Saturday, October 15, 2016

Why the mainstream media pile-on on Johnson?

In Defense of Gary Johnson - Original by -- - Justin Raimondo:

October 3, 2016 - "The Clinton smear machine, having finally noticed that Gary Johnson is cutting into what they regard as Hillary’s rightful share of the so-called 'millennial' vote, has set its sights on the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate.

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way: the conventional wisdom was that the Libertarian ticket of Johnson and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld would split the traditionally Republican base, providing an outlet for the 'Never Trump' crowd to vent their spleen. This delighted the pro-Clinton 'mainstream' media, which gave both Johnson and Weld more publicity – most of it highly favorable – than any third party ticket in memory....

"This strategy has had consequences that hardly anyone foresaw. While Johnson-Weld went out of their way not to criticize Mrs. Clinton except in the mildest possible terms – saving their venom for Donald Trump, whom Weld likened to Hitler – what everyone overlooked is that Trump was defining the race. One was either for Trump, or against him – and the Libertarians wound up splitting the anti-Trump vote.

 "This was exacerbated by their left-sounding campaign rhetoric.... Add to this Johnson’s notoriety as a marijuana advocate, and the campaign’s targeting of 'millennial' voters, and polls of a four-way contest (including Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate) began to show that Johnson-Weld spelled trouble for Hillary. This was the signal for the Clintonian regiments of the Fourth Estate to go into action.

"It began with an interview on Morning Joe, when Johnson was asked: "What would you do about Aleppo?" His answer was to look baffled for a moment and then ask, 'What is Aleppo?'... once Johnson understood what [Mike] Barnicle was referring to he gave an excellent answer: 'I do think that it’s a mess. I think that the only way that we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that [to] an end. But ... this is the result of regime change that we end up supporting. And, inevitably, these regime changes have led [to] a less-safe world'....

"None of this matters to the 'mainstream' media, however, which is so determined to elect Clinton that sparking a nuclear conflagration seems to them a small price to pay. They gleefully piled on Johnson’s 'Aleppo moment,' echoing Scarborough’s ridiculous contention that not knowing how 'important' Aleppo is 'disqualifies' him as a credible candidate. The derision was universal, the snark was endless – even Bill Maher and Colbert got into the act — and it didn’t stop there.

"In a subsequent interview with both Johnson and Weld, Chris Matthews asked them all the requisite questions about Trump’s unmitigated evil, and they went along with it, saying all the 'right' things.... Toward the end of the interview with Matthews came what Johnson himself said was another 'Aleppo moment':
"MATTHEWS: I got actually a little lightning round here. This is where we have fun and maybe make some news. Who is your favorite foreign leader?.... Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to, anybody.... You have got to do this. Anywhere. Any continent.... Name a foreign leader that you respect.
JOHNSON: I guess I`m having an Aleppo moment ...
"The idea that any libertarian could have a 'favorite foreign leader,' a head of state one could 'look up to,' is absurd. There is no such person on earth.... That aside, however, Johnson himself saying he was having another 'Aleppo moment' was enough to invite yet another storm of derision from Hillary’s partisans in the media. Matthews is no dummy: he knew perfectly well what he was doing, and even hinted at what he was up to when he said they might 'make a little news.'

"I’ve been very critical of Johnson, but in this case I have to come out in his defense.... In spite of his many shortcomings as a candidate, he has managed to put on a good showing.... For the most part he’s been relatively principled when it comes to foreign policy....

"Johnson has been falling in the polls a bit, and with the pro-Clinton media pounding away at him his descent may continue. However, the Johnson Effect, to coin a phrase, will likely continue to impact the election in potentially significant ways.... Gary Johnson, in spite of himself – and in spite of the sinister Weld – may wind up stopping Hillary Clinton from taking the White House."

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