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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

LGF, Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch

The Washington Independent has written an article on what they call "Civil War Raging in Right-Wing Blogosphere."

The title is misleading in my opinion because while we touched on LFG's owner, Charles Johnson the other day with his and Glenn Beck's little feud, Johnson admittedly, is not right wing.

He even states this in the article by saying "I’ve always been pretty independent. This is something I’ve really tried to put out there on my blog. I don’t consider myself right-wing."

Therefore titling a piece about problems between Johnson and "right wing" bloggers or television personalities, a "civil war on the right wing blogosphere", is deliberately misleading.

With that said, there are some points, responses and responses to those responses from the NOT right wing Johnson and bloggers and Beck who ARE right wing.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, jazz musician and Web designer Charles Johnson has devoted his blog, Little Green Footballs, to exposing Muslim extremism in and outside the United States. His targets have included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, filmmaker Michael Moore, Reuters, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dan Rather, and the late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie — who some LGF commenters (not Johnson) call “St. Pancake,” a tribute to the Israeli steamroller that killed her. LGF helped write the lexicon of the self-styled “anti-Jihadist” blogosphere — from “moonbat” (”an unthinking or insane leftist”) to “anti-idiotarian” (”anyone who grasps the significance of and does his or her best to combat the post-9/11 political alliance between the ‘Old Left’ and militant Islam”).

But in the early days of Barack Obama’s presidency, LGF has become better known for the various fights it picks with many on the right — including conservative bloggers, critics of Islamic extremism, and critics of Islam in general who used to be Johnson’s fellow travelers.

Johnson has blasted Fox News host Glenn Beck, promoting a video from a Beck-inspired party that shows conservatives ranting about evolution and arguing that “this turn toward the extreme right on the part of Fox News is troubling, and will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP.” In response to the news that the Department of Homeland Security was watching for increased right-wing extremism — something that most of the conservative blogosphere, like most Republicans, responded to with angry ridicule — Johnson pointed to the recent arrests of right-wing terrorists and criticized bloggers for buying into “distorted claims” about the DHS report. When Obama genuflected before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Johnson found archival video of President Bush bowing to take a medal from the King and urged conservatives to turn down their “hyperventilating nonsense.”

This has the blogger’s peers asking themselves

the same question, over and over: What the heck happened to Charles Johnson?

In the interest of fairness, before dealing with other aspects of the article, Johnson has responded to the Washington Independent article.

I’ll just deal with one of the lies contained in the quotes in this article:

“He chose to portray the Brussels Conference as evil and he unconscionably slandered the people who attended,” said Dymphna, one of the editors of Gates of Vienna.

Fact: my very first post about this conference contained no attacks on any of these people, no “slander,” and absolutely did not “portray the conference as evil.” In fact, it was a pretty mild warning about the participation of Vlaams Belang and Sweden Democrats. Here’s the post in its entirety:

Back to the original article, Johnson did have some very inflammatory remarks to make about people like Pamela Geller from Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch- Two bloggers, in my opinion, who provide up-to-date, accurate original information on a regular basis, among others... such as:

Johnson has turned hard against Spencer and Geller, attacking the former for joining a “genocidal Facebook group,” while referring to the latter as a “shrieking lunatic,” and labeling both of them “hatebloggers.” Johnson now points to Geller’s posts about Barack Obama’s heritage and her quest to fund a headstone for the victim of a Muslim honor killing as proof that “the woman is deranged.” Other bloggers in the movement have been purged from Johnson’s blogroll or pilloried on the site, never to be mentioned again. The most successful sites that arose in LGF’s wake, including Gateway Pundit, Gates of Vienna, and Brussels Journal, are also on the outs.

Johnson personally attacks Geller by stating "Well, I don’t know if Geller got crazier. She always was nuts."

It bears mentioning that before all this, Geller and Spencer both, had very complimentary things to say about Johnson and his website Little Green Footballs:

“He’s the reason I started blogging,” said Atlas Shrugs editor Pamela Geller, a New Yorker who says she was “mugged by Sept. 11″ and started reading LGF for news and fellowship. “I wrote birthday messages to him. I respected and admired him.”

Robert Spencer, the director of JihadWatch and the author of the bestselling, “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam,” had an established career as a critic of militant Islam before he met Johnson. “But right after 9/11, he was the only one out there reporting on this,” Spencer said. “He built my Website. I learned how to blog from reading his stuff.”

Not anymore.

Today I see posts on both those sites, regarding this Washington Independent piece and Johnson's inflammatory remarks.

Atlas Shrugged:

So let me understand this: when I run Al Qaeda videos promoting jihad and Jew hatred, I am supporting Al Qaeda? Because that's what this tiny cretin is proposing with his latest jealous diatribe.

Shrieking bigoted lunatic Pamela Geller has now graduated to promoting the skinheads of the neo-Nazi British National Party: Atlas Shrugs: PUSHBACK AGAINST MUSLIM EXTREMISTS IN THE UK.

I ran a video of folks supporting the troops in the UK. That's it. Here's the post. Nowhere is the BNP mentioned and never have I ever expressed any support for that group. I had no idea it's BNP. Nothing at youtube says BNP. The name of the video is "People of Luton Protest against Muslim Extremists" - user name "lutonprotest". Nutty as a fruitcake, I tell ya.

But Charles is all about Charles' fantasies. FACTS ARE IRRELEVANT. It's all about putting my name, my blog and neo-nazi in the headline so that's what comes up in the google search results.

Jihad Watch:

Why does anyone continue to link to Charles Johnson, who continually defames me and others with false claims that we support fascists? I have declared my opposition to the BNP and the National Front many times -- and as far as the Vlaams Belang goes, have simply pointed out that his "evidence" that they are fascist at all is tenuous at best. If you're a blogger, you should consider what it does to your credibility by supporting Johnson and his agenda of character assassination and defamation.

Johnson, of course, relies heavily on fellow libelblogger Kejda Gjermani's guilt-by-association pieces purporting to establish that I am a "religious supremacist." Since this is supposed to be a "hidden agenda" of mine, it is impossible to respond to -- no one can prove that he doesn't hold various positions secretly. But it is also ridiculous: I travel around the country giving talks calling upon people to defend the freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, equality of rights of all before the law, and the concept of non-establishment of religion. It would be extremely odd behavior to devote one's life to building up what one actually wishes to destroy, and this demonstrates the paranoia and absurdity of the Johnson/Gjermani line.

In closing: many sent me a post by Elder of Ziyon, saying that the details of this blog war were not important, and that we should both cut it out. This is like saying Poland should cut it out and get along with Hitler's blitzkrieg. Johnson has libeled me repeatedly, and is manifestly trying to destroy my reputation. I am going to respond as necessary.

I have to agree there, if you feel you are being smeared, lied about and defamed, you have an obligation to yourself and to your readers to respond or, at the very least, provide evidence to the contrary of those lies to keep your reputation intact.

Robert Stacy McCain points out the very same thing, Johnson is not right wing and never was:

So when Charles Johnson says he doesn't consider himself "right wing," he's utterly sincere. He is what he always was, a pro-war liberal. Now that the Republicans are out of power and the "conservative" label has been permanently tainted by its association with the hapless Bush administration, Johnson cares nothing for the fate of the GOP or conservatism. Nor does he care anything for the reputations of erstwhile friends like Robert Spencer and Pam Geller, whom he now casually dismisses as racist Nazi kooks.

More at Gates of Vienna.

Perhaps a better title for the original Washington Independent piece would have been, "civil war raging between pro-war liberal Johnson and right wing bloggers."

Just saying.