New York Times Gets Key Aleppo Fact Wrong in Story About Gary Johnson’s Gaffe

New York Times
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The New York Times incorrectly reported Thursday that Aleppo was the "de facto capital of the Islamic State" in a story about Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson's earlier gaffe about the city.

Johnson became the subject of widespread ridicule when he blankly asked, "What is Aleppo?" after being questioned on Morning Joe on what he'd do about the war-torn Syrian city. The New York Times, in a piece headlined, "‘What Is Aleppo?’ Gary Johnson Asks, in an Interview Stumble," got a key fact wrong in his second paragraph:

Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential nominee, revealed a surprising lack of foreign policy knowledge on Thursday that could rock his insurgent candidacy when he could not answer a basic question about the crisis in Aleppo, Syria.

"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.

However, it is Raqqa, or Al-Raqqah, that actually serves as the ISIS capital:

After a number of observers online pointed this out, the Times issued a correction at the bottom of the article and instead wrote:

"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.

Update: In its initial correction, the Times referred to Aleppo as the Syrian capital. That was also incorrect; the capital is Damascus:

An earlier version of the above correction misidentified the Syrian capital as Aleppo. It is Damascus.