What Would You Do About Bad Journalism?

I never thought I’d say this: Sarah Palin is right. “What would you do, if elected president, about Aleppo,” can only be described as Gotcha Journalism.


The question is particularly egregious in a conversation like the one between Gary Johnson and Mike Barnicle on MSNBC. The two were talking about domestic politics, the role of a third party in U.S. presidential elections, the “Ralph Nader effect”, and specific Democratic and Republican platform ideas when Barnicle pivoted without transition: “What would you do, if elected president, about Aleppo?”


A real journalist, not some hack seeking a sound-bite to sink the chances of an underdog candidate, would have handled it differently.

“Thank you. Moving to international matters, let’s turn to Syria.”

Even simply, “Let’s take a look at the crisis in Syria, and the refugee situation in the city of Aleppo” would do the trick.

Instead Barnicle introduces a conflict known more broadly as “The conflict in Syria” as a non-sequitur, using the name of a city that might easily pass for another bad government acronym related to a domestic program. What would you do about Aleppo?

“What would you do about Aleppo?” isn’t even a real question, just like Mike Barnicle, apparently, isn’t a real journalist.


4 thoughts on “What Would You Do About Bad Journalism?

  1. I agree with you. I think Johnson’s politics suck, but it’s evident he just had a brainfart when confronted by an out-of-context question. The whole matter has been blown up out of all proportion.


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