The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ace of Spades Smacks Charles Johnson in a Post Every New* Blogger Should Read

Posted on | June 12, 2010 | 51 Comments

* And by “new,” I mean if you haven’t been at it
since Ace started with a Blogspot site in 2003.

When trying to explain the principle of reciprocal linkage (Rule 2), I’ve often wanted to quote a post Ace of Spades wrote about three years ago, in which he explained how you link somebody so as to throw traffic, how to quote and hat-tip, etc. But alas, I couldn’t find the post.

Now, however, Ace has reprised that theme in a memorable pimp-slapping of Charles Johnson:

Let me talk about “swiping stories.” Johnson believes that if he throws in a lame hat-tip at the end of a post, he hasn’t “swiped a story,” because he’s given you attribution.
That’s not the case. A lame hat-tip at the end of a post covers one’s ass, I suppose, in terms of attribution, but it fails to do what a proper link is supposed to do: Throw some traffic.
Some blogs are deliberately “gateway blogs,” throwing out traffic wide and far in general furtherance of good-guy blogger boosterism. . . .
On the other hand, some blogs are very jealous and ungenerous about throwing links and traffic to “competitors.” Some blogs fancy themselves not “gateway blogs” but “destination blogs,” and attempt to set themselves up as the only blog you need to read.
Not a portal, then, but a terminus. . . .

Anybody who has read this blog long enough knows that Ace is my blogging role model. Back when I was hopelessly trapped in the stifling straitjacket of Washington journalism, I envied Ace because he could say exactly what he wanted — and be hugely successful!

My admiration for Ace is so enthusiastic as to be kinda creeptastic and stalkerish, like a teenage girl chasing the Jonas Brothers. Yet he is so merciful that not once has he threatened to take out a restraining order against me. And he actually links me once in a while.

So read the whole thing.

Uh . . . I’ll be in my bunk.

UPDATE: To put the Ace/LGF situation in context, some explanation is in order. There was a minor media-bias kerfuffle this past week in regard to the Gaza “Freedom Flotilla,” and I didn’t blog about it because the source was Little Green Footballs. But it got picked up in the media and everybody else blogged about it, including Yid With Lid:

Reuters is now doctoring its pictures from the violence aboard the Guerrilla Flotilla.

YWL got linked at Hot Air, and this prompted Charles Johnson to go thermonuclear on Allahpundit:

“So what kind of vindictive, unprofessional, unethical creep would write about a story and give all the credit to other people, knowing full well that the story originated at LGF?
“The dishonest dirtbag goes by the name of ‘Allahpundit,’ and he writes for Hot Air.”

To which Allahpundit replied:

It seems I’m “scum,” a “thief,” and a “dishonest dirtbag” because I thought Sammy Benoit had found the initial photo of Reuters cropping out weapons. Turns out it was Charles Johnson at LGF who broke the story; Sammy’s post only mentioned him in connection with the second photo. So here’s the official correction from a scummy dirtbag thief.

Paleo Pat at Political Byline called attention to this:

Has this man forgotten just how badly he stabbed the right in the back? Has Charles Johnson forgotten how badly that he defamed Pamela Geller, by calling her a Nazi Sympathizer? This happened more than once by the way; the first time almost ruined her blogger career.

OK, then Ace linked Political Byline and pointed out that Charles Johnson has been known to swipe a story without proper credit — citing as one example an occasion when LGF hogged the credit for a Dan Riehl item.

Dan’s thrown a few light jabs at CJ the past couple of days — including one about the Geller PayPal situation — but he hasn’t gotten rough with LGF and probably won’t. But, oh, if he ever did . . .

UPDATE II: Now here we go. I hadn’t bothered to look at the post that provoked Ace’s latest response, but it perfectly exemplifies what went wrong with Charles Johnson:

Johnson recounts a dust-up in which Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light accused Johnson of “stealing one of his stories,” an accusation Johnson denied. But when Gilbert, per CJ, “threatened to ‘ruin my reputation’ with other bloggers” Johnson “preemptively wrote emails to several other bloggers.”

Now, I don’t know the backstory there, and Johnson uses it as pretext to publish private correspondence with Ace — a vicious betrayal, and a bell that can never be unrung. Yet that’s not the real “tell” here.

Why on earth was Charles Johnson so concerned about what another blogger might say about him to other bloggers — especially when Johnson himself at that time (March 2008) had been waging a merciless online vendetta against Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for six months?

Kind of thin-skinned, don’t you think?

Can you say “guilty conscience,” boys and girls?

Proprietary rage over which blogger “stole” what story from whom is a routine fixture of the blogosphere. Being obsessed with one’s reputation to the point where you’re sending back-channel e-mails to other bloggers to “preemptively” defend yourself from an accusation of story-swiping . . .

To quote Allahpundit: Dude.

With the exception of my own reporting, nearly everything I blog about comes from either Memeorandum, Google News or Twitter. How the story gets to those places, I don’t much care. If either Instapundit or Ace links a story that gets picked up by other bloggers, that story will usually show up at Memeorandum — which seldom credits Ace or Insty, who may thereby be cheated out of deserved hat-tips.

Bloggers that big, however, usually have better things to do than to worry whether they get credited for every story they blog. And certainly it would be insanely time-consuming to keep up with the soap-opera plot-twists of which bloggers are mad at other bloggers.

That’s why it’s so bizarre to discover that Charles Johnson was “preemptively” e-mailing other bloggers that way in 2008. Why would Johnson worry that other bloggers might credit Steve Gilbert’s accusations?

With that e-mail, Johnson betrayed a profound narcissistic tendency. For Johnson then to wait more than two years to retaliate against Ace by publishing a private e-mail is unquestionably sociopathic.

Picture it, reader: Charles Johnson, once one of the most heralded members of the blogsophere, sitting there with archived e-mails from years ago, poring over his cache to retrieve and publish this e-mail he solicited while endeavoring to protect his own reputation.

Sick. And not merely sick, but evil.


  • Jeff Dunetz

    Truth is, the information I used about the first set or Pictures was from CAMERA that’s how I labeled it, the second set of picture was from LGF I labeled those to him.

    Many people linked the story to me, and most of them also went to LGF also.

    I would have gone to LGF to discuss it directly but Charles didn’t like the blogs I put on my blogroll so he banned me.

    Stuff like this happens all the time and most of the time it is accidental.

    I broke the Helen Thomas Video and many people picked the story off of Breitbart TV who linked it to me or Drudge who linked it to Breitbart. Those people were not trying to Rip me off or steal credit–it happens.

    Fact is if Allah or Ace get plenty of traffic and they don’t need to steal stories. I think Charles may have a bit of thin skin on this.