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.