Patterico's Pontifications


Charles Johnson Fails to Correct False Statement About Glenn Reynolds

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am

Charles Johnson hounded Andrew Breitbart for days for failing to make a correction Johnson believed should have been made. (Breitbart made the correction, even as he debunked Johnson’s evidence.) But Johnson is apparently quite content to leave his own assertions uncorrected.

On January 3, Johnson wrote a post titled Instapundit: ‘Shoeshine Boy’ Picture Not Racist:

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) says this picture of Barack Obama as a shoeshine boy isn’t racist — because Rush Limbaugh was a shoeshine boy.

Obama Shines Palin Shoes

In his original post, Reynolds called the Photoshop “racist.” Yes, he posted an update that linked Tom Maguire questioning this characterization, and said he found the racial stereotype to be “a bit shaky.” But Prof. Reynolds also subsequently posted this update:

STILL MORE: Okay, reader Michael Demmons thinks I’m excusing racism here. Well, my first reaction here was that the pic was racist; I was trying to be fair by noting Maguire’s response. I still think the pic was racist, but now that every criticism of Obama is called racist, I suppose I’ve gotten jaded . . . .

That update has been up since at least January 4.

Let’s review:

  • Charles Johnson: “Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) says this picture of Barack Obama as a shoeshine boy isn’t racist . . .”
  • Glenn Reynolds: “I still think the pic was racist . . .”

Despite this clear disparity between Charles’s post and the truth, there is no correction from Charles Johnson. Three days later. And counting.

I guess it’s OK to leave false statements uncorrected after all. As long as they’re about bloggers you have decided you no longer like.

P.S. But do we know Charles Johnson saw Reynolds’s update?

Yes, we do. I e-mailed him about it early yesterday morning.

68 Responses to “Charles Johnson Fails to Correct False Statement About Glenn Reynolds”

  1. Johnson jumped the shark months ago.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. I think it might could be racist to think it’s racist.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  3. Patterico email edited and published in 5, 4, 3, …. 😉

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  4. #1 Mike K.:

    Johnson jumped the shark months years ago.


    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  5. I think it is great that Patterico tries to hold people to their own standards. But Mr. Johnson, like Mr. Sullivan, have extended excursion plush seats on the observation deck of The Crazy Train these days.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  6. Face it, any picture of Obama is racist because he is black, and in Johnson World, nothing he says can be wrong, evah.

    kansas (689105)

  7. Eric

    You said a mouthful about the sullivan johnson crazy train. apparently sullivan wants us to invade isreal or something and that he was tired of isreal dictating our foreign policy.

    and then there is the theory that the nueterbomber was a hoax or something, because the man didn’t go and try it in the restroom.

    Earth to Sully. The guy wanted that specific seat for a reason: to have a better chance at igniting the fuel lines. if you were paying attention to more than Palin’s vajajay, you might have learned that.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  8. Why does anyone bother with Charles Johnson anymore? I don’t care that he’s gone full-blown leftist. I ignore him because he refuses to even pretend to debate in good faith – disagree with him and you’re gone, a banned non-person. The hell with that crap. Let him wither away into oblivion. Stop giving him traffic and clicks, because he’s made himself irrelevant.

    radar (98f691)

  9. AW, the neuter bomber was a Republican plant to make Obama look bad. Personally I think Dick Cheney put the PETN in the guys drawers.

    kansas (689105)

  10. radar not just that, but he is dishonest.

    Take the Brietbart story. The fact is a Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and a Bertha Lewis have visited. They say, no, no, they are not the same people. But i personally can’t believe that is all a giant coincidence.

    Of course here is theory #2. maybe none of these people came to the white house, but some other jokester or jokesters keeps writing down these names to f— with obama. which means people are coming into the white house without accurately identifying themselves. nice.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  11. Does anyone think liberals could stop lying even if they wanted to?

    Capitalist Infidel (38bec9)

  12. Because Johnson & Sullivan, anymore, are so reminiscent of the classic jr. high Mean Girls, it’s hard to take them too seriously. (It is amusing, though, to picture them throw little hissy fits when any dare to point out the error of their self-aggrandizing ways.)

    Dana (f64b7d)

  13. Calling racism has jumped the shark long ago.

    Why not do a picture review of the Bush years with all the left’s ‘funny’ Bush depictions.

    And I assume Rev Wright and his racist Black Liberation Theology isn’t racism? And then there was the Cambridge cop incident … Proves that Rev Wright’s BLT was viewed by some as true.

    The cartoon was just funny, not racist. Use Dean as the shoeshine boy and you see.

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  14. Yes, we do. I e-mailed him about it early yesterday morning.

    E-mailing black holes now are we?

    (I’m sure most of us are aware of the many stories of folks e-mailing Chuckles and never hearing a reply, except when, as noted above, Chuckles edits their e-mails and posts them up to his main site to smear the sender).

    chaos (9c54c6)

  15. AW, I like your theory about people signing in with fake names, but I believe you still have to show ID (like a driver’s license) that matches with the name they run a brief security check against.

    Who knows, though. It’s not like White House security is something to bet on.

    Regardless, it’s really strange that all these names showed up visiting the White House. What’s really funny is how Media Matters and LGF are acting basically in unison on this, particularly on Bertha’s middle initial (her dead husband’s surname started with E). Charles has, for quite a while, ran a persistent Obama spin front. I think he’s found a new source of income by passing along whatever he’s told to pass, Axelrod Style.

    Why should we care about whether Johnson issues a correction? I don’t know, but I’m compelled to.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. Why should we care about whether Johnson issues a correction? I don’t know, but I’m compelled to.

    Considering that about 40% of the posts on his main page are excoriations of conservatives for allegedly being liars, another 40% are excoriations of conservatives being homophobes, anti-science, and racists, another 10% are posts about how conservatives are heading into the “abyss,” and the other 10% are his idiotic open threads, I’d agree that pressuring him to hold some minimum level of accuracy and decency (a Sisyphean task, to be sure) is somewhat necessary.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  17. Why bring up Charles Johnson at all? He’s a crackpot with delusions of eloquent thoughts.

    richardb (ab4035)

  18. Why bring up Charles Johnson at all? He’s a crackpot with delusions of eloquent thoughts.

    Would you just let it slide if some guy kept putting up huge billboards in his yard attacking you and people/organizations/political leanings you identify with as racists, homophobes, flat-earthers, liars, etc.? And did so in a particularly nasty way? That’s the situation we have with Chuckles. Not exactly the same situation, because no one who doesn’t want to has to look at your billboards, but there they are, for all to see who care to.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  19. Actually, what we need is, Ace of Spades style, a Photoshop of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Johnson, in railroad hobbyist garb, yelling “all aboard” for Teh Crazy Train (with Ozzie’s song playing).

    Dana, I loved the “Mean Girls” reference. Mr. Sullivan will shriek “homophobe” in response, and Mr. Johnson’s brain will implode.

    Nicely done, truly. Mostly because it is true.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  20. if you changed the picture around, so that Sarah was shining Barney Fife’s shoes, would the picture still be racist?

    would it be sexist instead?
    would there be an outcry?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  21. Are you sure Johnson got your e-mail? I bet your e-mail has been banned since it doesn’t represent the worldview of Johnson.

    MU789 (514c52)

  22. Chaos, all concerned would be better off if nobody read LGF. Sounding off about his insults, smears, etc drives eyeballs to his place of business and encourages more of the same.

    Richardb (859d3d)

  23. you know, the more i look at it, the less certain i am that it is racist. i mean let’s say it showed her putting chains on him, the big metal ones you always see in slavery dramas. Yes, it is saying that a black man is being enslaved, but is that saying something ugly about a black man to denegrate him, or to protest him being denegrated? or imagine that he was shown being lynched. awful, right? but what if it was in the context of depicting a bunch of tea partiers as klansman who are doing the hanging? Then the message is not pro-lynching, but anti-lynching and anti-tea-party (and unfair, but that is another story).

    IMAO had a similar example from way back when talking about a supposedly racist email going around. It was similar in that it was sort of a cartoon in the photoshop style so that it almost tricks your eyes into thinking it was real. It depicted the debate and in it mccain is telling a racist joke. And IMAO’s point was that the cartoon looked more anti-mccain than anti-obama.

    So maybe the author meant to say that she had put him in that role and it was degrading and it was meant as an indictment on palin rather than any ugliness directed at obama, that she had reduced him to this status. I mean bill maher has complained that obama feels like he has to obey her commands; so I could picture a person who agreed with him might make this picture.

    the truth is the meaning of a picture is hard to objectively decide. Take movies for instance. Steven Speilberg said that Saving Private Ryan was an anti-war movie. He says you can’t make a good movie that is pro-war. i say you can’t make an anti-war movie about World War II: we are too convinced that the cause against the nazis are good to be turned against it. And ironically it was growing up on movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List that contributed to it, although I think we would all agree that even if Speilberg never made those movies we would still hate the Nazis and think WWII was a good war. So speilberg shows horror, and even war crimes by american soldiers, and we watch it and say, “wow, even a good war can be horrible and have a few war crimes in it.” In other words the intended message behind an image is hard to deduce in part because it is so easy to literally take away a meaning the opposite of what was intended.

    But of course that is only part of it. the fact is millions of people have looked at it and for one reason or another passed it on. How much of that is racism. I mean bluntly if I looked at it just out of the blue, I am not even sure the issue would have registered. It is an act of awareness and will to realize that there is even a potential racial issue there. So how many sent it on uncomprehending, and how many sent it on for intellectual interest without agreement, and how many sent it on because they felt that it was protesting how palin treated obama. And how many sent it on because they felt that obama belonged in that role? Who can say?

    Which of course has only a tangetial bearing on johnson’s mendacity.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  24. Bottom stories of the day:

    * water is wet
    * the sun rises in the East
    * Charles Johnson is a weapons-grade A-hole

    Lightmore (785d4d)

  25. But you’re banned, Patrick. You don’t exist. :LAlalalLALALlalalalaLaLaLA

    Hey look, a stick with no people around :snap:

    SarahW (692fc6)

  26. If Patterico fell in a forest, I would take a picture of him and put it in my blog.

    “Empty forest devoid of peoples”

    C JohnsonW (692fc6)

  27. I admit, I still don’t get the message of this comic, unless it’s to say Obama ought to treat Palin worse (which just doesn’t relate to anything in reality).

    If you switch the races, use W shining Pelosi’s shoes, the comic makes just as much sense. Race doesn’t appear to have anything to do with this comic. It’s not racist. OK, I can’t prove it, and people I respect tell me this is or could be racist… but I don’t see it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. Reporting Charles Johnson has jumped the shark is, on the one hand, a good thing but, on the other hand, gets us a little too close to his craziness. He’s nerve-wrackingly cuckoo these days, and citing him in a post invites his craziness quotient to elevate and to do so in this direction.

    He’ll be posting weird stuff in comments here pretty soon under sock-puppet names and then quoting it to prove everyone here is a crazed racist.

    MTF (a20706)

  29. Was the photo captioned?

    The message I see is “Obama is good enough to shine Sarah’s shoes – and that’s about it.”

    Now, assuming the heads are the extent of the photoshop, what you started with is a photo of a black man shining a white woman’s shoes. Which, unless the whole photo was staged, apparently happened somewhere.

    Instead of the usual whining, I’m waiting to hear the first liberal call for real action – – the adoption of legislation which a) bars black men from working as shoeshines because their doing so perpetuates racial stereotypes; and b) criminalizes the acceptance of a shoeshine from a black man by any person of a stereotypical “superior” race.

    OR we could all get over ourselves & start looking at each other as INDIVIDUALS.

    BD57 (4ed2dc)

  30. BD57, if we look at eachother as individuals, then Obama wouldn’t even be admitted to a top flight law school (having bombed out of Columbia), let alone a president. Any idea how much money the concept of race is worth?

    MTF, while it’s a chore, I appreciate that someone pointed out that Little Green Footballs Administration is proven and admitted and even bragging about posting the Ni***r word on forums to somehow prove those places are racist. It’s critical to understand that if a bit of uncharacteristic racism appears, LGF admin is a plausible and perhaps likely explanation.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  31. My offer of $10 to be put toward Chuck Johnson’s haircut still stands. Few things sillier than an aging, overly Sensitive Pony-tailed Guy.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  32. The picture is demeaning but it is not racist. We demean politicians all the time. Imagine a “picture” of Jimmy Carter shining Arafat’s shoes or maybe Tip O’Neil shining Reagan’s shoes.

    If you can not demean a politician just because they are black without idiots like Johnson calling it racist, then I claim that it is they who are the racists. They apparently can not see past the color difference of the skin and notice what is REALLY being said here.

    What it is “saying” is that Obama is inferior to Palin. That isn’t racist. That is simply demeaning and we dish that kind of stuff out against politicians all the time.

    Johnson needs to be a little more color blind and quit seeing race in everything that involves two people of different colors.

    crosspatch (c58f80)

  33. You know, it occurs to me that people would say this is racist if it were Obama giddily grinning down at Palin shining his loafers. Because that would be interpreted as an ‘uppity’ kinda of slur.

    there’s no way to avoid the charge or racism.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  34. anybody ever seen charles and the simpsons comic book guy in the same room same time?

    jeff (8d98d3)

  35. What is or who is this Johnson character and why is anyone payint attention to someone who obviously is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

    jgreene (2a7883)

  36. What is or who is this Johnson character and why is anyone paying attention to someone who obviously is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

    jgreene (2a7883)

  37. Expecting a clarification like this from Charles Johnson assumes the man to be reasonable. His statements on his blog in recent times and his treatment of visitors who politely dissent from his opinions establish him to be quite unreasonable. He has devolved into an egomaniacal smear merchant who is worthy of as little attention as possible.

    Reggie1971 (8b9906)

  38. So we’re now 37 comments into a thread on the hidden meanings of somebody’s dumbass internet photoshop “humor”? Tomorrow, let’s debate the one about how arguing on the internet is like the Special Olympics.

    Mike G (a5bfba)

  39. Dana, I loved the “Mean Girls” reference. Mr. Sullivan will shriek “homophobe” in response, and Mr. Johnson’s brain will implode. Comment by Eric Blair — 1/7/2010 @ 11:00 am

    Heh. That’s okay, Eric Blair – let them shriek and implode…got my little race card safely tucked in my back pocket, ready to play.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  40. Why are Chucky’s LGF posts displayed on those “Conservative Blog Advertising” ads (like I see here at Patterico)? That makes as much sense as including crap from Sully and

    sane_voter (122cd7)

  41. Johnson jumped the megalodon more than a year ago.

    Brian Macker (0774ce)

  42. […] I’m still one up on him By datechguy Charles slanders Glenn and Patterico calls him out on […]

    And I’m still one up on him « DaTechguy's Blog (1ef651)

  43. I guess we’re past the point where an intervention would help this slow-motion trainwreck.

    JWF (970765)

  44. LGF sucks. I got banned from there for daring to question the new orthodoxy.

    Geoff (95a99b)

  45. Charles Johnson has become a punchline.

    tmitsss (e0c957)

  46. Excuse me! You’re wrong! Charles Johnson is an Anthropogenic Global Warming Scientist, so anything he says is correct!*

    I don’t care if he never graduated high school and spent his whole life as a jazz musician, he recently read a book on global warming, and that makes him a scientist!

    So there!


    *I don’t know what that has to do with racism, but you’re dealing with an Anthropogenic Global Warming Scientist, so he’s right and you’re wrong!

    GT Charlie (b32364)

  47. Dana #39: nope, I sure didn’t think you were at all afraid of those two individuals. You are one of the least afraid people I can think of, in fact.

    I do think that both CJ and AS have something wrong with their mental processes. Not because they disagree with me, but because of their bizarre affect toward people who disagree with them.

    In other words: nuttier than a Payday bar!

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  48. I used to read LGF, starting about 9/11 (so what’s that, 8 years ago?), but started to get a crazy vibe off Charles when he went after some of his former blogger allies a few years back. He’s nothing but a mean-spirited, vindictive little crazy man. Why give him attention at all? When’s the last time he had anything of interest on his site?

    Xanthippe (cc06fa)

  49. Asking for corrections and for honesty and equity is only meaningful when someone is rational and sane. Charles Johnson has long left that train station.

    A Loof (ffbcf3)

  50. Has anyone ever discovered the origin of the photo? I can think of two hypothetical explanations:

    1. A racist swipe at Obama.

    2. A bigoted swipe at Republicans, if the original was mean to illustrate Republican attitudes toward blacks.

    I imagine the photo is now getting used for both purposes.

    Alan K. Henderson (4bec94)

  51. Charles must be feeling pretty desperate right about now. Desperate to be relevant again. That’s why he’s busy trying to pick fights with every right-of-center blogger he can think of by calling them racists, homophobes, etc; hoping it will generate some traffic to his dying blog. His big “Why I parted ways with the right” announcement was met with a collective yawn and the left either doesn’t trust him or doesn’t care about him because he never gets linked to. You’ll never go to Firedoglake and see a link to one Chucky’s posts.

    G Wiz (86b3de)

  52. CJ? All I can say is that it is too bad that ignorance isn’t painful.

    katemaclaren (fb058e)

  53. Johnson insinuates:

    According to Glenn Reynolds, he was reacting against “cheap and bogus charges of racism.”

    It is perfectly obvious that Reynolds meant that he was reacting to Johnson’s charge that Reynolds himself was racist, and not to Johnson’s charge that the shoeshine photoshop was racist. Johnson is sleazy or blinded by emotion. Either way, he’s a creep.

    Melanerpes Cao (d9a485)

  54. You know what sounds painful to me, a johnson with little green balls.Yikes!

    Carson Fire (d1a776)

  55. I think we have now reached the point where the only reasonable thing to do is to dose Johnson and Sullivan the classic Little Green Footballs Dexedrine pills, cap that off with about 500cc of Ecstasy and toss them both in a motel room overnight to see who comes out on top.

    vanderleun (444f85)

  56. @katemaclaren “CJ? All I can say is that it is too bad that ignorance isn’t painful.”

    What people fail to understand is that to folks like Johnson ignorance really isn’t painful because they do not have a clear grasp of the extent of their ignorance.

    By any measure, and taking into full account the Johnson pre-blogger biography, Johnson is a limited and not fully functional autodidact. What this means is that he is forever at the mercy of his own self-directed education. Now such an education may be good for some things — basic web programming comes to mind and the dubious rep of Johnson’s “mad coding skillz” — but you cannot have a broad understanding of history, science, technology, literature, writing, mathematics without some level of formal education.

    Johnson lacks this and as a result everything he brags of “learning” from his “reading” is not grounded but hand-me-down knowledge.

    As a result he has vast holes in his knowledge so profound that he can’t hope to appreciate his own ignorance. “Ignorance” is after all not “stupidity,” but rather a lack of knowledge.

    You can, if you wish, read Darwin (as Johnson claims to have done although it is much more likely he’s simply read popular books *about* Darwinism) but Darwin means little without having read Kant or grasped at the very least the place of Newton in British intellectual history.

    In a similar fashion, you can’t get of a reasoned judgment on Darwinism and it’s effects without a grasp of Marxist-Leninism and how that doleful history dovetails into the consequences of Darwinism.

    This is not to conflate the two but only to make a general statement about the necessity to have an integrated intellectual point of view that is laid of some sort of studied history. Without that you just parrot the popular interpretations of things and think you know…. but you don’t. You’re simply so mired in ignorance that you actually believe you have wisdom.

    This is pretty much what we see in the stunted behavior and crabbed “writing” of Johnson. A man in love with his own thin and hard-scrabble “intellectualism” who has mistaken light popularizing of ideas for ideas themselves.

    This is why his ignorance comes at no pain. He literally does not know how ignorant he is. He actually believes he’s smart and not simply a parrot.

    But somewhere he has to know the truth and if he wasn’t so hostile about it the situation would be sad. But because he is behaving in a vile manner, there’s no compassion to be extended to him. He needs to be left to soak in his own self-made bile.

    vanderleun (444f85)

  57. I used to read LGF every day. His fixation on the evolution caused me to stop reading him altogether. Not that I am pro or against evolution; just his fixation became BORING

    FLBuckeye (dfd725)

  58. Sorry gerald, but I’m still processing the last comment, ‘these goggles they do nothin’ Johnson has sadle repudiated all the good work he had done to spread awareness of jihad, in a little under a year

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  59. I actually supported Johnson’s position on creationists shoving religion into science classes in public schools. It is when he crawled up inside Obama’s rear end and started the wholesale modification of past postings combined with his irrational AGW religious belief that caused me to flee.

    He must really need the money. Someone said his sudden about-face came when his relationship broke up and he had to move out. Maybe he’s doing it to win his sweetheart back or maybe he just needs the attention to get more page views or something. Who knows and who cares. He’s turned into a complete blithering idiot these days.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  60. P.S. But do we know Charles Johnson saw Reynolds’s update?

    Yes, we do. I e-mailed him about it early yesterday morning.

    Unless Charles acknowledged to you in some way that he had received and read your e-mail, you do not know that he read your e-mail informing him.

    Craig R. Harmon (e02b81)

  61. Mad King Charles has lost my readership a few months ago. I was only reading him to watch the train wreck, and he was getting boring. The people he Hates are more interesting and happy anyway.

    Emma Morrow (790d8c)

  62. #60

    if we hold him to his own standards, then he is charged with knowing every corner of the internet. For instance, with the brietbart “bertha lewis” story, CJ felt that Brietbart was under a responsibility to read media matters.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  63. Charles Johnson is a keyboard bully. Didn’t your father teach you how to handle bullies? You stand up to them, eye to eye, and you test your mettle. Unless the bully is a lot bigger than you, then you just keep walking. In Charles’ case, it’s mettle testing time.

    -Ed. (b43bbf)

  64. #57

    You said a mouthful. At least one of the times he banned me, was because i said i thought it was boring. What a cheeseball.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  65. A. W. (#62), I was merely pointing out the logical flaw of Patterico’s post. He stated as a matter of fact that we know that Charles was aware of Glenn’s update because he, Patterico, had e-mailed Charles about it the day before. As a matter of logic, that is a non sequitur. You are free to hold Charles to whatever standard you think he ought to be held to but whatever standard you hold him to, Patterico’s logic is fatally flawed.

    As for me, I stopped reading LGF once the Rathergate thing blew over. I’m not defending Charles regarding this or any other thing he’s written or failed to write since I no longer read his blog.

    Craig R. Harmon (b7e86b)

  66. Of course, there’s a logical flaw in my reasoning, also. Charles needn’t have acknowledged receipt of Patterico’s e-mail personally. Charles could have mentioned Glenn’s update on his blog to all and sundry, for example. If this were the case, however, I would have expected that to have been the basis for Patterico’s logical construct. It wasn’t. He specifically listed the e-mail notice as the basis of his knowledge that Charles knew of Glenn’s update. However one looks at it, that’s a falacy.

    Craig R. Harmon (b7e86b)

  67. Charles, you have become what you despised. There was a time when people of influence read your blog, that time is no more. You should drop the hate and look for truth again.

    …The word “perdfidy” comes to mind…

    Orbit Rain (42927a)

  68. However one looks at it, that’s a falacy. (sic)

    Comment by Craig R. Harmon


    You mean it’s not OK to assume Charles read that email? I think it’s a perfectly reasonable assumption, given the history regarding the way Charles handles his email, particularly from Patterico.

    Of course LGF reads Patterico and Instapundit and his own email account. We have to make little leaps of faith like this all the time in order to function.

    2+2=4. That’s only sound if you have proven what base math we are using.

    In typical epistemology, knowledge is a justified true belief. This pattern, similar to the sun rising tomorrow, is justification for the belief. There’s no reason to be that obtuse… we aren’t Descartes sitting in a closet before we skin our cat.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

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