The Other McCain

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

Patterico: ‘Charles Johnson Doesn’t Care About Context or Truth Any More’

Posted on | January 21, 2011 | 41 Comments

“I was such a small fish at the time. I realized I was basically committing blog suicide by going against him. But he was wrong.”
Pamela Geller, January 2010

It’s interesting how easy it has become to ignore Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs. A couple weeks ago, Diary of Daedalus or the Blogmocracy had a post with a graphic showing the decline in LGF’s traffic since Johnson began his mad purge of commenters who didn’t cooperate with his site’s leftward shift. And I would have blogged about that, but why bother? Nobody cares about LGF anymore.

Johnson has tried to re-invent LGF as an amateur Media Matters, and Patterico caught LGF doing a phony “gotcha” wherein Glenn Beck last June supposedly told his viewers to shoot people in the head.

Patterico links the transcript of the program which makes clear that Beck never said or intended any such thing. What Beck was talking about was a “civil war” within the Democratic Party between pragmatic, mainstream liberals and the revolutionary True Believers who are intent on radical change By Any Means Necessary:

You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.
They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them — they’re revolutionaries. Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.

You will recall that after the 9/12 March on Washington in 2009, Nancy Pelosi gave a press conference warning about rhetoric that “created a climate in which violence took place” in San Francisco in the late 1970s:

And what Beck was trying to say on his June 2010 program was that Democratic leaders, who believed they could co-opt and use the radicalism of the Left for their political advantage, should worry more about extremism from their own allies than from the conservative opposition. You don’t have to believe that assertion — or be a Beck fan — to see that what the LGF post did was to twist Beck’s meaning into the exact opposite of what Beck intended.

What’s stunning is how easily Johnson — or rather one of his second-banana henchpeople, “Conservative Moonbat” — was gulled into that error. The Beck transcript was available online the whole time. The transcript was located by the third commenter on the LGF post and the fourth commenter observed:

So he says that Dems will have to shoot left-wing radicals “in the head”

So even LGF’ers quickly discovered that the headline on the post and the context-free video clip were misleading. What remains to be learned is whether “Conservative Moonbat” got this video from Raw Story, or vice versa. But it appears that Johnson’s second bananas are increasingly third-rate. What this episode highlights is the cause of LGF’s decline. At some point in 2007, Charles Johnson decided that his conservative allies were unworthy of his allegiance and needed to be destroyed. His war against Pamela Geller was the opening salvo in that campaign. But as Da Tech Guy once advised Joe Scarborough, “Sooner or later you have to join the side you’re on.”

In coalition politics we often find ourselves allied with people with whom we disagree, with people we don’t like, with people who we find in some way embarrassing or obnoxious. It may even be the case that prominent leaders and spokesmen of “our side” appear to be exactly the sort of people with whom we normally can’t stand to associate. We may feel that these leaders and spokesmen are in some way discrediting the cause we support. Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, these people are contending for the same cause and are therefore not our political enemies.

Charles Johnson has cut himself off from conservatives and made them his enemies, without actually bothering to declare himself a liberal. Liberals were happy to celebrate Johnson’s defection from the Right, but the one-time dividend of a New York Times profile hasn’t yielded any lasting benefit.

No blog is an island. If you aren’t linked by other blogs, you can’t increase your readership. That which does not grow will eventually begin to die. When Johnson decided to make war on erstwhile blog allies, he also cut himself off from their readers, and without a readership — beyond the dwindling cult of sycophants — he has become irrelevant.

And Pamela Geller “was such a small fish,” y’know? It’s amazing what a “small fish” can accomplish.

She’ll be at CPAC next month with a world-premiere movie.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!


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