't bother confronting them.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 8 2016 17:48 utc | 15

I echo Karloft1's echo of Julianna's remarks.

A large piece of the Neo-con plan is the destruction of public education in the U.S.

Indeed, Willian Bennet, Secretary of Education under Reagan expressly stated that was his goal. The plan is going great so far.

As dictatorships know, and as William Deresicwiczs has shown, ignorant humans make excellent sheep.

More and more schools -- including colleges -- are following former teacher's lead and doing away with textbooks. That can work if the teacher is energetic, intelligent, knows the subject and has time to plan.. Usually if doesn't work, however, at least not in high school or in college survey courses.

Had a friend who taught high school world history and skipped the Reformation altogether because she didn't know anything about it and didn't want to get into religious controversy.

Long ago when the NYT prided itself on integrity it conducted an in-house investigation on the accuracy of its reporters. To the horror of those at the top, the investigators found an average of two errors of fact in every story.

Now you'd be hard pressed to find two reliable "facts" in any given story.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Sep 8 2016 18:08 utc | 16

I wish the US would get out of the MENA. All it does there is pour gasoline on a fire.

As to the US MSM I always doubt it, and am therefore 99% correct most of the time.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Sep 8 2016 18:09 utc | 17

What is Aleppo???

Aleppo is one of the Marx Brother. There's Groucho, Zeppo, Gummo, Harpo,....and Aleppo.

Posted by: Yancey | Sep 8 2016 18:11 utc | 18

Hillary Clinton suggested that the US should start preparing “military” responses to non-existant Russian cyber-attacks on the corrupt DNC. And her campaign has also spent the last few weeks ratcheting up the fear-mongering that the Trump campaign is secretly a Russian plant of some sort

Increasing military tensions with Russia is now a Killary Klinton Kampaign issue.

Republicans not named Donald Trump spent much of the primary earlier this year calling for a no-fly zone – a definite path to war – in Syria and were perfectly willing to shoot down Russian planes over the region, despite the real possibility of starting world war three.

There is no actual evidence that the alleged hack originated in Russia

Meanwhile, House Democrats recently called on the FBI to “investigate” unknown links between the Trump campaign and Russia, obediently ovine McCarthy-ites cshrilly demanding government investigation into their political enemies.

Trump is a menace and a buffoon in countless ways, but the idea that he is secretly doing secretly Putin’s bidding is beyond absurd.

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 8 2016 18:52 utc | 19

Hours after MoA Salon picks up and writes, basically, the same story:

Media and pundits don’t know what Aleppo is, but they try to explain it to Gary Johnson

NewsDiff recorded all the changes in that NYT failure.

Posted by: b | Sep 8 2016 18:53 utc | 20

I detest the NYT's maddeningly-biased pro-Israeli coverage; its relentless demonizing of Russia and many others of its positions, but having cancelled my online subscription in a rage on several occasions, I re-subscribed because it was so frustrating not to have access.

Mea culpa.

Posted by: chet380 | Sep 8 2016 19:00 utc | 21

Aleppo is where the US lost its war against Syria.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 8 2016 19:00 utc | 22

I shouldda thought more before I commented. I don't want to give the Neocons credit for destroying U.S. public schools or blame our battered schools for not doing better.

These days it simply may not be worth the bother to work to learn anything when in Device Culture it's so easy to look up information and so comfortable not to think.

A couple years ago John Edward Huth, a Harvard physicist, asked 21 Harvard students and 2 Harvard profs why it's warm in summer and cold in winter. All but 2 said it's because the earth is closer to the sun in summer and farther away in winter.

That's at Harvard. As for the general population, I doubt 2 in 100 know that's not correct. Pretty grim.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Sep 8 2016 19:02 utc | 23

There's been a big propaganda offensive in the UK these last days, to justify an attack upon Asad. Though not yet, I think, in the US. We're all expecting bombing Syria, from day 1 of Clinton's installation.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 8 2016 19:03 utc | 24

The grey lady's performance here is an embarrassment - to the NYT, to its David Brooks-esque soi disant intellectual readership, and to the nation generally. However, I will NOT give Gary Johnson a pass. A few years ago any person reasonably well read in world affairs, particularly with some familiarity with history, should have known "what is Aleppo." However, since the war in Syria has been front-and-center for the last several years, such ignorance is mind-boggling in someone running for president.

Ignorance in the center is an integral part of expansionist imperialism. That and a certain sort of infantilism. I think I heard somewhere that at the height of the British Empire's power and reach in the late 19th century, most Englishmen would be hard-pressed to name more than two or three of that Empire's extensive colonial holdings. Not sure if that's true, but based on my intimate experience with today's empire du jour, I'm tempted to believe it.

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Sep 8 2016 19:03 utc | 25

rt has been reporting everyday on the US progresses in Syrte, Libya for the last ten days. Isn't it odd that was left unmentioned here?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 8 2016 19:04 utc | 26

Uh, Gary Johnson is a moron who should be running for dog catcher on the Libertarian ticket. Right?

Attacking the Times? Shooting fish in a barrel. Showing up Johnson as a nincompoop is news. Right?

Posted by: Burt | Sep 8 2016 19:05 utc | 27

To former teacher @19:

the moral of the story is that you, for your personal satisfaction, educated a huge cohort of youngsters in skills that make them unemployable. For shame! Do you think that NYT (bless them for posting or the cute corrections!) could not find young journalist conversant in history, geography and even following the current events? Apparently, those are precisely the skills that are being avoided.

To Ken Nari: William Deresicwiczs? Are you trying to disable search engines that could spot quoting a forbidden scholar Deresiewicz (De-reh-shye-vich). In any case, a smoothly functioning democracy requires a majority that is cognizant of their ignorance, an elite that is not, and a minority of smart alecs who are useful as an object of derision, to better unite healthily thinking patriots. By the way of contrast, a dictatorship would muzzle the latter rather than merely verbally abuse.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 8 2016 19:06 utc | 28

God invented warfare to teach Americans geography?

should read:
"The only reason any U.S. politician knows about Aleppo is for the sorry fact that the U.S., through its proxies, kills the people of that city." in a better world, there might be other reasons.

i haven't had to endure questioning under the big lights, but parroting an answer for the cameras is surely not one of life's more important skills.

Posted by: jason | Sep 8 2016 19:18 utc | 29

@s @4 Some may wish to hint Jewish bankers and financiers and tycoons have consistently bribed politicians in the US, but what of the Saudis?

Saudis bought $115 billion of weapons during Obama's time. 7% of that automatically goes to U.S. military for handling. More via weapon supplier payments to Congress.

Can u think of any bigger bribes?

Posted by: b | Sep 8 2016 19:25 utc | 30

I'll bet that Dumbing down started with who was allowed to attend our education programs. When I first started college I considered being a teacher. I had decent act and sat scores ... so I could have met the entry requirements in any field. What I found shocking was that the college of education (the place where teachers are taught) had no minimum score for the act or the sat. If you could make it to class, having paid the tuition, you could become a teacher.

So, former teacher hit the nail right on the thumb! Her/his peers were unprepared to teach. He/she was prepared to teach. Requiring essays in history is never done. Our local school district no longer allows teachers to require writing term papers. Sadly our district is one of the better ones. This decision was made because the state education agency strongly urged the district to disallow the writing of term papers. So much for the myth of local control.

Thus, the issue raised by former teacher is one that clearly explains why the NYT can get away with the tripe that it does. An ignorant citizen is likely to be a compliant citizen ... a compliant citizen will happily join the military ... and play along with the bs we are a democracy. They know no better. It seems then, that revolution is impossible in such a place. And that may be why the electorate tends toward trumpets and killary's. They know no better and are easily duped by the malignant overlords and their minions.

Maybe a nuclear Armageddon is not such a bad idea after all is said and done?

Posted by: Rg the Lg | Sep 8 2016 19:37 utc | 31

America media and politicians have no real knowledge of issues in the US either. Really there is no housing bubble and the economy is great. By definition, you cannot hire good journalists for US mainstream sources because they'd see through the lies and possibly expose them.

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 8 2016 19:38 utc | 32

Can u think of any bigger bribes?

Posted by: b | Sep 8, 2016 3:25:13 PM | 30


all the money that people like (((Sheldon Adelson))), (((Haim Saban))) and (((George Soros)))), to name but a mere three, pour into US politicians political war chests

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 8 2016 19:43 utc | 33

b@30 "Saudis bought $115 billion of weapons during Obama's time. 7% of that automatically goes to U.S. military for handling. More via weapon supplier payments to Congress.

Can u think of any bigger bribes?"

If we count this kind of institutional/national exchange, we have to subtract the money spent paid to Saudi for oi, and we also have to deduct the losses from any nationalization of ARAMCO, don't we? And we need to break it down to which politicians got money, and how much it contributed to their election. And after that, we still have to figure out how payments to the government have equal power over politicians getting campaign contributions from Zionists.

If your point is that it's ultimately all about money, well yes, I think that's true, although it's hard to say who's making money here in the US off Israel (as opposed to who in Israel is making money off the US.) It's misleading to try to reduce this to bribes. Owners of this country think supporting Israel and Saudi is overall in their interest, and they've thought so for decades. It's not politicians who've been bribed who've been keeping this policy constant. The tail does not wag the dog.

My judgment of course, but I have to use it.

Posted by: s | Sep 8 2016 20:10 utc | 34

Piotr Berman -- "De-reh-shye-vich." Thanks.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Sep 8 2016 20:28 utc | 35

Who Johnson really is.

Just because GJ says he want to be buddies with Putin in Syria, which is unbelievable BS.
Read what you'll get instead below.

Posted by: tom | Sep 8 2016 20:38 utc | 36

@23 - Ken Nari
. ...why it's warm in summer and cold in winter. All but 2 said it's because the earth is closer to the sun in summer and farther away in winter.

This is essentially correct. Because of the tilt of the Earth on its axis, the Northern Hemisphere is more distant from the sun in Winter than it is in Summer.

Granted, that speaking of the planet's center of gravity, this is incorrect.

Posted by: joeymac | Sep 8 2016 21:15 utc | 37

Remember the Aleppo!

Posted by: Cortes | Sep 8 2016 21:18 utc | 38

Last week the NYTimes has a paper with a total number of pages of 50. It contained 6 advertisements, yes 6.
From being in the business ( not at the NYT) I do know that amount of adv. will not pay for the ink, meaning the ink to produce the paper. I am not counting House Advs. which were also in the paper. They don't pay unless you want to pay yourself with your money.

Posted by: Hal | Sep 8 2016 21:28 utc | 39

Ken Nari @ 23

"I don't want to give the Neocons credit for destroying U.S. public schools or blame our battered schools for not doing better."

Useful insights into the destruction of public school education can be found from John Taylor Gatto.

Particularly, this series (Part 1 of 5) but anything from Gatto is instructive:

The Ultimate History Lesson

Posted by: paulmeli | Sep 8 2016 21:36 utc | 40

bwahahahaha. The New York Times that pushed the stories of the beseiged children and hospitals of Aleppo but somehow screwed up? Their eagerness to embarrass any competition to their chosen one got to them. But they pushed a talking point that the others have picked up like NBC.

Hal 39. Our papers here in Alabama are worse. The local joined with three others and closed the local building. They went to 3 issues per week and now mostly have big pictures, lots of white space, and mostly personal interest stories. They push their media site which is mostly click bait, football, and entertainment. A tiny bit of real news gets through but that's about it.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 8 2016 21:39 utc | 41

besieged - i before e .....

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 8 2016 21:40 utc | 42

Two points:

Highly influential people read the NYT's, religiously, front to back, because everything an upwardly mobile individual is supposed to know/understand is contained within the gray lady. Stray from this message conveyed and you become a risk. The people above you achieved their status on the message within the paper; descent from that message is perceived more as a flank attack, than a potential innovator that will boost all ships.

Over dinner recently, I asked one of my friends who is making his way in private equity what he thought the odds of Trump winning the election was. He said 12%, which I immediately recognized as the number listed prominently on the NYT website. I replied, "yeah, I read that too, but what do you think it really is?" He literally couldn't comprehend what I was asking. The number was 12%, and will always be 12%, until that figure is changed on the home page of the NYT.

This is emblematic of what the NYT means to people who exist under the umbrella of thought that it represents. I think this forum vastly overestimates the value of grasping reality, and within that theme, I think people who are devout orthodox "NYT"-minded people are blown away by people who would bother to question that narrative. Not because they think we're wrong, but because they don't care, the truth doesn't get you promoted.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Sep 8 2016 22:16 utc | 43

I'd love to see the candidates asked "What would you do about Chicago?" and probably get some similar brain-freeze reaction ... Johnson probably would have answered "well-enought to avoid this sort of scoren, but as a nonintervention candidate, his answer would likely have resulted in the usual, "So you're A-okay with more dead and maimed children?" since that's how these conversations go ... BTDT. I think asking Clinton, "Well what would you do about Kabul?" or Trump, "What would you do about Mosul?" would evoke similar deer-in-headlight responses.
In fact, there is no "good" answer to Aleppo -- not least because efforts to bring about a ceasefire are being actively subverted and it's again musical chairs time wrt to the identity and loyalties of players ...
and this is an issue-avoiding, name-calling mocking and jeering sort of race ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 8 2016 22:22 utc | 44

IhaveLittleToAdd @43
well said. it may not literally be the NYT for some, substitute WSJ or the Economist or even Time for certain people. but to deviate from the "NYT" is thoughtcrime. drop something like "what about wikileaks revelation that the DNC criminally rigged the primaries?" and throw a little sawdust into the wheels of the cliche factory. absolutely right: such thoughts are not conducive to "success." try turning such stones to bread.

Posted by: jason | Sep 8 2016 22:32 utc | 45

@former teacher | Sep 8, 2016 1:29:57 PM | 10

Thanks for your contributions. Wish we have more teachers like you. I never mastered Eng language which is not my mother tongue. U can't treat everyone the same, beside disabilities and etc. Some ppl is more independent and never follows "main Stream". My teachers branded me "rebellious" during my middle school years. BTW, the history taught earlier were different from what we now know.

Even today chooses not to follow "main stream" progressive/Independent. I was against Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Hillary from the start, especially the Democratic Party. I was right, and Bernie is no different from Hillary. BTW, dun trust Trump or the Republicans either.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 8 2016 22:37 utc | 46

If you want to know if a "journalist" works in the NYT, make him a multiple choice test:

The Chinese leader responsible for the so-called "Cultural Revolution" in China was Mao Ze ...
a) dang
b) deng
c) ding
d) dong
e) dung

He must hit in third or fourth attempt.

Posted by: Scan | Sep 8 2016 22:39 utc | 47

Posted by: joeymac | Sep 8, 2016 5:15:37 PM | 37

The sun in "summer" is about 5 million kilometers farther from the earth than in winter, which is way way bigger than the 12000 kilometers of earth diameter.
And tilting plays no role. The point that is closer during daytime is father during nighttime.

It is warmer in summer because the sun rises higher in the sky (or more exactly, because the rays are more perpendicular to the surface of the earth in the Northern hemisphere).

So the statement is essentially never correct.

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 8 2016 22:45 utc | 48

No one has mentioned the purpose of this demonization;Johnson will take HB votes,as will Jill Stein,who ND issued a misdemeanor in regards to defacement of private property for writing on a bulldozer.I mean really now.
They both are potential HB destroyers,hence the report.
Screw Johnson anyway,as he threw Donald under the zionist bus saying that badge was antisemitic.And,really,he should have recognized Aleppo as a Syrian city.
And yes,public education was the nations backbone.
Education for profit is the same nonsensical garbage as healthcare for profit,money in bankster and zionist coffers.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 8 2016 22:56 utc | 49

The New York Times did not even report the full answer that Gary Johnson gave to Mike Barnicle. Here it is:

"Okay, Got it. Well, with regard to Syria, I do think that it's a mess. I think the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that at an end but when we’ve aligned ourselves with—when we have supported the opposition, the Free Syrian Army, the Free Syrian Army is also coupled with the Islamists, and then the fact that we're also supporting the Kurds and this is, it's just a mess. And this is the result of regime change that we end up supporting and, inevitably, these regime changes have led to a less safe world."

Johnson seems to have a vastly better understanding of the mess that the US is in, in Syria, and what needs to be done there, than the NYT does.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2016 23:17 utc | 50

@joeymac 48

Many people assume the Earth's changing distance from the sun causes the change in the seasons. That’s logical, but not the case, Earth has seasons because our planet’s axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees relative to our orbital plane – the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun.

The tilt in the axis of the Earth is called its obliquity by scientists.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 8 2016 23:37 utc | 51

Joeymac @ 37:

Actually the Earth is at its closest point (perihelion) to the sun during winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The Earth's orbit around the Sun is not exactly circular but is slightly elliptical. At its farthest point from the Sun (aphelion), the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing summer and the Southern Hemisphere has winter.

The tilt (at 23 degrees and a bit) makes the difference. At aphelion, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun and the Southern Hemisphere is tilted away. At perihelion, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away and the Southern Hemisphere tilts towards the sun.

However due to the slight differences in orbit, the Southern Hemisphere gets a bit more light and heat (and is thus a bit warmer) during its summer than the Northern Hemisphere does during its summer; and the Southern Hemisphere gets less light and less heat from the Sun during its winter than the Northern Hemisphere does during its winter.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2016 23:40 utc | 52

@Jen, oh that I didn't know. The southern hemisphere gets a tad more in summer. You wouldn't know it by the tropical weather we've had, in my area Toronto. It was 36C + humidity yesterday and today and has been so for months now.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 8 2016 23:48 utc | 53

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8, 2016 7:17:58 PM | 50
yes, it's funny how they ignored his answer ... about Syria. Obviously the only thing we might "do" about Aleppo is work for a ceasefire (hahahahahaha) ... and we really don't have much if any authority to "do" anything else without upsetting the (already fragile and in flux) apple cart.
I wish I knew if Obama is actually simply intends to covertly stall and stall again as he ("diplomatically") washes his hands of Syria to avoid being attacked (eventually) by the rabid Clinton warhawks ... How long will Kerry continue to go-through-the-motions.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 8 2016 23:48 utc | 54

The paper of record...

Pretty selfish of Salon, but at least RT gave a nod a few paragraphs in.

This entry ought to go down in MoA's Greatest Hits.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 8 2016 23:52 utc | 55

Posted by: Scan | Sep 8, 2016 6:39:44 PM | 47
Do you know why Hillary is constantly hoarse and keep coughing?
She is doing her best to Head Monica Lewinsky away.

Posted by: Kooshy | Sep 8 2016 23:52 utc | 56

Excellent set of observations.
My guess is that more people will be misinformed by the original mistake than will be enlightened by the subsequent correction. What am I saying? The first two "corrections" provided further misinformation rather than enlightenment. In this case the newspaper made sure that many more people will be nudged into further mystification and ignorance than well be guided to some degree of knowledge.

Posted by: Roger Milbrandt | Sep 9 2016 0:16 utc | 57

Poetic justice -- this is the very same NYT "reporter" Alan Rappeport who "covered" the LP's nomination of GJ by burying his name at the end of paragraph 9, only after mentioning nine other irrelevant names. BW wasn't mentioned until paragraph 13. .

"b" above rightly points out that Salon ran the story only after MoA first discovered it. However, this was not "hours" after, as "b" indicated, but only 34 minutes. Salon gives MoA no credit. Hmm.

But just what is a leppo, anyway?

I'm glad to learn that there are other Mahagonny fans out there!

Posted by: Hu McCulloch | Sep 9 2016 0:31 utc | 58 'caught' this one as well. I read it there first. Can't tell who wrote about it first. Thanks to Jen @50 for posting Johnson's actual answer to the question, and to dahoit @49 for divining the NYTimes' actual agenda : telegraphing those careerists, as identified by ihlta @43, that they'd better stay with the elephant or, better, the jackass - in the menagerie - if they know what's good for ... their career.

The thing to do - from my point of view - is to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein or any of the other 3rd party candidates, or to write-in candidates of our own choosing on 8 November, to boost the 'other' vote - just a sorry, shameful 1.6% of the total in 2012 - so that not only the peripheral press notices, but that we ourselves notice that a sizable percentage of us, the people, are ready to put down the NYTimes and to go to work, not for the continuance of our careers, but for an alternative to the suicidal choices that stream forth from the menagerie. No to Clinton, no to Trump. This November, every November, till a change has finally come.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 9 2016 1:01 utc | 59

Mike Barnicle abruptly asked Johnson: If you are elected what would you do about Aleppo?
Why would the name Aleppo without indicating Syria ring a bell in Johnson's ear. Aleppo is not a issue for the USA. Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic state is. Why not ask about Raqqa? maybe Mike Barnicle would not know where it is!
The NYT (and CNN) are getting desperate by the stumbling of their "filly" Hillary in the race. They'll write just anything and are appearing increasingly ridiculous.

Posted by: virgile | Sep 9 2016 1:01 utc | 60

Much of NYT and frankly much of all US media, Breitbart, Huffpost, Bloomberg included, uses foreign contractors, (India)ns and Pakistanis and Filipinos primarily. Wherever a call center exists, there is also a news outsourcing franchise. Mispellings, verb tenses and word omission common are, lol. Machine pre-translation only sts them up for failure:

"Miss me very much like a friend now, as before, if decay in children don't again over the years, really very fast, do not know when will celebrated ability to corrupt end."

And we're not even talking about fake Comment posting industry that swarms political blogs, or hacks out 100,000 Likes on contract for some pathetic politician's Facebook.

What started 20 years ago as an innocent dancing baby, and filled the Corporate airwaves with so much fresh Free air, is devolved to the Big Lie and Big Brother, tracking your every move within 30 feet by your GPS and identifying you in every Facebook photo share.

Now comes 'The Wall' and a new Federal National Security SS (read the damn legislation!) and doors kicked in because your face showed up on some selfie next to a known terrorist, or maybe NSA will start to remotely detonate planted devices then blame deaths on the same anti-secirity state 'terrorist' they just took out from some surveillance camera.

Big wheels keep on turning, and the Fifth Estate keeps on burning, rolling on the river.

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Sep 9 2016 1:04 utc | 61

I'm sure all of the MOA supporters of the White Helmets will be delighted to know that the "organization" has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Good article by Turbeville

As if Obama winning the Nobel Prize didn't make it enuf of a laughing-stock.

Posted by: Denis | Sep 9 2016 1:34 utc | 62

Thanks for the posting and follow ups b

It is not just the NYT but all of TV as well.

The concept is called agnotology

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 9 2016 2:20 utc | 63

I was just reminded of the pre-09/11 cult of American conservatives who deeply admired Putin because he was able to bring an end to the Chechnyan uprising ... as they said in "House of Cards" (original British recipe), "He brought some stick to bear" and brought them to heel in "strong man fashion."

When/why did this change? Did this change with NATO expansion? The USA was sympathetic about the theater hostage crisis (2002) and Beslan (2004). Was this a sudden change with Obama's/Clinton's White House?

It struck me because now in addition to Trump, Mike Pence is now praising Putin (albeit, with the usual, "stronger than Obama" ... Applebaum and Foer and some others have been relentless in their hatred and scandal-mongering on previously fairly respectable forums ... according to them, Putin is apparently a human crime-wave/hit man

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 9 2016 3:06 utc | 64

I can't find the full interview on the MSNBC site, with the context in which the question was asked. Were they discussing Social Security? Domestic military bases? ISIS?

Posted by: Hu McCulloch | Sep 9 2016 3:24 utc | 65

Barnicle's two immediately prior questions were, "which of those [other 2 candidates] do you draw the most votes from?" and, "do worry about the Nader effect in 2000?" See . Not exactly the same wavelength as Syria.

Posted by: Hu McCulloch | Sep 9 2016 3:45 utc | 66

it was apparently just the next question ... here's the youtube video -- he says more than was quoted before...
from MSNBC TV show.

(he said on "The View" that he was thinking "A-LEP-O: was an a acronym and he was trying to recognize it

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 9 2016 3:46 utc | 67

Why did Barnicle ask about "Aleppo"?

Because if he had asked about "Syria", Johnson would've criticized US involvement in the Syrian War (just as he ultimately did!). It's well known that Libertarians are against foreign wars and spending money on being the world's policeman.

By using the term "Aleppo", Barnicle was attempting to guide the conversation to the humanitarian aspect of the war. He was hoping to hear statements that are supportive of Obama/Hillary's positions on immigration and refugees (and possibly the need for humanitarian intervention).

Barnicle probably knew Johnson's position on immigration already: Libertarian Gary Johnson: 'We should embrace immigration'

Instead of sound bites that could be used to depict Trump as out of step, the media got a mouthful about US involvement in the Syrian war (see Jen @50). Well, they weren't going to report on THAT, so they focused on Johnson's failure to be indoctrinated momentary lapse instead.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Barnicle's use of "Aleppo" as shorthand turns a propaganda meme into a rallying cry. It seems likely that Turkey's incursion into Syria and likely resettlement of refugees will lead to renewed calls for safe havens, 'no-fly' zones, and humanitarian intervention.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2016 4:03 utc | 68

Agree emphatically with s at 4. "Despite that sorry fact deadly instruments of U.S. power are used abroad without much thought whenever this or that foreign interest bribes the right people in Washington DC." There's consistency to US foreign policy, which took up from UK imperial policy. US/UK financial capital has consistently tried to expand its, or something like that, and has long used blame the victim, terror, divide and rule and other strategies to achieve that.

As for the NYT writers' incompetence and stupidity, this reflects the undergrad education and conversation at elite US colleges and universities. There are things that cannot be learned -- it's 'smart' to be uninformed enough to have no problem closely parroting conventional wisdom as handed down by the uniparty -- if you know what is good for your career.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2016 5:02 utc | 69

change "expand its" to "expand its empire"

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2016 5:03 utc | 70

@Ken Nari | Sep 8, 2016 3:02:08 PM | 23,

A couple years ago John Edward Huth, a Harvard physicist, asked 21 Harvard students and 2 Harvard profs why it's warm in summer and cold in winter. All but 2 said it's because the earth is closer to the sun in summer and farther away in winter. . . . That's at Harvard. As for the general population, I doubt 2 in 100 know that's not correct. Pretty grim.

For all:
Losing Our Way in the World by John Edward Huth, NYT. Well worth reading.

The documentary about Huth references with the Harvard students and a professor smugly giving their answers.
The Private Universe - Annenberg Learner Channel 20 min.

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9 2016 6:18 utc | 71

correction: The documentary Huth references that shows the Harvard . . . .

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9 2016 6:19 utc | 72

Jeff | Sep 8, 2016 6:45:07 PM | 48

And tilting plays no role.

Tilting plays thee role. Seasons are not restricted to the Northern Hemisphere.

However you are right about this:

It is warmer in summer because the sun rises higher in the sky

Read my comment at 71.

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9 2016 6:34 utc | 73

Gravatomic | Sep 8, 2016 7:48:15 PM | 53

You'd know why if you watched Joe Bastardi's Saturday Summaries every Saturday. He works for Weatherbell, a weather forecasting service for industry, transportations cos, television, agriculture, and municipal governments that need to gauge their energy needs accurately and anticipate problems. It's a fee-based site, but the Saturday vids are free.

I've been watching him for three years. Only guy to get it right consistently, and he will put out forecasts months in advance that turn out to be true. You're in T.O. but it's close enough to the US that you're covered under NE USA. Check it out.

He got the path of Hermine right when no one else did. This was a bitch in WahPo yesterday because the Jersey shore with its end-of-season Labor Day beachers and partygoers prepared for a hurricane and Sandy-like floods, then it didn't happen.

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9 2016 6:56 utc | 74

S@4 You think that because the personnel change, the bribers should change. How foolish!

Rethink this matter. Consider that the bribers remain the same; personnel change as competing claimants clamor to be the grateful recipients of these constant bribers. This is most evident in that no matter Bushes, Clintons or Obamas in power, nothing much changes in Washington except cosmetics and style.

Gertrude Stein put it best: The money is always the money; only the pockets change.

Posted by: Macon Richardson | Sep 9 2016 7:14 utc | 75

Anyone surprised? Guess not:

Posted by: xyz | Sep 9 2016 9:36 utc | 76

AmeriKKKa (and the New York Times). Bullshit you (and they) can believe in.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 9 2016 10:18 utc | 77

time to shelve NY times. I give the 3rd rate gossip rag no credence at all.

Posted by: HC caldwell | Sep 9 2016 10:48 utc | 78

@37 - joeymac

Wrong again - In the Northern Hemisphere the Earth's closest approach to the Sun is in January, and the farthest in July. So for the majority of the Earth's population the Earth is closest to the Sun in January.

Q: When is earth closest to the Sun?
A: On January 4, our Earth made its closest approach to the Sun for the year-- an event astronomers call perihelion. At perihelion, the Earth is about 147.5 million km away from the Sun. (At the greatest separation, the two are about 152.6 million km apart - which will occur this year on July 4.

Posted by: rappaport | Sep 9 2016 12:08 utc | 79


Posted by: bluetooth | Sep 9 2016 12:11 utc | 80


Posted by: bluetooth | Sep 9 2016 12:11 utc | 81


Posted by: bluetooth | Sep 9 2016 12:11 utc | 82
on syria

Posted by: Mina | Sep 9 2016 12:20 utc | 83

MRW | Sep 9, 2016 2:56:58 AM | 74

Thanks, will have a look. I am betting on a green Christmas this year, last year it was 16C and sunny in T-dot. Like an and of April day and we had lunch outside in the garden. Going to see if Joe Bastardi concurs.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 9 2016 12:21 utc | 84

Macon Richardson @75 "You think that because the personnel change, the bribers should change. How foolish!

Rethink this matter. Consider that the bribers remain the same; personnel change as competing claimants clamor to be the grateful recipients of these constant bribers. This is most evident in that no matter Bushes, Clintons or Obamas in power, nothing much changes in Washington except cosmetics and style."

There is more than one set of bribers, nor is there a set of maximum bribers who will inevitably win all the bribing contests. The scenario that insists on this is more or less nuts. In the case of Saudi, in particular, the oil companies in ARAMCO were far better placed to bribe the US politicians to replace the Saudis with someone more amenable to leaving ARAMCO as it was. Nor do Zionists actually control all the banks. Sorry, but yes, historically the bribers have changed while policies remained the same, leaving the simple bribery theory refuted.

Posted by: s | Sep 9 2016 12:24 utc | 85


I think you should make note of the headline change.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2016 12:49 utc | 86

Gravatomic | Sep 9, 2016 8:21:42 AM | 84,

Catch last Saturday's Summary before it changes tomorrow. Always on the right side.

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9 2016 12:59 utc | 87

IMO, the shaming/ridiculing is misdirection and came after a failure to shape the news in a way that would benefit Hillary/Obama. (see more @68)

Allowing immigrants and ex-felons to vote has become an issue this election season. And it was recently reported that Obama met his goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees. (Trump had made the proper vetting of refugees an issue.)

The reference to 'Aleppo' also plays upon propaganda - as b has documented so well with his posts at MoA. This goes well beyond 'spin' to craven manipulation.

There is more to this story than NYT incompetence.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2016 13:03 utc | 88

It's not so much an issue of Gary Johnson not knowing foreign policy As it is a total obliviousness about current affairs..(Aleppo being all over the news)and a lack of geographical knowledge. That is the issue here.

Posted by: my2cents | Sep 9 2016 13:12 utc | 89

CNN is becoming totally wild! Is Putin the re-incarnation of Ben Laden? Wait! No! He is the Russian "brother" of Baghadi according to desperate Hystarry.

"US running out of patience with Russia on Syria deal"

Isn't the other way around?

Posted by: virgile | Sep 9 2016 13:23 utc | 90

Barack Obama is officially now a parasite (it’s an honor)

WASHINGTON – It is no Nobel Peace Prize, but Barack Obama has a new honor to brag about. Scientists have named a parasite after him — and there is no worming out of it.

Meet Baracktrema obamai, a tiny parasitic flatworm that lives in turtles’ blood. A new study officially names the 2-inch (4.2-centimeter), hair-thin creature after Obama.

Thomas Platt, the newly retired biology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana who chose the name, says it is an honor, not an insult. Really.

Posted by: virgile | Sep 9 2016 13:29 utc | 91


You claimed ~36 deg C for months in Toronto - yet Accuweather shows no 36 deg day recorded in Toronto in Sept2016 - highest recorded is 32 C

you also claimed 16 deg C for Christmas 2015 - Accuweather shows 9 deg C on Christmas day 2015

Also Accuweather shows August being only slightly above avg for 2016

But july 2016 was pretty much bang on avg , the exception being last wk in July which went above avg.

2015 however shows virtually whole month of July and most of Aug being below avg

curiously no complaints about how cold it was in 2015 from you.

Despite all the media nonsense about record temperatures, the vast majority of high temp records in Canada were set in the period between 1935 and 1942.


PS: weather is not climate

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 9 2016 13:32 utc | 92

PPS - record summer high for Toronto ?

a whopping 44.5 Deg C - you gotta long way to go yet baby

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 9 2016 13:35 utc | 93

They (journos) aren't even pretending anymore, are they. This is like the time (18. C) when competing editorial visioning were viciously and relentlessly advanced - but without the competition.

Posted by: ritzl | Sep 9 2016 13:38 utc | 94

Posted by: my2cents | Sep 9, 2016 9:12:19 AM | 89

I disagree, if I said Deir Ezzor, you would have to look it up, is it Syria Iraq Iran? Unless you follow very closely where and what the Russians and Damascus are going after you would be stumped.

This was an attempt to wrap the question rather craftily in a way to make Hillary's calls for intervention and a no-fly-zone (which utterly ridiculous and shows what a old school thinker and warhawk Hillary is) into the humanitarian issues, the propaganda of chemical attacks by the 'regime', and to get the UN further involved. Aleppo is the rallying call for a cease fire so the US backed rebels get a respite, rearm, resupply and begin the attacks on the government again. It was plain and simple shilling for Clinton, who is an idiot and a dangerous woman through and through.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 9 2016 13:38 utc | 95

PPPs - highest temp Aug 2016 in Toronto? - Fri 12th Aug
Actual Temp

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 9 2016 13:40 utc | 96

Posted by: MRW | Sep 9, 2016 8:59:34 AM | 87

Got it. Thanks. Yes, they are predicting a very late start to winter, much like last year, in T-dot we got snow for the first time in January and by the end of February it petered out.

Now, the rest of Canada will have a different story of course, a lot of Canadians outside Toronto have hate-envy for Toronto, we are in a geographical odd place with all the lakes contributing and modifying our climate. Just South as you know Buffalo, Upstate NY gets crazy amounts of lake snow.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 9 2016 13:47 utc | 97

Posted by: BadMax | Sep 9, 2016 9:40:33 AM | 96

Sorry, day before yesterday was 36C >> 41C with humidex. Where are you getting your weather reports?

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 9 2016 13:51 utc | 98

September 7th, 2016 Toronto Airport, it gets hotter downtown.

High 34.1°C low 21.1 Humidex 41

24h Rain 32.8mm

Posted by: Gravatomic | Sep 9 2016 13:55 utc | 99

From TRNN on the Johnson Gaff, by Glen Ford of Black Agenda report..

Posted by: ben | Sep 9 2016 14:31 utc | 100

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