Thursday, December 13, 2007

Charles Johnson: The Dan Rather of the Blogosphere?

The LGF squabble has generated quite some discussion, and I have been over quite a lot at Gates of Vienna to discuss it (you know by now that this is where you find me when I'm not posting here).

The whole affair has now been summarized eloquently by Baron Bodissey in two articles. One yesterday named Suggested Corrections for Charles Johnson, and then today Charles Johnson: The Dan Rather of the Blogosphere? A question which I find very appropriate at this point.

Baron Bodissey starts his article with some background:

The downfall of Dan Rather in the fall of 2004 was brought about by the hard work of a lot of ordinary people, by men and women without any J-school credentials or experience in the field. It was a triumph of a new form of media.

And Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs was the hero of that triumph.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Needless to say, Mr. Johnson wasn’t the only star of the show. The initial exposé of the Killian memo came from Free Republic. Other prominent bloggers were in the thick of it doing important work, including Power Line, Michelle Malkin, Roger Simon, and Instapundit. Bill at InDC Journal played a crucial role when he contacted an expert on typewriters who made mincemeat of the CBS in-house expert’s laughable assertions. Many other smaller blogs, commenters, and forum posters contributed to the effort. It truly was “an Army of Davids”.

He continues:
So what has gone wrong with this process as it applies to the conflict with LGF about Vlaams Belang and Sverigedemokraterna?

As mentioned yesterday, Charles Johnson has left standing a number of erroneous posts on these topics, without posting a public retraction or correction. These are not mere opinions, nor interpretations of photos or rat cartoons. These are actual errors of fact, ones that can be easily confirmed as false if anyone bothers to look up the cited sources.

So why has fact-checking failed in this case?

And concludes:
What are the options for Charles Johnson, or for any other prominent blogger who makes significant factual errors?

I see the same three possibilities that faced Dan Rather when the forged Killian memos were exposed:

1.
Acknowledge the errors and accept responsibility for them, even though they were committed by subordinates. This was not the road taken by Mr. Rather.
2.
The infamous “fake but accurate” defense, which acknowledges that the “facts” were bogus, but asserts the underlying truth of the accusations. Dan Rather attempted this strategy, but it never gained any real traction, not even in the MSM.
3.
Stonewalling. This was the method most favored by Mr. Rather, and which he persists in to this day, as witnessed by his lawsuit against CBS.

So far Charles Johnson has preferred option #3, failing to take up any of the suggested corrections posted here yesterday.

But I’m optimistic that this situation might change. After all, Mr. Johnson gained a well-deserved reputation for ferreting out the truth, and letting the chips fall where they may.

I'm not so optimistic as the Baron here. Charles Johnson has let himself become a mouthpiece for the hard left. Charles sees them as brothers in "anti-fascism". They despise him, but see him as their useful idiot. Charles seems to have gone too deep into this, and shows no signs of turning around. He is impervious to arguments as well as to seeing the bigger picture here.

[End of post]

15 comments:

1389 said...

Of course, the Chucklehead coundn't resist attempting a ham-handed riff on this article:

‘Dan Rather of the Blogosphere’

And he sure didn't like my comments about him!

UPDATE at 12/13/07 11:18:52 am:

A lovely comment from the Gates of Vienna.

We cannot “let go” until we have demolished his credibility to the extent that he will never again be able to harm our cause.

As I have pointed out many times, his actions, and those of his followers, are giving aid and comfort to our al-Qaeda enemies.


That was a quote from me, of course! It must have hit home!

Well, my allegation is true, and I explained why here.

Of course, if Chuckie quotes me, without being able to refute it in any way, it will very likely get some people to start thinking about what Chuckie is really up to, and the effect that his actions are having.

Here’s my latest swipe at Chuckie the Megalomanic Narcissist:

Charles Johnson, your fifteen minutes are OVER!

For that article, I made a small-format copy of the “demotivation poster” from John Schneider on Gulf Coast Pundit Forums, and provided a link to his blog, Free Speech in the Face of Inhumanity, which I have also added to my blogroll.

I know that the good people at Gates of Vienna are devoting no further attention to CJ or to the Stepford Lizardoids who have replaced the original members of Leftist Green Footballs.

But as far as I'm concerned, as long as CJ and his followers keep spreading racist libels about Serbs, Flemish, Scandinavians, and other white Europeans who are trying to defend themselves and their countries against jihadist attack, I'm not finished with THEM. If they want me and others at 1389 Blog to leave them alone, they have to stop lying about us - it's as simple as that. And that includes trolling on other people's blogs, as well as posturing on LGF.

Queen said...

In aligning himself with Oyvind Strommen, a member of the communist Green Party, Charles has embraced the worst of the open-borders, destroy-the-West-through-massive-Third-World-immigration movement. Remember that the Green Party was founded by a member of the terrorist Baader-Meinhoff gang of the 70s. Joschka Fisher participated in violent terrorist activities in coordination with Ulrike Meinhoff and the notorious Carlos "The Jackal" international terrorist, (now a convert to Radical Islam.) Of course Fisher's unsavory past was never a barrier to a successful political career in mainstream German politics later on, even though he personally participated in the brutal beating of a German policeman. The radical far-left always gets free passes that are never allowed for the so-called "far right."

These are the people that Charles has aligned himself with.

Archonix said...

Interesting to note that he's still posting about it.

Vasarahammer said...

"Interesting to note that he's still posting about it."

If you have a big ego and an army of devoted followers, it may be difficult to admit that you don't get things right all of the time.

What is most bizarre in this case, is the fact that Charles relies heavily on the information provided by Öivind Strömmen. I haven't read his book and don't intend to do so, but, based on his website, Strömmen is mainly interested in labeling people and organizations and discussions about semantics.

Fascist was the smear word used by the Communists during the Cold war and the word itself is so heavily loaded that any self-respecting scholar would avoid it, unless the scholar in question comes from the hard left (which is the case with most scholars in Political Science departments of Nordic countries).

Queen said...

Perhaps someone needs to do an expose of the Green party and its links with the Baader-Meinhoff gang? According to some sources I've read, Joschka Fisher was involved in the murder of a Hessen politician.

Conservative Swede said...

1389,

Good. Anyone that still has the energy to expose the propaganda of CJ should keep it up. Myself I will get back on this with a bit of distance and perspective. There is plenty of high class material here for anthropological studies of the contemporary Western society.

Queen,

What you write is very good. The German Green Party was the original one, which adds to the significance of what you bring up.

Vasarahammer,

This is why I oppose the term islamo-fascism. I actually distrust people saying "islamo-fascism" and assume that they are more likely than not to flip like CJ did (this is a position I have had for very long, so no I was not surprise about CJ's reaction).

Queen said...

Oyvind has always argued that "Islam" has nothing to do with "Islamofascism." Roughly the same as Daniel Pipes etc. That's why O. has always attacked Ibn Warraq and Robert Spencer -- because they don't buy that there's a difference.

Vasarahammer said...

"This is why I oppose the term islamo-fascism. I actually distrust people saying "islamo-fascism""

There is no such ideology as islamofascism and it is primarily used for labeling a mindset of a loosely defined group of people.

Are you also opposed to the term "islamism", which, I think, is used to designate muslims who take the political aspects of their religion seriously? I grudgingly accept that term, even though islam is complete way of life and the political element cannot be separated of it.

Natalie said...

Great post - I couldn't agree with you more. And I'm not optimistic that the situation will change, either. Charles has ruined all credibility he had, at least with me.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I rather suspect I'm beating a dead horse now, but take a look at this page and tell me what you see in the top right...

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

If you go to www.runescape.com and play this online game (over 10 million people are registered, playing this game), then you find in many places, in the grave yards, Celtic crosses with the "wrong" design (i.e. the one supposedly never being used at grave yards). Look e.g. here or here.

If this was indeed a white power symbol, at least someone out of the millions of people who played the game, would have reacted. So it's not the design, it's the context.

But then again, "rune" is part of the name of the game, and as we also learned recently runes are evil. A lot of killing is involved in the game, so these 10 million registered users are probably all part of an evil fascist violence cult. That would explain the white supremacist symbols in the grave yards. These here would also be the millions of people Charles Johnson talked about as the massive fascist surge that he has been warning about. I think we finally found them.

Conservative Swede said...

Hi Natalie,

Welcome to my blog!

Re CJ: Once you let go and let the leftist gravity take you for a ride, there's no end to it. And as we've seen with CJ, the most likely result is to be sucked in all the way into the leftist black hole.

Vasarahammer said...

"These here would also be the millions of people Charles Johnson talked about as the massive fascist surge that he has been warning about."

My son likes to play Runescape. Should I be worried of all the fascist symbols appearing in the game? I think not. You cannot create a good roleplaying game without symbolism and mythology.

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Mats said...

I don't agree with Charles on everything, but he and Robert Spencer are right on track when it comes to the murky past of some european right wingers.
If the anti-jihad movement wants to become mainstream in europe, we must kick out the fascists in the midst.
That is why I seldom endorse european conservatives. They are easily seduced to the fascist, racist jew-hating side.