In February, I described the ransom-note method in examining an SPLC attack on Ann Coulter. The term was subsequently picked up by others, and I later explained -- in reference to an attack on Rush Limbaugh for his "I hope he fails" remark -- how such attacks distort meaning:
Limbaugh, as he made clear from the outset, was responding to a "major American print publication" which was "asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency."You may read the whole thing there. A little Ransom-Note Method, a little guilt-by-association and -- voila! -- you might actually believe I was a hateful nutjob like Jeremiah Wright.
The fact that Limbaugh's "I hope he fails" was a response to such an insipid inquiry -- this newspaper was actually framing their inaugural commentary in terms of "Hope," the Obama campaign's own propaganda slogan -- has received too little attention. One of the basic tactics of the Ransom-Note Method is to separate the stimulus from the response in this manner. In other words, someone sees or hears something outrageous, says or writes something outrageous in response, and the smear merchants then isolate the response, so that it is presented without adequate reference to whatever stimulus produced it.
But I've never met Charles Johnson, nor have I ever met Mark Potok, Heidi Beirich, Michelangelo Signorile, or Duncan "Atrios" Black. So the first thing you should know about Charles Johnson -- besides the fact that he argues like a liberal, using second-hand arguments borrowed from liberals -- is that he doesn't know me at all. Like my various liberal critics, he presumes himself so superior as to be fit to judge a man he's never even met.
Do you subscribe to Charles Johnson supremacism? For that is the doctrine to be debated here. Charles Johnson believes himself superior to me, superior to VodkaPundit, superior to Ace of Spades, superior to Pamela Geller, superior to Robert Spencer -- indeed, superior even to God, whom Charles Johnson considers himself qualified to declare non-existent.
The starting point of any argument with Charles Johnson is the same as its conclusion, namely, the unquestionable superiority of Charles Johnson. Once you understand Point One, the rest is easy.
Point Two: Charles Johnson is prejudiced, and subscribes to stereotypes
Point Three: Charles Johnson will regret it but once, and that will be continuously