Patterico's Pontifications


Shocker: New York Times Magazine Does Profile of Charles Johnson — And Gets It Right!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:42 pm

The article has one of my favorite quotes of recent weeks: “Gray, however, is not a popular shade on the Internet.”

Heh. You can say that again.

It’s actually an excellent piece and I recommend that you read the whole thing. This passage perfectly encapsulates what that place is like now:

[I]f you read L.G.F. today, you will find it hard to miss the paradox that a site whose origins, and whose greatest crisis, were rooted in opposition to totalitarianism now reads at times like a blog version of “Animal Farm.” Johnson seems obsessed with what others think of him, posting much more often than he used to about references to himself elsewhere on the Internet and breaking into comment threads (a recent one was about the relative merits of top- versus front-loaded washing machines) to call commenters’ attention to yet another attack on him that was posted at some other site. On the home page, you can click to see the Top 10 comments of the day, as voted on by registered users; typically, half of those comments will be from Johnson himself. Even longtime commenters have been disappeared for one wrong remark, or one too many, and when it comes to wondering where they went or why, a kind of fearful self-censorship obtains. He has banned readers because he has seen them commenting on other sites of which he does not approve. He is, as he reminds them, always watching.

If Comrade Charles says it, it must be right.

Here is another insightful and accurate passage:

THE QUESTIONING OF Johnson’s tactics started to come not just from without L.G.F. but also from within. Readers both casual and loyal spoke up in the comment threads to ask, sometimes diplomatically and sometimes not, whether all this casual flinging of epithets like “fascist” wasn’t maybe an overreaction. Johnson’s response, in thousands of cases, was to block their accounts and ban some of them from viewing the blog. “Get off my Web site” was a common farewell. (Johnson insists that this is not true — that no one has ever been banned from L.G.F. merely for disagreeing with him — but the anecdotal evidence to the contrary is voluminous, and the fact that the offending comments were instantly and permanently deleted makes it impossible to check others’ records against his.)

Yup. And I can testify to it.

Like many others, I was contacted by writer Jonathan Dee for the article. I gave him a lengthy set of quotes before Thanksgiving, but he wrote me last week to say they were all left on the cutting room floor. Probably just as well. I was critical of Charles in several ways, but I think I gave him the benefit of the doubt far too much. I hadn’t yet had my own experience of being banned for simply disagreeing with him.

Now I have.

You’re gonna go nuts when you see this next quote. The writer asks Johnson why he is turning on the right now. And Johnson replies:

It’s not that the war on terror has finished. It’s never going to be finished, but I think things have reached the point now where it’s not as pressing as it was.

Man. Charles Freaking Johnson saying the War on Terror isn’t that pressing.

There was a time when I would not have believed Johnson capable of saying something like that.

But what about Captain Underpants on Christmas Day?

Though our conversation took place in the fall, he told me in a subsequent e-mail message that the failed Christmas Day airplane bombing “doesn’t change my opinion about that.”

No, of course not.

Nice, nice job by writer Jonathan Dee. Go read it all.

UPDATE: I’m told that writer Jonathan Dee was just banned at LGF.

UPDATE x2: Johnson gets considerably kinder, more naive, and less accurate treatment from Barrett Brown at Vanity Fair.

UPDATE x3: Heh. Charles claims he got slammed in the New York Times due to his fearless attacks on their reporting over the years. Hahahahahahahaha.

83 Responses to “Shocker: New York Times Magazine Does Profile of Charles Johnson — And Gets It Right!”

  1. Going to fetch my pudding.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  2. That is a surprising piece.

    It definitely makes it clear what a liar Charles has become. And what an immense turnaround has occurred in his reputation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. Chuckles no doubt will now ban the New York Times not only from the internet, but from existence itself. We will wake up tomorrow and not even remember that such a creature as the “New York Times” ever existed. That, ladies, is the power of the lizardmen.

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  4. The post at LGF concerning this article is definitely worth a read. Charles, timidly voicing some disagreements and some “nitpicking.” Chuckles understands who is the big dog and who is the little bitch when you’re talking about Little Green Footballs and the New York Times. A lot riskier to rant and rave and throw tantrums and be a nasty vicious little bitch when you’re expecting a deluge of visitors thanks to a little publicity in the NYT, eh, Chuckles? You can smear Ace and Gateway Pundit and Patterico and “the right,” but hey, when the Times comes down on you, it’s time to be a good little boy and mind your Ps and Qs, eh?

    Or, the explanation for his sudden pussy-footedness might just be shell-shock. Here he is, having done everything he can to ingratiate himself to the Left, and here’s the New York Times, skewering him again and again! Oh, how the mighty have suddenly discovered they aren’t so much of a much, eh, Chuck? Maybe you need to pivot, since your obsessive focus with trashing the Right hasn’t exactly gotten you anywhere.

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  5. He has turned forcefully against Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, nearly every conservative icon you can name.

    the mask slips

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  6. I’m think “1984” instead of “Animal Farm” might be the better Orwell reference to Johnson’s current actions at LGF, given his attempts to monitor posters’ off-website activities and his attempts to completely rewrite his site’s past history.

    (I am surprised that the Times did pretty much lay out the situation as it actually is, since normally, someone who was once considered to be on the right who moves left is normally hailed as having had a great awakening, or if their a politician, having grown in office. I can only assume Charles was probably expecting at least the post-Hillary Clinton book David Brock treatment from the Times when he did the interview.)

    John (d4490d)

  7. What mask, happy?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  8. I’m think “1984″ instead of “Animal Farm” might be the better Orwell reference to Johnson’s current actions at LGF, given his attempts to monitor posters’ off-website activities and his attempts to completely rewrite his site’s past history.

    “1984” is much more apt. The Two-Minutes Hate in particular, except it’s 24/7, and it’s in the comments thread, not some dingy little room at the MiniTruth. Oh, and we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, never with Eurasia… I mean we’ve always been at war with Eurasia!

    The comments thread in Chuckles’ post about this is particularly good on that one; about every third post is an exclamation of disbelief at the claim that Johnson bans people for disagreeing with him. No, all those thousands were banned for “insults” or “craziness.” Of course, the routine insults employed by Chuckles and his minions are conveniently forgotten. If Chuckles really did ban people for insults, sharmuta, iceweasel, Kilgore, Mandy Manners and the rest of his sycophantic little inner clique would have been banned years ago, and Kilgore particularly for his little stunt at HotAir. But hey, nobody said Chuckles ever claimed to be fair. Especially not Chuckles.

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  9. What mask, happy?

    Whichever one Johnson wears that makes his little green cultists think he isn’t a snippy, narcissistic, lying little bag of jerk.

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  10. I was being opaque again wan’t I?

    The author reveals his contempt for conservatives by what he chooses to represent “prominent conservative icons.” They are very much the “prominent conservative icons” what the NYT works very hard to portray as “prominent conservative icons.”

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  11. Charles Johnson, meet Jeff Godlstein.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  12. The author should have said he had turned against Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and other well-worn bogeymen of the Daily Kos crowd in whose company Mr. Johnson now finds himself.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  13. I think Animal Farm is totally the right metaphor. You guys have read it, right?

    If Comrade Charles says it, it must be right.

    The creatures looked from Kos to Charles, and from Charles to Kos, and from Kos to Charles again … but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  14. hey that’s not cool exactly Mr. Fikes… Jeff’s a good guy and the number of people he’s ever banned is really very small. It’s not analogous.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  15. Yep, Animal Farm is the better ref here.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. That whole enmity thing is so 2009 I think.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  17. I still think 1984 is better. Especially the scene with the big war rally right in the middle when it is revealed that all the massive preparations for a rally against Eurasia were really a plot by Goldstein because actually the war is now on with Eastasia, and the war has always been on with Eastasia, and Oceania has always been at peace with Eurasia. Big Chuckles makes his poor little cultists do whiplashes like that all the time. Can you imagine what would happen to some poor commenter daring to point out the absurdity of Chuck claiming that he never banned anyone for disagreeing with him? Chuckles has never banned a commenter for simply disagreeing with him, ever! He has always banned only for egregious insults and crazy opinions. Always!

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  18. Barrett is a charming writer but that second-to-last paragraph I can’t tell if he’s serial.

    The one where he talks about what him and his friend Charles are doing together…

    Later this year, we’ll be launching a two-pronged campaign by which we hope to increase both the reach and efficiency of the blogosphere, as well as to bring pressure to bear on the media at large.


    happyfeet (e9e587)

  19. happyfeet,
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on Godlstein. In deference to your feelings, I’ll try not to elaborate.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  20. we will disagree… you don’t have to defer to my feelings it’s just I’m excited Mr. G is writing again and the internet will get back to normal soon maybe. Also I’d hate it if he read this and I was right there not saying anything and these threads last forever and ever.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  21. Barrett Brown and Charles Johnson are working together on something? Careful, Barrett might reall really really really embarass you 😉

    JD (4a0e60)

  22. I do fine on my own. 🙂

    But for reals read that paragraph it goes on and on and gets increasingly bewildering about how they’re going to unleash the giant blog robot or something.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  23. I loved it when Big Bad Barrett Brown thought I would be embarassed when he quoted me calling him a douchenozzle, when he was in fact, being a douchenozzle.

    JD (4a0e60)

  24. that’s not how I smile really

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  25. That experiment was supposed to be a two-parter at least cause he was all “I will be expanding on all of this in future posts.” here

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  26. Also I’d hate it if he read this and I was right there not saying anything and these threads last forever and ever.

    Um . . .

    Never mind.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  27. right. 2010 is a new year and I think we can all expect big things yet.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  28. Yeah, that one disturbed me too …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. Anyway, I thought it was funny how Mr. Dee noticed that Charles Johnson gets upset at people for commenting on other blogs. He really has that guy pegged.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  30. You’re a clever man Mr. Patterico.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  31. I think that The Third Wave and The Stanford Prison Experimet better describe what the comments section over there became.


    The Stanford Prison Experiment:
    The Third Wave:

    Syrah (565238)

  32. You’re a clever man Mr. Patterico.

    Oh, you’d better praise me, happyfeet.

    I’ve been known to get upset when people don’t praise me.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  33. That’s it! You are all banned.

    Do you hear me?


    Charles Johnson (fb8750)

  34. great: now you’ve gone and done it….. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)


    I never saw that before.

    Good Lord, that’s . . . bizarre.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  36. Patterico,
    Thought you might want to know that on the story you were so interested in beating Balko up over, now there’s a witness that the citizen was not being drunk and obnoxious.

    hattio (90fae0)

  37. I do have an e-mail address.

    It also says he was a .10% BAC. Shocka.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  38. I thought it was only 1 drink before. The one he had already prepared.

    Now it’s 2. Because 1 drink will not take you down past the legal limit.

    You know, we COULD be having this discussion on the appropriate thread . . .

    Patterico (c218bd)

  39. i thought this was the fryday night drinking thread?

    what if the martini is large? what iof the perp is small? what if he was using 100 proof vodka or maybe everclear?

    the possibilities are endless….. can i get another drink here?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  40. I think that The Third Wave and The Stanford Prison Experimet better describe what the comments section over there became.

    Is there a more thoroughly debunked psychological experiment than The Stanford Prison Experiment™?

    el duderino (5f44e4)

  41. Is there a more thoroughly debunked psychological experiment than The Stanford Prison Experiment™?

    ummmm, maybe Congress?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  42. el duderino: Is there a more thoroughly debunked psychological experiment than The Stanford Prison Experiment™?

    I suppose that depends largely on what you want to debunk.

    While there were problems with the way The Stanford Prison Experiment was fielded, it illustrated well enough that a surprising number of people will willingly engage in cruel behavior towards other people particularity if they believe they have been given both the instruction, the expectation, and the sanction to carry it out.

    The Milgram Experiment showed pretty much the same thing.

    Syrah (565238)

  43. This is entirely from memory, which I think is at least 10 years ago but could have been as recent as Abu Ghraib:

    Stanford is entirely debunked. The professor started his crusade decades before Stanford. Then he was the primary participant in his experiment. Then the other participants called him a liar. And if by “surprising number” you mean one, you’re right. And it really isn’t surprising in the least that one adolescent out of 20 who answered an ad to participate in a prison experiment would have psychological problems.

    Milgram is different. I have less interest in affirming the greatness of humanity than not being duped by b.s. professors of psuedo-sciences, so I haven’t done much research on this. But it least smells credible: multiple studies, different methods of getting subjects, etc. What this experiment definitely does not do is support why it’s mostly cited — to explain all manner of crazy sh*t.

    el duderino (5f44e4)

  44. On a whim, after I submitted the last comment, I checked Skeptoid to see if he had a Stanford episode. Sure enough. Just starting it now, so I can’t vouch for it.

    BTW, Patterico, if you don’t know about Skeptoid, you should get in on the action. Seems like someone you might like.

    el duderino (5f44e4)

  45. el duderino, Thanks for the link to skeptoid.
    I will check it out.

    Syrah (565238)

  46. So I listened to that episode of Skeptoid. If you did also, I have one question:

    How f’in awesome is el duderino?

    el duderino (5f44e4)

  47. As much a douche as Johnson is, it’s pretty hypocritical of certain bloggers who like to post inciteful screeds, and lurk over the comments section to deride anyone who disagrees, and cultivate their own little group of sycophants, to gloat over the pathetic behavior at someone else’s blog…

    Patterico and Daleyrocks attack me in 3, 2, 1,…

    joe (3f78ec)

  48. I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve only become a regular reader of blogs for the last year.

    I never understood why Charles Johnson and LGF were listed on so many conservative blogs, since it appeared to consist of friendly fire. He may describe himself as a classic liberal, but I’m skeptical. I believe a classic liberal would be more concerned with government being involved in marriage rather than whether homosexual marriage is recognized by the state. As for global warming, I doubt a classic liberal’s first instinct would be bigger government. That completely ignores the centrality of the individual within any solution and falls into a collectivist mindset as government as the only solution. Being a classic liberal requires a creativity, going beyond the default solution of another government program, which Charles doesn’t appear to demonstrate.

    As to this particular article, I think it stung Charles Johnson. Most of the posts I’ve bothered to view on LGF have been attacks or responses to attacks. In this case, he appears decidedly pensive. If I was inclined toward speculation, I’d say that the truth stings and Jonathan Dee hit a nerve with that article.

    StickeeNotes (e19cf0)

  49. UPDATE x3: Heh. Charles claims he got slammed in the New York Times due to his fearless attacks on their reporting over the years. Hahahahahahahaha.

    Welcome to the 2010 Edition of “That’s My Blog You’re Profiling” Now that Charles is soaking up another fifteen minutes of fame, how soon can we expect an LA Times blogger to profile Mr. Frey? If we go by Charles’ reasoning for the NYT’s “critic”, certainly the LAT’s should have an incintive to “profile” Patterico.

    My guess is the liberal journalist across the nation are not only wondering when their last paychecks will be forthcoming, but to update their resumes’ (res-zoom-mays), why not take a “last shot” at a conservative blogger that’s been a thorn in their sides?

    I know there’s a big difference between CJ’s rants and Mr. Frey’s attempt to keep the LAT’s ombudsman busy, just sayin’ it won’t be a surprise to see a profile soon from the left coast most liberal bird cage liner. With the events that have taken place over the last week (the total rejection of Obama’s policies)expect the attacks from the left to come fast a furious while they try to regain their footing in the arena of ideologies.

    Rovin (363536)

  50. StickeeNotes: I never spent much time over at LGF but the time I have spent indicates to me that there has been a change.

    Starting around the time of the CBS/Dan Rather/Mary Mapes/Air National Guard/Bush kerfuffle it seemed to me that CJ was a libertarian/conservative sounding host. Lately he seems to have gone the way of Andy Sullivan and cannot tolerate any rank stupidity at all — defined as anyone who disagrees. YMMV

    quasimodo (0ac3e5)

  51. The comment that got me banned:

    “The war on terror is over, Al Qaeda won, and it’s every man for himself now. Charles is apparently going to hide with Code PINK, I’m going to grow a beard and learn Arabic.”

    Tatterdemalian (55171e)

  52. I never posted at that site – too many commenters seemed seriously over the edge. But I did read it at one time, way back when – and he really turned into quite the intellectual coward over the past few years. It’s one thing to ban commenters you don’t agree with – but to ban them summarily without explanation or at least the opportunity to defend their positions is really beyond the pale.

    He’s no different that Kos or HuffBlow – most of my comments at those sites never even made it past their layers of censors, and not one was inflammatory nor insulting.

    Dmac (539341)

  53. has a link to the original NYT article and links to various blogs, not including Patterico, that are commenting on this story. I have never been able to figure out how to link here otherwise I would do so. Yes I am an idiot, (and a racist) just ask JD.

    BT (74cbec)

  54. He may describe himself as a classic liberal, but I’m skeptical

    By “classic,” he probably means a leftist in the tradition of, for example, 1960s liberals. There’s nothing in his commentary that would indicate his instincts are anything but stereotypically “progressive.”

    I suspect the shock of 9-11 forced a small ounce of common sense into that otherwise liberal mind of his, and he temporarily became the definition of a conservative. That being a “liberal who’s been mugged.” But it was a temporary revelation only.

    On occasion I’ll muse about the issue of a person’s mental health merely to be snarky and flippant. But when I see the way the guy is strutting around like a little dictator, so obsessive-compulsive about controlling and censoring the words flying about all around him (eg, in the posts of visitors to his blog, or the postings of other bloggers, etc), I do question at least a portion of his sanity.

    Mark (411533)

  55. Now that Charles is soaking up another fifteen minutes of fame, how soon can we expect an LA Times blogger to profile Mr. Frey? If we go by Charles’ reasoning for the NYT’s “critic”, certainly the LAT’s should have an incintive to “profile” Patterico.

    Not very soon, if ever. Too dangerous for the LA Times. The profile would draw attention to the LAT’s horrific record of errors, copiously documented here. Given the pathetic record of LATers who tangled with Patterico, I don’t think there’s anyone there brave enough to take him on.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  56. This is Journalism. It took a lot of work, probably a ton of editing. A lot of phone calls and emails and interviews and research.

    This is the kind of thing that would save the New York Times, even if you had to tug along a slab of granite to read it. People love this product, but it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier, if you do not think about your long term reputation, to cut and paste the democrat party’s press release or make massive assumptions betraying your liberal bias.

    Actually getting news is work, and it’s profitable. Too bad most editors would have gotten in the way of this story. I wonder how much trouble Mr Dee, actual journalist, had with that (and in fact, I bet some of this story was cut out).

    I don’t care that I actually agree with him, but I am impressed that he carefully pulled together the narrative and got to the irony about Charles’s purity blog opposed to imagined purity links.

    The New York Times is crammed full of brilliant people. I know a couple of people who went out there a few years ago, and they really could have done anything. All they have to do is work like this on Sarah Palin, or Scott Brown, or Keith Olbermann, or Health Care… etc etc. That paper would be able to charge for content if it had this kind of content.

    On the other hand, Daily Kos was right that it’s a big internet and it’s no skin off my nose if NYT (magazine) wants this to be the exception to the rule for them.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  57. “I don’t know why things can’t just stay on the level of the factual,” he said. “I don’t know why everything has to have a slant.

    I found this quote from Charles Johnson to contain more irony than I can handle. Surely he rolled his eyes and shook his head after he uttered the words and exclaimed, “Not even I can believe I just said that!”

    My take away whenever reading Charles Johnson at LGF and/or a profile of him like this, is to be again reminded that the male ego can be such a delicately fragile beast. It makes for all kinds of crazy.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  58. You’re not quite right, Dana. The male ego is a fragile beast on the internet. After all, as UFC Champion of All Time Jeffers Golddustein will tell you, on the internet all you can do is tell someone who’s assaulted your fragile male ego that you’re going to destroy someone, you can’t actually do it. Testosterone don’t like dat.

    Chaos (7c068a)

  59. […] textbook example of what awful things can happen when Blogger Mood Disorder rages out of control.Patterico faults his own judgment: “I was critical of Charles in several ways, but I think I gave him the benefit of the doubt […]

    Little Green Footballs and the ‘Cult of Personality’ Factor in Blogging : The Other McCain (128b91)

  60. This charles thing has always been amusing. You could tell he was an unstable asshole a while ago. People just didn’t notice it as much because he was directing it at muslims. So they thought he was on board.

    imdw (5f60be)

  61. I started reading LGF within days of 9/11, checking in daily at first but monthly over time. I stopped reading it completely about the time Johnson went after Pam Geller and Robert Spencer – not because I’m supporters of their views (I barely know what they are) but because there was something obviously very wrong with Charles Johnson.

    The content I was interested in mostly vanished from LGF by this time, and all that it seemed to be about was personal feuds with other bloggers about things that I had little knowledge or interest in.

    Mental breakdowns are not pretty. I doubt Charles was ever terribly stable.

    Xanthippe (8fea2c)

  62. I might be a good test case as to whether or not anyone has been banned simply for disagreeing with Charles.

    As per the “Banned from LGF” thread here some time ago, I was banned in September 2009, with about 750 posts total since ~ March 2006. Only one of my posts was ever deleted, and it was one of the last 6 or 7.

    I was relatively unknown for the entire time. I started getting –1s, usually from Charles then others, starting in about June/July 2009. This means that there are perhaps 30 of my posts (“Arbalest”: lower case ‘L’, not the numeral ‘1’) to check. I’m not the only one. If you can login and check, judge for yourselves.

    Arbalest (280d89)

  63. […] fact when you have Robert Stacy McCain & Patterico on the same side concerning this you know it must be bad news for […]

    I guess the NYT has a long memory… « DaTechguy's Blog (2e2052)

  64. Comment by Dana — 1/23/2010 @ 10:13 am

    Artsy Dana, are your chores done? Is the cooking finished? Are the dishes washed? Are you defying your place and wearing shoes?

    Just asking questions here.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  65. I started reading and commenting on LGF after the Dan Rather expose. At that time, LGF was a blog with a wealth of information about the 9/11 attacks, radical Islam, shared experiences of that fateful day (the threads dedicated to it thru the years are outstanding in authenticity and emotion, and for that I’m grateful to Johnson).
    Next, I stuck with LGF for its smart, splendid coverage of the 2006 photoshopped propaganda about the so-called “devastating genocide” by the Israelis in Beirut. He had, at that time, a great independent photographer-reporter, “zombie,” with a keen eye and a sharp, demistifying spirit. I still miss his/her reporting.
    It was also the time when Johnson seemed to be opposed to all forms of mind-control and totalitarian rule.
    I see Johnson’s break with the “right,” which formally happened over Vlaams Berlang’s “fascism” and the supposedly support they got from American bloggers, as more of a product of Johnson’s inability to write in an essay, well-informed, nuanced scholarly format like Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and all his books on Islam. Johnson’s site has always been a clearinghouse of info obtained from a diversity of sources and meant for gut reactions, certainly not for nuanced analysis. Intellectual envy from a guy who finds himself drawn into debates he’s not well-versed in? I bet my money on it.

    Pansy (fe3aae)

  66. Pansy:

    There is a blog called that I think is done by the same person you referred to. Check it out and let us know.

    BT (74cbec)

  67. BT:

    You are right. It’s the same person who posted on LGF and did a spledid job re the Beirut Reuters photo scam–as well as a superb anthology Mohammed images published after the Danish cartoons scandal. His/her latest on the site is from October 15, 2009, on the occasion of Obama’s fundraiser in San Francisco:

    The gal/guy is pure reporting/photographing genius, with the pitch-perfect sense for the relevant detail. I hope he/she doesn’t contribute to Johnson’s blog anymore. There’s too much life/reality in those pictures that Johnson can’t bear anymore.

    P.S. Johnson’s photography of California coastal landscapes–which he proudly posts frequently at LGF, asking the “lizard community” to “meditate” on images of the sea and the beaches and the seagulls and the clouds–is mediocre at best. Painful to watch these vacuous, cliched images and the comments generated by them. One more reason I got fed up with LGF.

    Pansy (fe3aae)

  68. Pansy, I’ve always felt likewise re Johnson’s photos. At times, embarrassed for him. It’s not the schmaltzy, pedestrian pics themselves but rather the obvious sanctimonious cloying and self-promotion in the encouragements to, gag, meditate.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  69. More visual evidence from Freeperland the Charles Johnson is a hypocrite.

    Basil (f07c2e)

  70. Dana:

    Best said.

    Pansy (fe3aae)

  71. You all may recall, or not have seen it, the Los Angeles Times gave, IIRC, a full page two promotion to LGF’s owner recently. I think it was a Saturday issue.

    JD (694aa2)

  72. I certainly was banned at LGF for disagreeing with him, and it was about the clown who brought a gun to the PBO rally in Vermont. He truly is a liar, a fraud, and a total hypocrite. Go back into the archives and read how he would *correctly* rail against Kos, Huffington, DU, etc. – and then read what he posts now. The circle is now complete.

    Ted (f0b823)

  73. Another banned commenter here, but my unforgivable infraction was clicking a “thumbs down” button on a particularly unhinged posting of Charles’. That’s comment, no insult, no disagreement. Just a sign of dissent, and I was put into exile.

    It’s okay, since I hadn’t gone there much since Chuck had started seeing creationists and fascists under every bed. His cheese has slipped off its cracker.

    Jeffersonian (5363b6)

  74. zombietime was banned from lgf after it became apparent that she wasn’t drinking the kool-aid. Specifically, she disagreed with Chuckles about the Tea Parties. Sharmuta and iceweasel in particular, no doubt with Chuckles’ blessing, began a concerted and shameful campaign to turn everyone at lgf against her and then toss her out. Stalin would have been proud, it was classic soviet-style denunciation and expulsion.

    Chaos (7c068a)

  75. I got banned at LGF for suggesting that if Chucky was going to go off on Christians for not believing in evolution he should also go after the fake science of AGW. My bad, didn’t know he was a AGW true believer. At least I can still read the site, although frankly I have gone there on purpose in over a year.

    Jeff (e55a9f)

  76. I used to be a big fan of Charles’. Even after his turn to the left, which I took as a sign of an intellectually honest person, who is not afraid to revise his opinion when he feels the facts warrant such a revision, rightly or wrongly.

    I stopped visiting when he started posting people’s commenting statistics when they dared to post a contrary view, usually without a response. This I took as a sign of a weak, shriveled mind. Turns out I was right.

    I’ve not yet been banned, to my knowledge, although I wouldn’t be surprised if I am now. I don’t really care either way.

    Darrell (be2867)

  77. Reassuring to know other people also noticed that the formerly solid LGF web site went all higgledy-piggledy.

    For a while there, I thought it was just me.

    faxhorn (42b595)

  78. […] He’s already jumped on Ann Althouse with his characteristic restraint and aplomb. Dennis the Peasant has some advice for Johnson’s associate on their new venture. Patterico comments. […]

    Spleenville - Operation: Shoot Self In The Football (9e0fc0)

  79. Take a look at the memories of 911 post on the sidebar at LGF. Search the names.
    It should give a fairly accurate guage of who, how many, once treasured commenters have been tossed under the bus.

    Personally I think that some low on the totem pole cog in the Dem party machine is slipping Charlie a little monthly payolla.

    papertiger (8349ff)

  80. I was banned when I posted a comment that LGF might want to change its name to “The Daily Obama Apologia” so that people would have a better idea of what they are getting into.

    But that was fine, because I had quit reading (or posting) comments a year or two before that, when the site descended into the flirty in-crowd sort of place where a few posters spend a lot of time planning real-life meetings in the hopes that they’ll hook up with a gorgeous Sugar Momma/Daddy and be supported for the rest of their dysfunctional life while posting *more* flirty garbage on LGF.

    Charles was invaluable, though, for the first year or two after 9/11, and posted a lot of eye-opening stuff regarding Muslims, the Middle East and Islam. But then he decided that Islam isn’t the enemy, but some kind of neo-fascism that only he can see that he thinks is rising in Germany and is spreading to America.

    As far as I know, when I was reading him still, if Charles ever *did* get a cross burned on his lawn, it wouldn’t have been by the KKK, but by SoCal Muslims (he posted one time that he had just moved residence to a more secure place so the Muslims couldn’t get to him as easily — which, at the time, I thought was perfectly logical).

    NahnCee (e363e7)

  81. chaos at 76:

    Thanks for the update on zombie. Had no idea what happened to him/her. Seems to be one more proof of Johnson’s decay. Zombie was one of LGF’s best assets: talent galore, hard, even difficult work “on the ground” getting in the midsts of frenzied crowds to take a snapshot, then more work in the lab. Zombie always struck me as as an independent “eye/mind,” not a mere echo of Johnson’s, like the rest.

    Plus, what’s all this constant theme about “banning” at LGF? Never encountered that before on the web. I get “censored” a lot, for, mostly, obscure and flimsy reasons, but not outrightly “banned.”
    Johnson seems to identify with Obama in his narcissistic delusion of supreme power over dissent. Gag me again.
    Have a look at the fate of Osip Mandelstam or Isaac Babel, or a Tsvetaeva and an Akhmatova and a Pasternak and a Bulgakov, and all the rest who dared to dissent from the Party Line.

    Have a look at Osip Mandelstam’s “Stalin Epigram” that earned him an exile to the gulag, where he died, and which is pure genius:

    The Stalin Epigram
    by Osip Mandelstam
    Translated by W. S. Merwin

    Our lives no longer feel ground under them.
    At ten paces you can’t hear our words.

    But whenever there’s a snatch of talk
    it turns to the Kremlin mountaineer,

    the ten thick worms his fingers,
    his words like measures of weight,

    the huge laughing cockroaches on his top lip,
    the glitter of his boot-rims.

    Ringed with a scum of chicken-necked bosses
    he toys with the tributes of half-men.

    One whistles, another meows, a third snivels.
    He pokes out his finger and he alone goes boom.

    He forges decrees in a line like horseshoes,
    One for the groin, one the forehead, temple, eye.

    He rolls the executions on his tongue like berries.
    He wishes he could hug them like big friends from home.

    Pansy (a3133e)

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