I get the criticism, and contributed to it: Libertarian Party presidential nominee looked bad while again brainfarting a not-particularly-hard TV question about the world he intends to president in. But there’s a galling media double standard at work here. You will find more examples of mainstream journalists calling Aleppo Moment 2.0 a “disqualifying” gaffe—here, and here, and here, and here, for example—than you will, I don’t know, EVEN MENTIONING THAT THERE WAS A MASSIVE AND DAMNING UK PARLIAMENTARY REPORT EVISCERATING HILLARY CLINTON’S PET WAR.
I write about the fundamental unseriousness of America’s “serious” political media over at CNN Opinion. Excerpt:
“This policy,” the conservative-led [parliamentary] committee concluded, “was not informed by accurate intelligence. In particular, the [British] Government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-(Gadhafi) Libya. The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of (Gadhafi) regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa.” […]
Aside from a handful of mostly ideological outlets, the US news media declined to even note that the Democratic presidential nominee suffered a comprehensive rebuke to her oft-repeated assertion that Libya represented American “smart power at its best.” As The Atlantic delicately put it, “The British public has been engaged in a debate about war that has been largely absent from the U.S. presidential election.” […]
[I]f there’s anything more obnoxious than cheerleaders for Donald “bomb-the-sh—out-of-ISIS” Trump mocking Johnson for foreign-policy ignorance, it’s supporters and enablers of Hillary Clinton rolling their eyes theatrically at a presidential candidate who was against the Iraq and Libyan wars in real time, who wants to pardon rather than imprison Edward Snowden, and who comports himself with occasionally awkward humility rather than with the polished and delusional omniscience that we’ve unfortunately come to demand in our presidential candidates.