Gotcha Journalists, Leppos and Other Campaign Horror Stories

Yesterday it was Gary Johnson’s turn to get skewered by the Fourth Estate.

It all began innocently enough.

On the Morning Joe talk show, Gotcha Journalist Mike Barnicle asked Libertarian presidential candidate Johnson, “What would you do, if elected, about Aleppo?”

“And what is a leppo,” Johnson replied?

That is a very good question. I, for one, had no clue what a leppo* was, and I bet you didn’t either. But Gary Johnson asks for a clarification, and he gets crucified.

“You’re kidding,” said Barnicle in that smug way reporters have when they are about to nail you.

No wonder the American people are fed up with the press, whose members see their role in this election as trying to expose the candidates’ flaws.

With Hillary it’s all emails all the time, a subject about which she seems to know very little. But the press keeps pounding away, completely unsympathetic to a senior citizen’s memory lapses, which, take it from me, are no fun.

And Trump gets barraged with really, really hard questions, at least for him, on foreign – and domestic (doubly unfair) – policy, two areas about which he clearly knows nothing at all. These are big subjects for a man who doesn’t read, which is probably why he wanted to outsource them to John Kasich.

It’s time for the press to lighten up. Let’s make elections fun again.


*Leppo (from the French “le peau,” meaning skin): any hominid characterized by skin and hair roughly the same color.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.