Chuck Johnson is at it again. He must be out on a weekend pass. I feel compelled to answer the Little Green Monster after I saw him go after James O’Keefe with that same tired wet noodle of a charge he has leveled at so many, calling him a white nationalist. Johnson claimed in an LGF post that “ACORN sting filmmaker James O’Keefe was photographed attending a 2006 white nationalist conference titled ‘Race and Conservatism.'”
Sounds terrible, right? Sure, until you get the facts that Johnson doesn’t tell you. When it became clear that it wasn’t a “white nationalist conference,” Johnson tried to slither out of responsibility for his words by saying in a new post: “It’s very clear that I attributed the ‘white nationalist conference’ claim to One People’s Project; that’s what the words ‘according to’ mean.”
Busted! As if it weren’t obvious that in his original post, he was approving of and endorsing what One People’s Project said. But this is typical of Johnson’s weaselly hit-and-run smear tactics.
Meanwhile, Larry O’Connor at Big Journalism uncovered the truth about O’Keefe’s supposed participation in this conference:
1. He was not “manning a table” at the event.
2. He was not involved with the organization or operations of the event.
3. He attended the event with many of his Leadership Institute co-workers since it was right across the street from their building in Arlington, Va., and it was organized by other LI associates.
4. The organizer who is being called a “White Supremacist” is half Jewish and half Korean.
5. One of the panelist was an African-American named Kevin Martin.
The event was forced to move to a Georgetown University building in Arlington, not at a cross-burning.
This is what Johnson does. He has gotten a great deal of publicity for his announcement about how he parted ways with the Right, but the real story of Charles Johnson is not even that he changed his mind or his politics. Little Green Footballs today is not a political site. It’s an attack site. He has set about to destroy the most effective voices on the Right. But in fact, he destroyed himself.
In the New York Times profile of Johnson on January 24, I noted what he has been doing since late 2007: “the way he went after people was like a mental illness. There’s an evil to that, a maliciousness.” I was one of the first he went after, when he called me a white supremacist advocate in 2007 for attending a counter-jihad conference in Brussels that he claimed was “neo-fascist.” When I was slated to introduce Mark Steyn at CPAC 2008, Johnson initiated an intimidation campaign. Mark Steyn wrote me later that Johnson had written both to him and to his publisher, warning them that I was “dangerous and crazy,” and that I should be disinvited from CPAC. But Steyn, a mensch, looked into Johnson’s charges and found nothing there.
I introduced Steyn as scheduled, and Johnson’s later attempts at the personal destruction of freedom fighters were even less effective. He targeted Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and many others, always with the same tired lies: Racist! Fascist! Neo-Nazi! White supremacist!
And now it’s James O’Keefe’s turn.
But while Johnson may fool some gullible people, his day in the sun is over. His influence and his traffic are guttersnipe low. The only ones who take him seriously anymore are the dwindling numbers of people who still listen to the dinosaur media. When Johnson was masquerading as a rational and decent voice with a circulation of 120,000 unique visitors a day, no one in big media ever paid him any mind. But since he became a turncoat and transformed LGF into a website of hate and smears, the left has come knocking like a sailor who just got paid.
Recently the Los Angeles Times did a mind-numbing puff piece on him, and the pathetic Barrett Brown of Vanity Fair wrote a sycophantic piece about this slug whom they once reviled and despised. They were trying to turn Johnson into a recruiting tool for on-the-fence moderate bloggers and spineless right-wing bloggers. The message was that you, too, can be a media star! All you have to do is turn on your friends and deep-six your principles. You’ll remain invisible when you espouse rational and logical argument, but stab your allies in the back and you too will be the dahlink of the left.
But wait, it gets better. Chuck, groveling, stepping and fetching to garner favor with his new overlords of the left, fell short with the New York Times. Times reporter Jonathan Dee, who penned the piece, actually wrote responsibly. And while I don’t agree with all he wrote, Dee was fair. Robert Spencer explained:
The irrational hatred and determination to destroy others no matter what lies need to be told to do it, the paranoia, the roaring-mouse totalitarianism and cultishness, the self-obsession and self-righteous preening, the howlingly superficial thought processes — in short, every tendency we have come to know and love in Charles Johnson over the last two years is on display in this piece.
He has been exposed again and again since 2007. No one should take Charles Johnson seriously anymore. Least of all any supporter of James O’Keefe.