It is interesting that Johnson's hate list appeared just hours after I spoke at length with a New York Times reporter -- excited by his move leftward, they're doing a big story on Johnson. Coincidence? Of course!Heh. "Question the timing!" Spencer has been one of Johnson's numerous victims, and we may suppose that the NY Times will portray Mad King Charles as a courageous truth-teller.
PREVIOUSLY: So I woke up at 4 a.m. and the first thing I did was check Site Meter -- we ended November with more than 260,000 visitors for the month. The next thing I did was to check Twitter, where I saw this message from John Rambo:
@willwilkinson @rsmccain is a fascist? Coulter is a white supremacist? Sarah Palin is antiscience & homophobic? And he ignores lib. lunacy!This was my first inkling that libertarian Will Wilkinson -- a notorious dope fiend! arrest him! -- was on Twitter. So I followed him, went over to his blog and saw his engagement with the neo-Keynesian madness of Brad DeLong. Hmmm. Worthy blog fodder.
OK, so now it was time to check the blog fodder motherlode, Memeorandum and . . . whoa!
Little Green FootballsExactly what prompted this? Why this? Why now? Your guess is as good as mine.
Why I Parted Ways With The Right
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.) — 2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
No, that's wrong. My guess is probably much better than yours, because I followed the whole thing -- LGF and the Madness of King Charles -- back to its roots. So far as can be determined, CJ's descent into madness began when Johnson attacked Pamela Geller for her attendance at the October 2007 Brussels conference.
CJ kept up the attacks, which expanded to include Jihad Watch, Gates of Vienna, Diana West and others -- serially throwing them under his Little Green Bus -- but the rest of the conservative blogosphere tried to ignore it. Shortly before the 2008 election, CJ declared Robert Spencer of JihadWatch unlinkable:
Paul Belien of Brussels Journal is deeply connected with the Vlaams Belang, and Robert knows this. The fact that he’s put them back in his blogroll speaks volumes about the choice he's made.You see the control-freak method here: CJ declares that a list of people and groups (in this case, Brussels Journal, Paul Belien, Vlaams Belang, Gates of Vienna) are unacceptable. Anyone who doesn't accept CJ's categorization is a "sympathizer" and therefore also unacceptable. Gates of Vienna quipped:
And Gates of Vienna has turned into a reeking sewer of racism. I'm done with Robert Spencer. And very, very disappointed in him.
As the arbiter of membership in the Counterjihad, Charles Johnson has finally made it official: he’s a Counterjihad of One.All of that happened before Election Day 2008. It wasn't until after Election Day that I finally spoke out:
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has apparently decided that the problem with the conservative movement is that it needs more purges, and Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs seems to be his designated scapegoat. . . .That was Nov. 5, 2008. In February of this year, I spoke out again when CJ attacked Ann Coulter and spoke out again in April when Johnson smeared Pamela Geller as a "Poster Girl for Eurofascists." Two days later, after CJ threatened Michelle Malkin (!) because she continued linking JihadWatch, I wrote:
Pam is a good person and I would suggest that this guilt-by-association "urge to purge" is antithetical to the best interests of conservatism. You can't build a movement by the process of subtraction.
Is there someone -- anyone -- who can stop this madness?Apparently not. If the conservative movement would not acknowledge Charles Johnson's authority to decide who was and was not acceptable as a member of the conservative movement, then Johnson would not be a member of the conservative movement.
It would have been nice if he would have made his rules of engagement clear at the outset, or at least issued some kind of warning before he started denouncing people willy-nilly. But he has played the part of a scoundrel, and the damage he inflicted on the counter-jihad alliance -- those who, like Geller and Spencer, have dedicated themselves to fighting Islamofascism -- was quite real.
Giving us a glimpse at the bats that occupy his belfry, CJ randomly lumps in anti-war critics of the Bush administration -- Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell -- with Ann Coulter, et al. The nonsensical nature of his categorizations is exposed as he continues down his list of "reasons" for denouncing the Right:
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.) . . .Wait a minute: Alex Jones? The 9/11 Truther guy? Is there any conservative blogger who hasn't taken a swipe at that particular punching bag? And how does Limbaugh merit inclusion in the same category? But never mind that -- "climate deniers"? After the CRU revelations, isn't that pretty much everybody?
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
The conclusive evidence that Mad King Charles has slipped into the zero-self-awareness zone occupied by Andrew Sullivan comes when he points the finger at his fellow bloggers and former allies in the counter-jihad:
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)(Vinnie the Jawa replies: "Translation: Anyone that criticizes Charles Johnson.")
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)(Vinnie the Jawa replies: "You left out 'Little Green Football Archives.'")
Bingo, Vinnie! Johnson spent years doing exactly what he now accuses others of doing. But that was back when "anti-Islamic bigotry" was what The Cool Kids did and, at some point, CJ decided The Cool Kids should do something else.
When The Cool Kids wouldn't let CJ make the rules? Well, they weren't The Cool Kids anymore.
End of story. Except that notorious hate-monger Ace of Spades has a few things to say. Heh.
UPDATE: Carl in Jerusalem is among the Legion of the Banned:
Once upon a time, I was a mere commenter on Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs. Eventually, I posted so many well-received comments on LGF that I started this blog. I admired Charles Johnson as one of the righteous gentiles. Life was good.Admit it, Carl: You're a hate-monger. Just like Ace of Spades. And Pamela Geller. And Robert Spencer. And Ann Coulter. And . . .
But like more than 1,500 other people, when Charles turned Left in November 2008, I became expendable and was eventually banned from posting on LGF.
UPDATE II: To theorize an answer to the "why now" question about CJ's denunciation, how about his mention of SIOE (Stop the Islamicization of Europe)? Just yesterday, Pamela Geller put up a post with this headline:
What obtrudes in CJ's hate-list modus operandi is that he cannot rationally prioritize dangers. Pamela Geller, creationists, Tea Party crowds, global-warming skeptics and Sarah Palin are, in the demented mind of Mad King Charles, as dangerous as al Qaeda. Or me.
Speaking of me, friends are jealous of my conspicuous inclusion in Johnson's demonology. It has been his evident intent to deprive me of my livelihood as a journalist: Why else did he bide his time before choosing to attack Pajamas Media for paying me to cover the 9/12 March on DC? (Roger Simon is a friend and I'd been contributing to PJM since May 2008, but after 9/12, PJM editor Rick Moran rejected all my offers for further contributions, which is why none of my coverage of the Bill Sparkman case or the NY23 campaign appeared at PJM.)
So I've enjoyed the laughter as Johnson (who pulled out of PJM in 2007, which some at the time suspected was due to Johnson's resentment of Michelle Malkin) has destroyed his own once-successful site and resorted to the blogospheric equivalent of "busking." Despite CJ's transparent malice, I have kept in mind the advice Andrew Jackson got from his mother:
"Never tell a lie, nor take what is not your own, nor sue anybody for slander, assault and battery. Always settle them cases yourself."Whatever harm CJ has inflicted on me or anyone else, his "success" in turning Little Green Footballs into an unprofitable imitation of Daily Kos is as much vindication as any of his victims can expect.
Vindication, however, doesn't pay the bills. So if you feel an urge to hit the Big Tip Jar Of Hate -- hey, don't fight the feeling.
UPDATE II: Jules Crittenden provides the crazy-hating exegesis and adds this comment:
I would have preferred a detailed description of the moment when all that inclusive thoughtful concern hit him like a silver bullet, when the switch flipped on the bright shining light on the road to Damascus, when . . . enveloped by its warm, mentally balanced, nurturing embrace . . . he started frothing about the hateful craziness.Of course, CJ hasn't traveled the road to Damascus, but the road to Bedlam. Rhetorical engagement might require us to stipulate, hypothetically, that perhaps not all liberals are insane. But Johnson's addition to their ranks undermines that hypothesis.
Dan Riehl has seen enough blog-wars to be war-weary. He observes, "When even tempered blogger James Joyner fisks you into ridiculousness, you know you've, well, jumped the lizard, I suppose," and further comments:
Chuckles isn't having an awakening, he's simply living out whatever the hell it is that passes for a reality of sorts in his cyber-induced dream-dementia of a world.Dead on the money, Dan. My 8-year-old son just brought me an egg-salad sandwich and chips. He made the egg salad himself, from the brown eggs provided by the chickens in our backyard.
That's reality. My wife, my kids, my friends -- reality.
The abstract symbolism of ideological debate on the Internet? Well, at some point, if you start taking that crap too seriously, you can become detached from reality, and begin ranting at people as if they were merely symbols, projected visions of your own externalized fears.
Those who take the historical view of such things will be tempted to wonder: Is the fact that CJ first signaled his madness by lashing out at Pamela Geller entirely coincidental?
Merely a point to ponder while I remind you of my own reality, where people at the heating-oil company and the cell-phone company expect bills to be paid or they'll shut me off. Hit the Big Tip Jar of Hate.