The trend I saw was interesting…as a beginner blogger, I linked there quite a bit. His reports on Islamic cruelty to women were compelling. He had strong opinions on the American ostrich politics regarding the tsunami of Islamic danger heading America’s way. Over the months I linked less; either I felt more comfortable with my own voice or his had changed it’s tune. Then he started attacking other bloggers. You know the rest of the story.One may attack other bloggers -- and I love a good Rule 4 flame-war perhaps a bit too much -- without behaving in a Johnsonesque manner that would disgrace a third-grade schoolgirl. If you don't know the rest of the story, you can just click here and keep scrolling. But it is the underlying cause of what "semi-literate bigot" Jim Hoft has called the "Little Green Meltdown," and not its detailed history, that must be addressed now.
The Hot Air blogroll reclassification of LGF is also blogged at Honesty in Motion and Underground Conservative, whom I will quote later, but first things first.
The main historical point is that this all began when Mad King Charles attacked Pamela Geller. His original attack was based on information supplied by his commenter "Dave of Sweden." Johnson asserted that Geller was abetting neo-fascism, an accusation directly at odds with Geller's known character. That "Dave of Sweden" has since disappeared, while his real identity and motives remain unknown, shows the fundamental error of Johnson's modus operandi.
Rather than continuing to do useful and original work on his blog, Charles at some point decided that LGF would be about the commenters, with him playing queen-bee to a hive of pseudonymous Lizards in more-or-less continuous Open Thread mode.
This is how Charles Johnson became proprietor of a libel factory, and this is why Little Green Footballs is now "Left Channels." Maybe Allahpundit should go ahead and add Media Matters and Crooks & Liars to that category, just to make clear what type of evil business Mad King Charles is transacting. His stock in trade nowadays is to attribute mala fides to conservatives.
Between Wrong and Evil
To say that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouldn't have shouted "You lie!" during President Obama's address to Congress is merely to say what Wilson himself has admitted -- it was rude and unnecessary, an error of judgment. A congressman ought not shout such things at the president, even when he's lying through his teeth in a televised primetime speech. (Bill Clinton was arguably the most shameless liar in American political history; he was, as Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska said, an unusually good liar.)
Errors of judgment and lapses of decorum are one thing. To fart in a crowded elevator is wrong, but does not necessarily make the perpetrator evil.
However, to say that Wilson's outburst was motivated by racial animosity is to assert mala fides. To then cite as supporting evidence of Wilson's bad faith his membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is to say that every member of the SCV shares the same ill motives and to inaugurate a fruitlessly divisive discussion that can have no end this side of "Damn Yankee scoundrel! Pistols at dawn, suh!"
These sorts of affairs are all fine and good for the pseudonymous likes of "Dave of Sweden," you see, who can pop up, post some garbage about the Swedish anti-jihad movement being controlled by "racists" and then disappear into the online slime-pit from which he emerged.
Like Joe Wilson, however, Pamela Geller is a real human being and not a mere Internet alias. What Charles Johnson did, by promoting "Dave of Sweden" and repeating other people's attacks on Vlaams Belang as "ultra-nationalist," was to question Pamela's motives, disparage her character and defame her good name. Pamela was confronted with a choice:
- Denounce and repudiate the Brussels conference she had attended; or
- Stand up in defense of the decent people whose bona fides Johnson had impugned in the process of smearing her.
Shall I deny being a vicious hater? Shall I denounce Richard Spencer and Peter Brimelow? How many others will Charles Johnson require me to denounce before he's satisified? And how well did the deny-denounce-and-apologize approach to such accusations work out for George Allen?Having watched this liberal game being played for so long, I have learned one thing: When a white guy points the finger at another white guy and screams, "Raaaaacist!" don't just examine the accusation, examine the accuser.
CJ the Third-Grade Queen Bee
Of course, it may be simultaneously true that (a) Charles Johnson is a gutless sissy, and (b) I am the spiritual heir of Theodore Bilbo. However, if the gutless sissy's accusation seems fishy, if my general political orientation is self-evidently not Bilboesque, then the more important subject of inquiry is not my allegedly evil agenda, but rather the agenda of my accuser.
What's in it for him? Why would Charles Johnson suddenly decide, on Sept. 12, 2009, to accuse Stephen Green (!) of fomenting racial hatred merely by taking my phoned-in reports from the 9/12 March On D.C.?
And it all goes back to "Dave of Sweden" and Pamela Geller. When Pamela defended the Brussels conference and took umbrage at Charles Johnson's libels, she unwittingly provoked a streak of paranoia and sadism inside CJ's soul that had hitherto escaped general notice. One by one, Johnson began throwing conservatives under his Little Green Bus.
Charles Johnson could not accept the possibility that he was wrong and Geller was right. To side with Geller against "Dave of Sweden" would be to confess that he, Charles Johnson, was ignorant of something about which Geller was knowledgeable. Johnson's intellectual bullying resembles malignant narcissism, the characteristic trait of the totalitarian.
CJ's attitude toward Geller manifested an unscrupulous desire to be recognized as some sort of Official Arbiter, rather than being content merely to participate as an equal in the public discourse. It is this narrow, selfish ambition -- the "Mean Girls" quest to be acknowledged as the Queen Bee of the third-grade playground, deciding who is worthy of membership in the Pretty And Popular clique -- that has led Charles Johnson down the road to self-destruction. It's not about politics or ideology or racism, it's about Charles.
Now, let us examine a few observations about the LGF meltdown from other bloggers, beginning with The Underground Conservative:
Little Green Footballs, along with its blog owner, Charles Johnson, has jumped the shark and has transformed itself into a lower-grade version of the Kos Kiddie Day Care Center, the PuffHo or the DUmmyland. Attacks on conservative talk show hosts and bloggers, smears against Christians and inexplicable defense of the likes of Van Jones, the 9/11 Troofer moonbat green jobs czar.The Nose On Your Face:
When Little Green Footballs, a blog founded by Charles Johnson, started to go off the conservative rails over the past year, many dismissed Johnson’s erratic, obsessive rantings as classic signs of blogger burnout, or a perilously tight ponytail. Indeed, as Johnson lashed out at other conservative websites . . . bloggers across the political spectrum cringed at the precipitous descent of a once-proud stronghold of conservatism.Brian C. Ledbetter at Snapped Shot:
After complaining constantly about leftist infiltrators coming to LGF to "slur" the site with derogatory comments, what do you suppose Charles Johnson's reaction to one of his own commenters (who happens to be an LGF administrator) doing the exact same thing to another blog?Honesty in Motion:
Lessons? CJ has lost it, destroying a perfectly good blog that I used to enjoy reading. Also, stay on that Other McCain's good side, or you could wind up like Mr. Johnson.Grateful as I am for the intended compliment, this is not about enhancing a reputation for stomping arrogant bullies into blogospheric smithereens. (See Why It's Not a "Blog War.") Polemical skill aside, there is indeed an educational purpose, and the real lesson is about what actually caused the Madness of King Charles.
Charles Johnson, Humanitarian?
Perhaps the only book I have recommended more the The Best. Book. Evah! is Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, arguably the clearest examination of modern liberal ideology ever written.
What Sowell explains (here I distill a complex argument to its essence, in my own words) is that liberals are latter-day Pharisees, their worldview deformed by a desire to think of themselves are morally and intellectual superior, and to be recognized as such by others. This is the flattering temptation to which Charles Johnson has so spectacularly succumbed.
Whereas I have gone out of my way to maintain a bad reputation -- "The bottom layer of the right-wing noise machine," to quote Glenn Greenwald -- by vehemently defending such enemies of the Left as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Mark Levin, while boasting of being a greedy capitalist ("I Write For Money"), Charles Johnson has decided to seek the comforting self-delusions of the bien-pensant. In November 2008, Pamela Geller quoted a couple of CJ's typically hyterical outbursts:
I've learned recently that neo-fascists are much more prominent in conservative circles than I had previously realized. There are other well-known pundits who are sympathetic to the fascists, too -- I've drastically revised my opinion of more than a few people, e.g. Diane West, Richard Miniter, and several others. . . .No, Charles, it was an "eye-opener" about you. To accept your fear-mongering would require us to believe that, inter alia, Orianna Falacci, Pim Fortuyn, Phyllis Chesler, Mark Steyn and Brigitte Bardot have been guilty of "joining forces with European white nationalists." As I've said before, when Vlaams Belang starts flying jetliners into skyscrapers, then I'll start worrying about the Flemish Menace.At some point, Charles, your cut-and-paste Ransom Note Method attacks on conservatives and your Six Degrees Of Guilt-By-Association games have the cumulative impact of preventing effective cooperation for the defense of Western civilization against its two most powerful and active enemies, violent Islamist extremism and the Left. (The "Unholy Alliance," as David Horowitz has called it.)
I'm now getting hate mail from Andrew Bostom, who believes we should all be joining forces with European white nationalists, calling me all kinds of names and insults.
It's an eye-opener about Bostom.
And all because you, Charles Foster Johnson, couldn't admit that Pamela Geller knew more about the European anti-jihad movement than your commenter "Dave of Sweden." So you've backstabbed all your former friends. Now Rusty Shackleford and Ace of Spades are laughing their asses off at your expense, and you find yourself utterly and embarrassingly alone, the disgraced laughingstock of the blogosphere. Maybe you should ask "Dave of Sweden" for some help, Charles.
BTW, how's that "praying to Nothing" working out for you?
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.Because I do not covet a reputation as a selfless humanitarian philanthropist, here's the customary reminder that I am a greedy capitalist blogger: Please hit the tip jar!
-- Psalm 14:1 (KJV)
Chlanna nan con thigibh a so’s gheibh sibh feoil!UPDATE: Trying to avoid the Lizard King's obsessed-with-commenters attitude, I'll take up a couple of points raised below. Estragon comments:
His anti-Christian rhetoric had escalated well before any of these recent incidents, as had his tendency to choose enemies on the right and ban posters who failed to toe the company line 100%. This has been building for a couple of years, at least.OK, a "couple of years" -- as I said, Charles went after Geller in October 2007, but if you mean a couple of years before that, I'd be interested in seeing examples of CJ's anti-Christian attitude circa 2005-06.
One thing I've discussed before, which I've noticed ever since becoming an ex-Democrat circa 1994-96, is the GOP elite's tendency to blame their conservative grassroots, most especially the Religious Right, for every defeat. This was true after Bob Dole (who was never a limited-government conservative or a darling of the Religious Right) lost the 1996 presidential election, a defeat that Christopher Caldwell perversely blamed on rednecks and which prompted David Brooks' idiotic "National Greatness."
And, though I swear I'm not succumbing to Chronic Degenerative Lizardmania, Estragon also uses "libertarian" to describe Johnson's ideology. This is an abuse of the term "libertarian" that I've usually heard from Republicans (surely the commenter "Estragon" cannot be the former TPM blogger?) who use it to mean "soft" on abortion, gay rights, etc.
However, I'm pro-life and oppose the cultural Marxists who call themselves the "gay rights movement," yet I have a strong libertarian tendency vis-a-vis free markets and limited government. I am an Austrian in economics -- i.e., a devotee of Mises and Hayek -- and a Madisonian (e.g., Federalist #10) in politics.
Describing LGF as "libertarian" would get you a furious argument from most Austrians, including the Rothbard/Rockwell types associated with the Mises Institute, who opposed the Bush war policy that Charles Johnson supported, as well as from many Madisonians who share Ron Paul's staunch opposition to Big Government. (Lots of Paulistas in the Tea Party movement.) And, hey, Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr!
Meanwhile, over at Right Wing News, I share my own views of the strictly political content of LGF's descent into madness:
It is possible to analyze Johnson’s bizarre attacks from a political viewpoint. He was apparently a "9/11 liberal": Someone with no previous involvement in conservative politics who was alarmed by the radical Left's treacherous attempt to undermine America's military response to Islamist terrorism. Nothing wrong with such patriotic sentiment in time of war -- it would be nice if more liberals felt that way -- but it is not to be confused with conservatism.Ruby Slippers links us in the comments at a Hot Air thread featuring Mark Levin's interview with Stephen Smith -- yet more right-wing raaaaacism! -- with a lot of LGF-related discussion by the commenters.
After Republicans blundered away their congressional majority and the war in Iraq became increasingly unpopular, Johnson's liberal views on domestic politics -- and perhaps even more than that, his intense animosity toward traditional Judeo-Christian belief -- evidently drew him back toward the Democratic Party. Thus, in recent months, he has repeatedly lashed out against Glenn Beck and the “Tea Party” movement.
We also get some much-appreciated linky-love from Adrienne's Catholic Corner who informs us (without linking LGF) that Mad King Charles is on a new crusade. Now he's attacking "the Christian far right -- the extreme fundamentalists behind much of the home-schooling movement -- and their almost total withdrawal from American culture," for which he cites as his authority fellow Obama idolator Frank Schaeffer.
This accusation is perversely ironic for several reasons. First of all, anyone who opposes home-schooling automatically forfeits any claim to be libertarian. I'm a home-schooling father of six, which made me a natural ally of VodkaPundit and Michelle Malkin in supporting the Sept. 8 boycott of the Obama Mass Indoctrination (which was opposed by Allah and CJ).
Secondly, if you want to see what "total withdrawal from American culture" looks like, go watch some of the PJTV interviews with Charles Johnson that Smitty linked earlier. If sitting around feeding your 24/7 paranoiac obsession with blog commenters is "American culture," then I guess my confident, outgoing children -- all hail the mighty Brick Squad! -- are freaks. (Of CJ's recent madness, one Christian blogger recently e-mailed to tell to me, "It's demon possession, straight up." Don't know if that was before or after seeing those videos of pale, nervous, shifty-eyed Charles.)
As I've said before, Charles Johnson seems to live a hermit's existence. He is rumored to be so introverted as to be anti-social, even misanthropic. If Mad King Charles hates populism -- and is he fixated on that 9/12 rally, or what? -- maybe it's because he hates people.
By contrast, I'm a notorious party animal, especially when I'm hanging out with friends like Ann Coulter. And I just got a helpful Facebook note from that notorious member of the "Christian far right," Baldilocks. Remember, there are five A's in raaaaacism!