More conservatives rejecting their one-time idol Charles Johnson

(Note: This entry was prepared five days ago but was not posted until now. What reminded me to put it online was an article at Gates of Vienna today that not only discusses the same subject, but takes the same angle on it that I take, namely that the very people now denouncing Charles Johnson remained silent about his outrages for the last two years, until he personally attacked them. To my astonishment, the author of the article, “Baron Bodissey,” the host of GoV, singles out for particular censure Robert Spencer, about whom, to my knowledge, he has never before said a negative word. He points out that Spencer declined to criticize Johnson (indeed Spencer publicly avowed his friendship with Johnson and praised him as “illustrious”), even after Johnson had spent weeks smearing Spencer’s fellow anti-jihadists as fascists and Nazis. Bodissey also gives me credit for being one of a tiny handful of writers who exposed and denounced Johnson’s lies from the start. Is the article a sign that truth is becoming more important in the anti-jihad movement than protecting one’s relationships with certain “illustrious” personages? That would be a wonder to behold.)

James P. writes:

I haven’t looked at LGF [Little Green Footballs] in a long time, but apparently Charles Johnson has been wildly lashing out at conservatives (“fascists”) and purging his blog of all who disagree.

See this, at

As Geller noted last November, Johnson began throwing more and more conservatives under his Little Green Bus, calling them “fascists” and so forth. The monomaniacal relentlessness of his attacks has finally compelled nearly every conservative blog—including such stalwarts as Powerline, Riehl World View, Gateway Pundit, Ace of Spades and The Jawa Report, to name but a few—to repudiate Johnson, and Michelle Malkin’s recently designated LGF a “Left” site.

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.

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.

And also at Hot Air

In sum, everyone else has finally noticed what you noticed about him back in 2007.

LA replies:

One thing I can’t help noticing about these entries is how personal they all are. They don’t talk about the nature of Charles Johnson’s writings but rather about whether “Charles Johnson my friend, is being nice/nasty to me.” Also, the attacks on Johnson are often of a childish nature themselves, saying such things as that he acts like a third grade girl.

As an example of this persona angle, the blogger you link at HotAir, “the Other McCain,” writes

Ever since he attacked me for covering the 9/12 March On DC, I’ve been at war with Johnson,

Meaning that Johnson’s insanity over the last two years made no impression on him. Meaning that he had no problem with Johnson until Johnson attacked him personally. The same was true of Robert Spencer, who, AFTER Johnson had already engaged in extensive attacks on conservative and anti-jihad writers, expressed warm friendship and admiration for Johnson. It was only when Johnson called Spencer a fascist sympathizer (as I recall, it was for something as ordinary and trivial as having Brussels Journal on his blog roll) and officially banished him from his world, that Spencer stopped liking Johnson. If Johnson had not personally condemned and ostracized Spencer, Spencer would be friends with him to this day.

The Other McCain continues:

With the can’t-look-away horror of driving past a deadly car wreck, the entire conservative blogosphere has been gripped with lurid fascination as Johnson continues his self-destructive path to full-bore left-wing lunacy.

Well, I’m part of the conservative blogosphere and I don’t share this fascination. That’s partly because I was never interested in LGF in the first place. I found the site off-putting, first, because of its weird name, which to me indicated something amiss, and second because of its intensely neurotic cartoon logo in which a green football is bouncing toward a person as he screams with terror. The editor of this site was obviously not a healthy person. The only time I read LGF was when someone sent me a link to a particular article there.

Meanwhile, I see that Powerline has approached the Charles Johnson issue with its usual intensity and passion:

Suffice it to say (suffice it for me to say, anyway) that Charles’s political inclinations and interests now diverge widely from our own.

For readers not familiar with them, here are my articles about Johnson, starting in October 2007, when I became aware of his amazing attacks on Vlaams Belang, Paul Belien, and Brussels Journal.

- end of initial entry -

October 5

Terry Morris writes:

Gates of Vienna, as I recall it, was one of the early casualties of Johnson’s mission to dissociate himself from all things ‘fascist.’ I remember reading an article at GoV about the then very young dispute between them—I think this was sometime in 2007—though I can’t remember most of the finer details. As I recall it, though, Baron was basically expressing shock and a strong sense of regret that their relationship with Johnson had so abruptly ended on such a sour note, with appeals to Johnson’s higher sense of justice.

(Disclaimer: I could be recalling it all wrong, but that is the way I remember it.)

In any event it’s good to see that conservatives are finally beginning to recognize what a twisted nutjob this guy Johnson is. Or should I put it this way:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Larry for exposing Charles Johnson for what he really is. You’re sooooo right about him. Where would we all be without you! (My attempt at a parody of LGFers, of course.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 04, 2009 10:33 PM | Send

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