By MARISSA VONESH
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, choked once again during an interview Wednesday night when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked for his favorite political leader. Johnson was not able to respond.
Bill Weld, Johnson’s running mate, attempted to help Johnson, yet, Johnson failed to come up with an answer even after Matthews asked numerous prompting questions.
Johnson simply responded, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” referring to his incident of not remembering the war-destroyed Syrian city in a prior interview with MSNBC.
Furthermore, Johnson updated the status of his “brain-freeze” with a tweet:
It’s been almost 24 hours…and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to.
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 29, 2016
The 2016 presidential race has been filled with scandals and comparisons of the candidates’ failures. With this mindset, news outlets have vigorously grabbed onto Johnson’s gaffe. The nominee’s inability to think on his feet has only contributed to the pool of reasons many Americans feel like there is no good candidate for president.
Although the information is interesting, a lot of news sources’ energy has been focused on the politician’s dirt. Even if Johnson spoke carelessly or Clinton has reasons to be mistrusted or Trump has no filter, these missteps should not be the only information reported. It is important to know the personalities of future leaders, but what is more pressing is what their plans are for the country’s future.
The focus on the mistakes of the nominees, moreover, restrict the politicians to exaggerated stereotypes. It is unrealistic for a human being to be perfect constantly. As journalists, remaining unbiased should be a priority. The public should be able to understand all viewpoints, the good and the bad, about the candidates.
It is critical that news outlets begin to discuss the election in terms that will truly inform the voters, not continue division, promote pigeonholes and make the election an entertainment spectacle.