January 23, 2010

This week — that terrible week for liberals — seems like a good time for a big NYT Magazine article on the "Right-Wing Flame War!" started by Charles Johnson.

As I've already said, Little Green Footballs is a blog that always repelled me. It felt hateful and extreme. But I've been aware that it flipped and became about calling other people hateful and extreme. So I took the trouble to read the story in the NYT. It's pretty weird:
IN OCTOBER 2007, Johnson was asked to take part in what was billed as a Counter-Jihad Conference in Brussels, a gathering of fewer than a hundred politicians and opinion leaders from around the world who convened to share ideas and strategies for combating the spread of militant Islam. Johnson was not the only writer invited — Geller was there, as well as Robert Spencer of jihadwatch.org (a Web site Johnson himself designed), to name two — but he did not go. “I’m just not a joiner of these things,” he says.

The conference finished up in Brussels, and “the next day,” Johnson remembers, “people were e-mailing me saying, ‘You might want to cover this.’ So I started looking into it.” He discovered that among the conference’s 90 or so participants — though not among the speakers — was a man named Filip Dewinter, a leader of a Belgian-nationalist political party called Vlaams Belang, or “Flemish Interest.” Vlaams Belang, which has a history that reaches back to the wrong side of World War II, has an unabashed record of inflammatory rhetoric and hateful, opportunistic verbal viciousness of all sorts; a few years ago, for example, the party announced an advertising campaign in Moroccan newspapers and magazines to “discourage foreigners from coming to our country.” And as recently as 2004, it was condemned by the Belgian Supreme Court for incitement to discrimination and racial segregation. (The party responded by changing its name.) Even to most right-wing sensibilities, Vlaams Belang is certainly beyond the pale. Still, whether or not Dewinter, who has said that “in Flanders, the multicultural society has led to a multicriminal society,” is more extreme than the commenters who appeared regularly on Little Green Footballs seems like a subject on which right-wing minds might reasonably disagree. Perhaps that still happens somewhere. Gray, however, is not a popular shade on the Internet.

It seems borderline ridiculous that the political character of an extremist Belgian party, which in the last parliamentary election captured just 17 seats out of 150 in the Chamber of Representatives, should become the issue over which a kind of civil war among American conservatives broke out, but that is what happened.
So Belgium got to him?! Here's this guy who somehow can't go to a conference, and then he fixates on somebody in the audience at a conference, and then makes all kinds of connections from there. Well, there's something very strange about the mind of Charles Johnson. Does it mean anything more generally about right-leaning people on the web? Does the NYT want it to?

UPDATE: Charles Johnson noticed this post and responded:
A very ignorant post from someone who knows nothing about it. I make no apologies for wanting to distance myself from European fascist groups -- and there is no doubt that they wanted to get me on their side at one point.
The expression "I make no apologies" would only make sense if I had somehow criticized him for wanting to distance himself from European fascist groups, which I didn't do. I just puzzled over how his mind put together the problem that he needed to take action about. I make no apologies for not knowing anything more about it than I could read in the New York Times... or for finding the old Little Green Footballs too hateful to want to read.
Althouse is clueless, yet her mouth still runs.
This kind of bullshit insult doesn't make me want to do any more research about Johnson. I read a NYT article about him and wrote a short post about it. If there is some mysterious backstory that's missing from the NYT, why not tell me about it? I'm not a useless, ignorant person because I don't know it, whatever it is. Why lash out like this? I'm sticking with my original impression that he's got too much free-floating anger. Toxic.

UPDATE 2: "I was one of the organizers of the Brussels event, and I was the person who wrote to Charles Johnson to invite him... Filip Dewinter was indeed a speaker at the conference... [T]o assert that there is some 'guilt by association' with Filip Dewinter is to give credence to the idea that the Vlaams Belang leader deserves the 'fascist' smears that have been so frequently aimed at him." I have no background or opinion on this myself. I'm linking to that for what it's worth and out of a sense of fairness.


rhhardin said...

How else are liberals going to learn about the right wing flame war if the NYT doesn't tell them?

David said...

"Does it mean anything more generally about right-leaning people on the web? Does the NYT want it to?"

1. No

2. Qualified yes. It's not that they want it to. They just can't see it any other way.

I stopped reading LGF three or four years ago. It just wasn't interesting.

I read blogs/aggregators every day. Power Line, Instapundit, Althouse, RCP, Contentions, Watts Up with That, Huffington, Becker-Posner, Coates.

I have not seen a right wing flame war in these or similar places.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

I followed LGF for years and commented occasionally. But stopped mid-2009 when Charles blasted all those who weren't stalwart supporters of an exclusive evolutionary view of life. So, I advertised my "see you later" and Charles responded as the gentleman he is. To hear otherwise is disheartening yet until I see it myself, my respect for Charles remains as it was.

Do recall that Charles started out as a liberal yet it was the 9/11 terror attacks, which he responded to as a true patriot, and he is that indeed. Still, he rides a bicycle so who knows.

John Lynch said...

Oh, Althouse stands up to get flamed.

Maybe you'll become yet another favorite target over at LGF.

I stopped reading it a while ago. LGF's main contributions to the political debate were chipping away at the PC umbrella over Islam and breaking the Rathergate forgery.

Now we have a much easier time talking about Islam, and LGF deserves some credit for that. I think the sheer number of terrorist attacks from professed Muslims had more to do with it, but it still helped. Arguments about the meaning of "jihad" and how terrorism is "un-Islamic" have largely disappeared. Johnson's most effective tactic was to simply post translated Arab and Iranian media, and let the speakers damn themselves.

The Rathergate forgery was a big deal, and I think permanently changed the landscape between big media and the internet. A simple, common sense, method that anyone could understand (the flashing overlay) had discredited a media giant. CBS couldn't bury it.

ricpic said...

Ah yes, the hateful hatefulness. Only when the call to prayer wails above our heads from minaret to minaret five times a day will the hatefulness stop.

Charlie Martin said...

The most amazing part is that CJ is apparently the only person to take Belgium seriously since 1940.

John Lynch said...

Don't discount Belgium. Belgium took over Europe without firing a shot.

Maguro said...

Poor CJ. He was about to get some "strange, new respect" from the NYT, but they just ended up making him look like a nut.

Revenant said...

There are plenty of left-leaning people who got temporarily reclassified as "right-wing" because they supported the war on terrorism after 9/11. Charles Johnson is one of them; Andrew Sullivan is another.

But neither was ever a "conservative" in any meaningful sense of the word.

SMGalbraith said...

They make great waffles.

Johnson makes the error that both sides - well nearly everybody - makes of choosing extreme examples and then holding them up and saying, "See! This is who they are." Confirmation bias, so it's called.

He and too many of his supporters did it, in my view, with Muslims and now he's moved on.

David said...

"Don't discount Belgium. Belgium took over Europe without firing a shot."


Lem said...

In blog time this happened years ago..

Now the NYT is getting around to writing about it?

This is just another Brown aftershock.

El Pollo Real said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
campy said...

"Belgium" is the rudest word in the Universe, according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (US edition.)

El Pollo Real said...

Perhaps Johnson suffers from CRI and we should pray for him instead of mocking him.

There is a middle ground between Vlaams Belang and the multicultis that Johnson is ignoring because he's too busy picking fights.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The sad thing is that for years and years LGF was most emphatically NOT "hateful and extreme". Johnson took a pretty clear-eyed view of the threat of Islamic Jihad while giving no quarter to those whom he considered racists. He hasn't flipped a 180 and used the same methods of discourse on different opponents; he's genuinely changed in how he handles conflict and disagreement along with his change in orientation.

To borrow from Kaus on Sullivan, CJ hasn't just shifted from conservative to liberal, he's gone from pragmatic to excitable.

Revenant said...

The NYT article really does make Johnson look like a nut. Ouch.

Titus said...

Who really cares?

Kirby Olson said...

I thought Johnson came off as sane, but his coterie came off as insane.

Rose said...

Charles Johnson spends his days maniacally patrolling his blog threads, cackling like a madman as he stalks his own readers there and elsewhere on the web. Scroll through any thread for the green comments (his) and you will see him baiting, berating, denigrating and then banning his own readers. Anyone who dares pop their head up gets whacked. His threads are more often than not about himself, about his beefs with other bloggers and his "woe is me" hate mail. The bannings have slowed down...

Any doubts about what is going on can be allayed by googling banned + Little Green Footballs.

You can also check out the List of The Banned at http://kirls.blogspot.com/2009/05/banned-monium.html ... catch up with old friends who were banned at theblogmocracy.com/ 1,700 so far that we know of, add your name if it isn't there, and stop in to Table 9, the new Lounge. We're always looking for people we lost touch with.

These are some other fun sites, and there are many more to add:
LGF 2 The Blogmocracy (FormerlyLittleGreenFootballs2) where ex-LGFers can once again participate in free wheeling, raucous, fun discussions.
LGF Banned & Blocked (A history) A fascinating read (wow and updated!)
LGF Watch
As their Lizard World Turns Hilarious! Highly recommended.
ChenZen's post
Devil's Advocate's post
The famous Ace of Spades post
The 2nd Ace Post - What Has Happened To Little Green Footballs?
Yid With Lid banned

Michael said...

He had some good photos and remarks on his bike rides and some really good links to music that he was playing. Then he stopped the bike pics, then the music stopped playing, then the links to the music. Says it all.

The NYT writing on the right wing would be like me commenting on the gay club scene.

Chip Ahoy said...

Barrett Brown also covers the thing in Vanity Fair.

Reading these two interviews, I believe I understand Charles better. I too have sacrificed much to clear out my sandbox of elements I found damaging.

Pogo said...

Charles Johnson is the kindest , bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Palladian said...

"Titus said... Who really cares?"

Many of us ask ourselves the same question when we see the words "Titus said..." in the comments.

Pogo said...

But he's not Alex. Nope. Nuh-uh.

Palladian said...

Charles Johnson has always seemed a little mentally "delicate" to me.

Just like Andrew Sullivan.

Their problem is not that they are or were liberals or conservatives. It's something other than political ideology at work.

Palladian said...

"But he's not Alex. Nope. Nuh-uh."

Yes, it seems a little like he intended that comment to be made with his "Alex" account but forgot to sign out of (one of the thousands) of Titus accounts.

This is what has always perplexed me about the "Titus" character. Unlike a stupider troll such as "AJD", the writer of the Titus comments uses brand new Blogger accounts frequently. He/she used to change or append things to the "titus" name each time there was an account change but not anymore. Maybe there was a change of authorship. Or several.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMGalbraith said...

If he had a vague idea of European politics and history, he would know that the European Right is often odious in ways that Americans have a hard time fathoming.

Excellent observation.

Among other differences, it's much more statist than our own right (broad strokes, please). Class-oriented too. Anti-capitalist.

And it can be very anti-American.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I think I speak for conservative bloggers and commenters everywhere when I say: at least he's not Lonewacko.

Pundit Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

The Euros so-called Rightwing is strange indeed, and especially in its deeds. However, some of its Rightwings go all the way around that circle of life to the left and merge with the Marxists / Socialists. Recall that the clashes between Hitler's minions and The German Communists, otherwise "brother philosophies," were some of the most violent street clashes in history, brutal and deadly to many. Rose Luxemborg anyone?

However, too many here do not understand that Euro history, nor do they know much at all about the Extreme Marxists either.

Pity, because so much of what the Democrats are doing today reminds me of European style Marxist Statist efforts; that will work here only with the force of arms behind it.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Correction: "Rosa Luxemburg"

LonewackoDotCom said...

Paul Zrimsek really is obsessed with me, isn't he?

But, then again, they all are because I'm not a partisan hack and I don't like playing let's pretend, or misleading, or engaging in illogic, and all the other things that most political bloggers - left and right - do.

Here's a list of the few dozen or so sites that have banned me or deleted my comments. They certainly have a right to do that, but the point is that those listed are lightweights who, unable to muster an argument, try to silence someone who's willing to point out how they're wrong. There are a lot of little Charles Johnsons around.

Titus said...

I am not Alex Palladian. I know Pogo and you think I am but I am not. I understand you conduct all sorts of research on who is what here but I can honestly tell you I am not Alex. I sign in differently all the time because I always end up forgetting my password.

My "who really cares" is about the story about Charles whoever.

Now, off to dindin with the hubby.


Synova said...

Is going to some conference in Europe and finding out that there are invited participants who are human rights horrors or even murderers advocating government theft and plunging entire countries into decades long starvation and suffering really a good enough reason to shun the event or anyone else who attended?

Oh... we're not talking about Mugabe at Copenhagen...

... nevermind.

Synova said...

The European extreme right is a shocking sort of thing.

I sometimes wonder if it would be as extreme if the governments there didn't have laws restricting speech, say holocaust denial, or outlawing political parties.

It would seem to me that trying to shut down unacceptable speech and ideas just means that people with more moderate views are pushed into extremism because they feel that their legitimate concerns are ignored or criminalized.

Titus said...

Also, Palladian, you know me.

You know where I work, we have exchanged emails, we are like best girlfriends. I know you are a big softie behind that rough exterior.

Now give me a big hug and don't be so perplexed about this Titus guy.

Special Hugs.

Titus said...

I am going to miss Sasha's long program tonight.

She has to make it to the olympics.

Love her.

Windbag said...

Rose's post at 4:49 is a pretty comprehensive assessment of the situation. Worth a look.

wv: kingstop: n. guillotine, the people's veto

Titus said...

Just to clarify my "who cares" was why the NYTimes thought this was an important story rather than Althouse posting it.

Not dissing the blogess.

Now I got to get my clothes on.

The hubby is going to be here in 5.

If Alex posts while I am out it is not me. Why do Alex and I seem like the same person? That is an interesting question.

Trooper York said...

Somebody wants to start a fight.

miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Yep, Charles can hit back pretty hard, even when no one swing at him initially. But, then, that's life and sometimes life is not easy to adjust to nor not!

Charles LGF was interesting and then it become uninteresting, so I'll log out now; vacation time perhaps.

Seven Machos said...

Meh. Who cares about Charles Johnson? The commentariat reflects the blogger, and his is full of twaddle on both sides.

It's a better haus here. You shouldn't be talking about this guy, Althouse. He should be talking about you.

rcocean said...

CJ has always been a know-nothing and a hater. As long as he hated the "right people" (Islam,Arabs, Buchanan, opponents of the Iraq war, Coulter, Talk Radio, "the religious Right") he was OK per Pajama's Media, Hugh Hewitt, Hot air, NRO, Weekly Standard, etc.

Conservatives should have kicked CJ out of the movement years ago. Now he's gone honest and calls himself a liberal - thank goodness.

Cedarford said...

jeff with 1 - The sad thing is that for years and years LGF was most emphatically NOT "hateful and extreme".

While they were helpful in fighting Leftist apologists, the Clueless Dubya's "REligion of Peace" garbage and his dumb wifes prattling about Afghans liberated from their Burquas - from the earliest, LGF was a "hate the Muslims" site.

They attracted the "nuke Mecca" and "Our Beloved Israel, Uber Alles" crowd.

Boehm - The Continental European right wing, on the other hand, often consists of a witch's brew of royalists, Fascists and pagan nativists (the Nazis having been the template), arch-conservative Catholics and the odd Protestant same, unrepentant militarists, skinheads, racists.

Many people miss that the National Socialist had profoundly Leftist, socialist views and were thought by many Communist butchers to be a precursor, infected with race and nationalism, to true communism which would supplant the Nazis soon.
And the Jewish Bolsheviks, then Stalin who inherited their Red Terror - had very prudish cultural values on sex, nudity, drugs..etc.

But the big butchers were the Socialists and communists, not the right wing. And the Germans that opposed Hitler the most became the Church, the Conservatives, and the "pure capitalists".

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

I always found LGF and Johnson a more than a little "culty," even when I agreed with him.

Now he's like the Soup Nazi: "No blog for you!"

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

I recommend a rap on the knuckles with a tightly wound umbrella.

SMGalbraith said...

I never got the impression that Charles Johnson and (especially) his supporters fully understood Islam.

That is, how a 1,500 year old religion of billions of people across several continents and numerous races could appeal to people.

Bernard Lewis, in my readings, is about the best in explaining this mystery.

Man and God. Human beings and the universe. That appeal.

Steve Reynolds said...

I didn't need LGF to prove Memogate, although many people needed the jump start. Otherwise I never paid him much attention. I don't much care to slog through 100's of vulgur comments anyway.

Bobby Thompson didn't make the Hall of Fame by hitting one really famous home run.

1jpb said...

Here he is in a recent BHTV thing w/ Conn Carrol.

I listened to this a while ago. He didn't seem insane, but Conn did get the better of him.

chuck b. said...

It's a bad week for Democrats. It was a bad week for liberals when someone thought Martha Coakley (spelling?) was a good idea.

Re LGF: You know lots of people who seem mentally stable are crazy as hell. What so great about mental stability.

traditionalguy said...

An angry mam stirs up strife...Proverbs 29:2.

Chip Ahoy said...

That does it, Theo!

))) WHAP (((

* looks up vaporetti *

Oh. Boats.

The Crack Emcee said...

I stopped reading LGF daily after the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden debate, when I noticed few of his (rabid) commentors saw the same thing I did. It made me wonder how reality-based they were.

When CJ started in on Stacy McCain (The Other McCain), calling him a southern redneck and such, I did a post about it and got banned. No biggie - I wasn't really reading him anyway.

If anything, CJ tells you all you need to know about liberals. They don't just criticize - which I'm totally down with - but seek to injure in any way they can.

CJ's crazy.

Synova said...

"Believe me, Synova, good, upstanding Christian mechanicks and yeomen are not being driven into the arms of the Nazis and skinheads on the European Continent because they cannot peaceably assemble and debate their views."

I think it would take more to convince me that people can speak freely when they can't even wear a Nazi costume to a party!

FloridaSteve said...

Ugh... I so wish you hadn't dipped your toe int the paranoid world of LGF. Now it'll flame up to the point that you'll likely find it difficult to NOT respond. Please resist the urge. there's too much of that going on around him as it is. I'd include Sullivan in that one.

Trooper York said...

You know Snooky went around on the boardwalk doing handstands to flash her thong and throwing the skanks out of the hot tub and yelling at dudes in bars and general starting up with everyone all the time to get attention.

And then she wondered why a crazy drunk dude popped her in the snoot.

Just sayn'

Alex said...

Crack - to be fair there are plenty of right-wing fire breathers on the 'net. Michelle Malkin for one. The comments on Hotair.com are mostly vile.

bagoh20 said...

I'm one of the banned at LGF, under a different ID. I wish I could take pride in it for some brave stand I took, but all I did was say that I thought he over reacted to something Glenn Beck said once. That was it. He deleted my comment and canceled my account. I was leaving anyway, but it seemed childish.

I want to be banned and despised for who I really am - not just willy nilly.

bagoh20 said...

It's important to separate bloggers from those who comment on their site. Sometimes as with CJ it is representative but, like Ann, many let the crap fly and settle as it it will. I like that. Ann is very different from her commenters.

Likewise, I like Michelle Malkin. Alex what has she written that is untrue or unfair?

Trooper York said...

Well if you had a vestigal penis like Jeremy, you deserve to be banned for having a Nilly Willy.

So to speak.

Lyle said...

Johnson isn't a great thinker and he takes stuff way too personally. He also is overly suspect of people for the littlest of things. It's Johnson's California world view and nothing else.

kynefski said...

He didn't seem insane, but Conn did get the better of him.

If by getting the better of someone, you mean dismissing everything they say.

Which is another way of recommending the diavlog to the Althouse commentariat. You'll love Conn.

kcom said...

I felt sure that Ann would quote this section if and when she did a post about the article:

Regarding comments -
"This is one area where I did change," Johnson admitted. "I realized you can't just let it be free speech. It doesn't work that way on the Internet. Total free speech is a recipe for anarchy when people can’t see each other."

But she didn't mention it and neither has anyone else here. I certainly immediately thought of Althouse when I first read that part of the article. It seems to me that his statement is a generalization not supported by the evidence at hand. I don't see anarchy in front of me.

rcocean said...

-Doctor, You said that CJ had problems which he handled well. Could you describe the problems?

-The main problem concerns childhood inferiority feelings, aggravated by adult experiences.

- what were those adult experiences?

- He'd undergone a lot of strain.
Long, arduous blogging and biking.
That's all I can say.

- would he easily admit mistakes?
- None of us do.

- would he be a perfectionist?
- Yes.

-Inclined to hound and ban Commentators about small details? would he find people hostile?

-that's part of the picture.

-If criticized, would he feel unjustly persecuted?

-It all stems from the premise
that he must try to be perfect.

Doctor, You have testified that these symptoms exist in CJ's behavior:

Rigidity of personality,feelings of persecution,and a neurotic certainty he is always right. Isn't there one psychiatric term
for this illness?

- I never mentioned any illness.
- Thank you for the correction.

-what would you call a personality
with all these symptoms?

-A paranoid personality. But that is not a disabling illness.

- what kind of personality?
- Paranoid.

Donna B. said...

I didn't have a clue what the "blogosphere" was until a friend sent me a link to LGF and the blinking Word document.

I registered and posted a few comments there about the typeface and available equipment at the time because I actually knew something about it... having been employed setting type during that era.

It was the links to other bloggers that got me reading... primarily Instapundit. He's one of the few from that era that I still read.

LGF without Rathergate was much too hateful for my taste, both Charles Johnson and his commenters.

Why anyone cares what he says these days is beyond me.

Seven Machos said...

I think this site is far better in content and making you think than Little Green Footballs ever was. And I usually like the commentariat here. Usually.

The question, to me, is what are the qualities of this site that keep the comments from getting outlandishly insane most of the time, especially when Althouse is such a free speech absolutist (I use the term glowingly).

Paul Zrimsek said...

- what kind of personality?
- Paranoid.

But Althouse DID make a duplicate key to the messroom and steal all the strawberries!

David Baker said...

My last email to Charles Johnson simply stated, "More Cowbell." That was several months ago, and I was referring to his obsession with the "Birther" issue. He considered the case closed, and said so, but kept posting it up over and over, taunting the then-silenced "birthers" in his midst (aka lizards).

When I pointed this out via a comment, that he himself was acting like a closet "Birther," Charles hit the delete button and bid me farewell.

My special interest in LGF stemmed from Rathergate, as I have a background in Questioned Document examination. Subsequently, I became a regular reader, particularly of LGF's "Links."

In the end, however, the incessant cowbell became a tad tedious.

John Lynch said...

American conservatives are liberals in Europe. "Liberal" means limited government, with constitutions, civil rights, and heavy emphasis on laws and procedures. It's putting power in a straitjacket, where the different parts of government pull against each other.

Locke kicked off the liberal revolution back in the late 17th century. Burke was actually reacting to it, but he believed a lot of the same things for different reasons. For Locke, government and its relation to the people was a universal thing. For him rights were God-given, natural, universal.

For Burke, the English government was just what tradition and custom had passed down in England. It was uniquely English, and not transferable. There was nothing natural or supernatural about it. He still believed in the rights of Englishmen, but only because they worked and were part of English tradition.

Natural rights as an idea live on, all over the world. Locke kicked off a global revolution that's still making its way eastward across the planet. Liberal democracy, with rights guaranteed to everyone, is revolutionary.

It seems to me that liberals in this sense are diametrically opposed to the European Right, which is all about tradition, blood and soil. That's exactly what Locke and his compatriots overthrew in 1688.

That's not to say that there aren't wide strains of American conservatism based on culture and tradition, but the Constitution itself has become part of that. It's hard to think of America without it.

So in a sense, Locke and Burke are both right.

BJM said...

Riehl piles on...in an amusing way.

Does anyone take CJ seriously anymore?

Ron Nelson said...

Tim Blair
probably has the last word on CJ:

"That shrinking support base and paranoid self-obsession seem like an ideal platform from which to launch The Next Big Internet Thing...The working title of this little project: 'Operation F**k Everyone'. It can’t possibly fail."

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cokaygne said...

Thank you, John Lynch and Theo Boehm for clearly and concisely explaining Burke, Locke, the European Right, and American conservatism to me. Your comments are great examples of why I love this blog and most of its commenters

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OhioAnne said...


Johnson was one of the original founders of Pajamas Media. Even though he is not part of the everday over there (or perhaps not at all), given his tendency toward paranoia, his response to you may reflect nothing more than revenge for your previous comments about PJM.

rastajenk said...

Just checking in to report that my experience with LGF parallels that of others here: once it was a good way to stay on top of important issues, now it's something completely different. Just like that Andy character.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Why do I keep seeing Johnson's name everywhere? I didn't see his name this much back when people read his site. In fact, I didn't see it ever and didn't even know what his name was, only the name of his site.

The couple of times I visited his site years ago were enough. He seemed like a really hacked off guy. Sounds like he's still a really hacked off guy. Yawn.

So who cares? And why does the NYT suddenly care about him now that he's lost most of his readership?

Omaha1 said...

CJ was so extreme at one point that I was afraid to read his site at work. I agreed with some of his opinions but he seemed to attribute the characteristics of the most radical Muslims to all Muslims. Now he is doing the same thing to everyone he perceives as "right wing".

Like Andrew Sullivan he claims to be objective, but every action by his enemy of the day is seen through a single prism (in Sully's case, gay marriage, in Johnson's case, evolution). The polarity changes but the vitriol remains the same. They are both incapable of "nuance" which is supposed to be so highly regarded by the so-called reality based community.

Steven said...

"just 17 seats out of 150 in the Chamber of Representatives" sounds pretty small . . . unless you actually know something about Belgian politics.

Right now, the two largest parties in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives each have 23 seats; #3 has 20, #4 has 18, Vlaams Belang is #5 with 16, #6 has 14, #7 has 12, #8 has 10, #9 has 7, #10 has five, and then there are two one-seat parties to round it out.

So, Vlaams Belang has a number of seats equal to 69.57% of the number of seats held by the largest party in the Chamber of Representatives. By comparison, before the election of Scott Brown, the Republican Party had 68.97% of the seats of the largest party in the Senate (with Liberman and Sanders counted as independents).

Mohamed said...

Conservatives are idiots.

They talk tough and achieved nothing in Iraq or Afghanistan. Conservatives are chicken hawks. Aint no Arab worried about them.

I am glad they went to Iraq and Afghanistan since now they have to shut up.

But for the Arabs it ain't over yet.

The zionist policies that US has been promoting has now created a financial and security problem for America.

All that tough neocon talk is dead and burried for now.

Only idiots fight for Jews and Israel. And only idiots are willing to die for zionism. No Jew would do it for America or Christianity.

Neocons are idiots.

Synova said...


Really incredible discussion of Locke and Burke and Lafayette... and then "neo-cons are poopy heads".


OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Ha, Mo, come on now! We're really nice people, never a bad word about anyone, you rag headed, smelly, goat lover!

Seven Machos said...

Mohamed is high sarcasm, right? The name is the tip off.

Southern said...

charlie johnson, ah he's pretty good liar. When you lie about your own lies, that's good.
On the one hand he writes a 4th grade post about:"Why I left conservatives." Then he claims:"I never was a conservative." A liar about a liar.
Pretty soon,he'll forget which end is the one you sit down on.

Georgfelis said...

Note to Charles: When writing a response post to an accusation that you are a loud mouthed jerk, you should at least try not to respond in a loud mouth jerk fashion.

Charles Fail!

KGS said...

As a participant to the Brussels Counter-Jihad conference in 2007, I must say that there is indeed a silver lining to all this brouhaha over fascism and what constitutes the Right-wing/conservatism and Left-wing/socialism etc..

Seeing the Glenn Beck & team at Fox has been doing a lions job on re-discovering the roots of, and connections between Fascism and Communism, we are now more sure than ever that Charles Johnson's claim about the Vlaams Belang consists of pure helium.

This has been an excellent opportunity to enlighten people about what real fascism is, and just how much it is a Left-wing ideology.

Seeing that the Vlaams Belang is a conservative party, whose ideology favors smaller government, reigning in of the nanny state, and a pro-Israel stance,...which does not win it very many votes in a racist/Leftist Europe...it's then safe to conclude that the VB is more in tune with Reagan style politics than many Repubs and a heck of alot of Dems.

Cheers from Finland.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Another participant from Brussels 2007 here - and I can testify that absolutely no trace of fascism was found. Lots of Jewish presence, which was nice.

Then, I didn't know much about fascism back then. Didn't interest me. The charges from Charles Johnson caused me to read up (not least Liberal Fascism - a blast!), and my conclusion was clear:

CJ understands neither fascism nor European politics. He should refrain from writing about stuff he does not understand, and in particular from throwing that 'fascist' slur against people he doesn't understand.

Fascism is evil, and that charge is not taken lightly. It is usually assumed that when it is used, there is substance to it, which earns the launcher of the charge some credit for warning against evil.

But repeatedly crying 'Wolf!', when no wolf is to be seen, destroys ones credibility. It's a shame, for LGF used to be a beacon of common sense and staunch defence of the West, but so be it.

Related, a list of mistakes that CJ never responded to, not to mention corrected.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Charles doesn't respond, that's for his "monitors," he rants instead.

Posted by "Olderthandirt" in another life.

wv: taxins due by April 15th.