The Other McCain

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

Well, This Happened

Posted on | January 19, 2015 | 47 Comments

Readers may recall @HollyRFisher as the mom whose Facebook image holding a Chick-fil-A iced tea in front of Hobby Lobby made liberals’ heads explode in July 2014. Her stand for religious freedom made her the target of rape threats from “tolerant” liberals, and conservatives responded with the #IStandWithHolly campaign.

She was soon appearing on national TV as a conservative heroine. Suddenly being thrown into the spotlight was apparently a disorienting experience that nearly destroyed her family. Her personal problems were entirely private, however, until somebody decided that gossip should be news. For reasons known only to himself, Chuck Johnson of applied his skills as an investigative reporter to expose Mrs. Fisher’s affair with a videographer named Joel Frewa.

Really, Chuck? Was this necessary? Did this serve any legitimate journalistic purpose? At a certain level, I can understand the logic here. Democrats are the party of lies and perversion and, as antagonists of such evil, conservative journalists are quite eager to report the typical Democrat behavior of Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Terry Bean, Joe Morrissey, et al. So when we become aware of Republicans behaving like Democrats, conservative journalists are thrown onto the horns of a dilemma, faced with two choices:

  1. Do we report the story?
  2. Do we ignore it, cross our fingers and hope that the misbehavior of these Republicans doesn’t turn into a damaging scandal?

The answer is almost always Number Two, and we sometimes feel like awful hypocrites for staying silent. More than once, I’ve become aware of shady behavior by people on “our side” and kept it to myself, only to see the scandalous truth subsequently blazoned in headlines at Politico or some other liberal outlet. Well, OK, this is how the partisan game is played: Liberals expose Republican scandals and conservatives expose Democrat scandals, and it is not my job to help liberals do their work.

Is that cynical? Sure, but a certain amount of cynicism is necessary to be able to maintain your sanity in this crazy business.

The world if full of misery and wickedness, and if you let it get inside your head — if you start taking the news too personally — you’ll end up either in a looney bin or lost in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

One of the best investigative reporters I ever knew drank himself out of a job and, after he’d wrecked his own personal life and professional career, he decided to blame his misfortune on his former colleagues. I had never thought of him as anything other than a friend nor ever did him any wrong, and I knew nothing of his problems (divorce, alcoholism, etc.) until he popped up on the Internet falsely accusing me of anti-Semitism (!!!) as part of his misguided quest for vengeance. My friends knew better than to believe that fool’s spiteful lies, but real harm resulted from his heinous libels against me and others.

Chuck Johnson’s erratic judgment reminds me of that guy, and also reminds me of myself. Having a “loose cannon” reputation as a journalist can be a lot of fun, and I know that one of the reasons this blog has been so popular (about 3 million page-views annually) is that gonzo factor: “What kind of dangerous craziness is McCain going to get himself into today?” When I dive into a whirlpool of insanity — the Kentucky census worker story or the Kaitlyn Hunt story — people know that I’ll not only find the facts, but I’ll report the facts in a way that is entertaining.

Chuck Johnson is an arrogant young hotshot, and I recognize something of myself in him, both good and bad. His story about Holly Fisher is the bad side, a serious error in judgment that a lot of people will probably never forgive. Here’s the key point: In the war of politics, Holly Fisher is a civilian volunteer.

Until July 2014, she was just a mom with a Facebook page. Thrust onto the stage in the middle of a national controversy, she could not have anticipated how the semi-celebrity world of political activism can make people think that the rules don’t apply to them.

Oh, the stories I could tell if I ever decided to start telling stories. Let’s put it this way: Drunk people act like drunk people, without regard to partisan affiliation or political ideology. Furthermore, the Law of Large Numbers applies here. If you send X number of political activists out on the road for Y number of days — traveling to conferences and campaign events, staying in hotels, going to bars and restaurants together — it is inevitable that, as the numbers X and Y increase, so also will the number Z, representing the amount of non-marital sexual activity. Avoiding temptation in such environments is an acquired skill and as for resisting temptation when people fail to avoid it? Oh, the stories I could tell.

Developing . . .

Fortunately, you’ll never click that banner link at Drudge and find my byline on the story, because my sources trust me to know the difference between gossip and news. There are stories that I can never report, because my sources swore me to secrecy. Gonzo journalism can’t work any other way. Sane people are always suspicious of reporters, and if you want to get close enough to the story to learn the real truth, you have to demonstrate to the people involved that you can be trusted not to report everything you know. There is an implied contract between a reporter and his sources in that kind of situation, as simple as four words:


If somebody is giving you the inside lowdown on a story, not only must you give them an ironclad guarantee of their anonymity, but you cannot report the story in a way that hurts your source. There are professors of journalism who would certainly be horrified at the kind of ethical compromises that are sometimes necessary to the day-to-day business of finding the truth, but to hell with professors of journalism. My sources quite often are also my personal friends, and my personal friends know that it’s against my religion to pay a bar tab.

Ethics, schmethics: As long as what I am reporting is factual, how I get the facts is my own business. It’s certainly nobody else’s business who’s paying for my beer, but if I have any say-so in the matter, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be gone before the bar tab arrives.

The journalistic ethics of free beer is, however, only tangentially related to the grievous wrong Chuck Johnson has done here.

As Donald Douglas says at American Power, “we’re all fallen. We’re human.” One thing that keeps conservatives from getting involved in politics is because they know that the liberal media will use anything — e.g., Michelle Duggar’s lesbian sister — to try to undermine the reputations of patriots who stand up for American values. Democrats have no compunction about using character assassination or terroristic intimidation tactics to silence their opponents. Should conservative activists also have to fear such tactics from Chuck Johnson?

Why on earth would a political “civilian” like Holly Fisher be considered a fair target of this kind of treatment? Ethics has nothing to do with this. Johnson’s story cannot be justified as journalism because it cannot be justified as morality. Who was Chuck Johnson’s source for this story? Who tipped him off? You can search Twitter and make a few guesses, but Chuck Johnson is obligated to protect his sources, which means that if anyone manages to figure out where Chuck Johnson got this story, that is also Chuck Johnson’s fault.

Once upon a time, I was on the phone with someone who asked my advice on whether they should publish a sex-scandal story.

No, you can’t report that, I told them, and explained why: It’s a one-source story. Even though you know it’s true — your source provided you with documentation that confirms their story — you can’t report it, because the person whose reputation you would destroy will immediately be able to figure out where you got it. Your “anonymous” source will lose their anonymity as soon as you publish this story. Unless you can get another source who is able to confirm the facts (and it would be helpful if at least one of your sources was willing to have their name in the story), you’ll just have to let this go. Such was my valuable advice.

Anonymous sources are a two-edged weapon, and reporters have to think very hard about these things. The more serious the accusation involved, the more important it is to be able to obtain independent verification of what the source tells you. And there are inevitably going to be occasions when you invest a lot of time developing a story — a story you know is absolutely factual — that you can’t publish because you just can’t get it sourced properly.

Now, some of my friends will criticize me for even noticing Chuck Johnson’s story about Holly Fisher, much less linking his story, but I’m going to link it here just once so that if readers want to go see for themselves, they can learn why you don’t publish a story like that.

Once upon a time, I had a story that was nailed down cold, but I never contacted the subject of that story until after I decided not to publish it. If I had decided the other way, the damage to this person and their family would have been irreparable, but I had the facts nailed down cold and I was this close to clicking the “publish” button when I stopped. I realized that as evil as this person was (and trust me, the left-wing evil was strong in this one), innocent people would also be harmed if I clicked “publish.” So I decided against it, and sent them an email explaining my decision.

What was the result of my kindness? This person told their friends that I had “threatened” them, when in reality I’d done them a favor and had offered them some friendly advice.

See, if I could find this particular set of scandalous facts — confirming the scandal so clearly that I didn’t even need to ask this person for an explanation — certainly any other good reporter could confirm it, as well. You keep doing what you’re doing, I told them, and somebody else is sure to discover these scandalous facts and decide to report the story. I didn’t click “publish,” because I’m a Christian. On the other hand, I explained, some people in this business are not Christians, and I sure would hate to get scooped on a story this juicy.

Not a threat, just an explanation. If the person on the receiving end of that email told their friends they had been “threatened,” so they could pretend to be a victim of right-wing malevolence, so what? Let them save face by claiming victimhood, because I knew the truth, and there wasn’t a damned thing they could do to stop me from clicking the “publish” button if I ever changed my mind. Plus, I know a lot of reporters who would have run with that story in a heartbeat if I had sent them my copious files of documentation. I’ve still got those files, and the draft version of that story I didn’t publish? Yeah, one click is all it would take.

The decision not to publish a story is one that every journalist must learn to make. It’s frustrating to spend hours or days chasing after a story and then have to decide that you’ve just wasted your time in pursuit of a story that either (a) can’t be properly confirmed, or (b) just isn’t worth reporting. Chuck Johnson made a bad decision on his Holly Fisher story. This is certainly not the first bad decision he’s made lately, but it’s likely to hurt him worse than any previous bad decision he’s made.

The world has gone crazy: Islamic terrorism in Belgium, civil war in Yemen, Miss Israel taking selfies with Miss Lebanon, and yet Chuck Johnson has nothing better to do with his time than to report on the private lives of Tea Party moms? Are you kidding me?

Holly Fisher writes about her experience:

My life crumbled. My marriage crumbled. I lost my faith in God. . . .
I have suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life, only recently telling my family about it, but after being at my lowest, my darkest, and literally about to end it all, my daughter started laughing. My sweet, angelic baby girl toddled into the room while I was sitting on the edge of my bed, and she was squealing with delight.
Right then and there I knew I needed to get off my butt and get on my knees. My daughter, along with God, saved my life. I regained my ability to pray after a few long nights of my husband squeezing me tight and helping me realize that we are a team, we are best friends, we are partners, and no matter how lost we’ve been in the past, we can survive anything.

God bless you, ma’am. And thank you for your graciousness as we are all reminded of some very valuable lessons about life.



47 Responses to “Well, This Happened”

  1. Paul Krendler
    January 19th, 2015 @ 4:32 pm

    Did you consult with Elkridge, MD’s arbiter of journalistic ethics before writing this post? Because this sounds much too measured and reasonable to have passed before his eagle eyes prior to publication…

  2. RS
    January 19th, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

    I certainly appreciate the sentiments expressed in your post. In the way back, when I was a Democrat, I was completely on board with the pillorying of Republican Bob Packwood because of his conduct with young female interns. I had principles, and a public figure had violated them. He was no longer entitled to public trust.

    In my naivete, I thought those same principles would be applied when one of “our” own was similarly comprised, i.e. William Jefferson Clinton. The reaction to his misdeeds–arguably infinitely worse than Packwood’s–caused a lot soul searching, cognitive dissonance about “our” side, and ultimately my divorce from the Democratic Party.

    I say that, because I believe there are absolutes. If we are going to hold others to them, we must first hold ourselves to those standards.

    The young lady above, at some point, chose to become a public figure. When you do that, whether you are a conservative or a liberal like Lena Dunham, you must be prepared to be attacked by your opponents. Your behavior will be scrutinized. Gossip becomes “news.” Is it fair? Maybe not, but that’s been the way of the world since Woodward and Bernstein were canonized by the journalism community for their Watergate reportage.

    It is for the same reason that I am angered when Christian leaders are caught in their own sins and publicly denounced. Yes, we are all fallen and need forgiveness and grace. But bad acts by those who purport to stand up for Truth hurt the cause. People stop looking at the arguments for religious liberty embodied in the Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A situations and become focused on the ad hominem. Illogical? Fallacious? Sure, but totally self-inflicted.

  3. CPAguy
    January 19th, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

    I liked Johnson’s reporting on the McDaniels situation (though everybody should have paid a lot more attention to prior court rulings rather than the original text of the election laws of MS), but he quickly proved himself to be a bit of a prick in the aftermath.

    Hopefully, he will reflect and grow. He is pretty good at investigative stuff.

  4. LN_Smithee
    January 19th, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

    I was a somewhat reluctant defender of Chuck Johnson because he was one of few reporters — professional or citizen — who treated fake rape accusations as the scandal they are, and not the tolerable by-product of a female psyche damaged by unknown yet excusable circumstances.

    For over a decade I have noted how colleges have conducted kangaroo courts ruining the names of male students who couldn’t be convicted of rape in a court of law, but were expelled and banned from a campus because of affidavits that detailed nothing more sinister than a night of booze-soaked rotten consensual sex with a guy who wasn’t as appealing the morning after. At no time did I think that in tolerating the aggressive, sometimes questionable tactics of Chuck against the then-unnamed woman who falsely accused an entire UVa fraternity of complicity in gang rape was the same as endorsing a hunt for supposed marital fidelity hypocrisy among private citizens, regardless of whether they were liberals or conservatives. I’d expect such behavior from people who were dutifully following the Alinsky playbook of forcing the enemy to live by his own standards, knowing that there were no such rules they needed to obey.

    @ChuckCJohnson OIC, she was "going to work for a Super PAC." And we've cared abt the marriages of Super PAC employees since, uh, 2 hrs ago.— L.N. Smithee (@LNSmithee) January 19, 2015

    @ChuckCJohnson Is this the all-important "journalism" that you set up your PayPal account to finance? Seriously? @Lemang01 @HollyRFisher— L.N. Smithee (@LNSmithee) January 19, 2015

  5. Feeding the Beast Its Steady Diet of Lurid Scandal | The Thinking Man's Zombie
    January 19th, 2015 @ 5:33 pm

    […] when I read this post from Stacy McCain, it was I nthe sirit of knowing that  writers need editors to look with a fresh […]

  6. EPWJ
    January 19th, 2015 @ 5:47 pm

    We are all flawed, she asked for forgiveness from the one’s that matter

  7. Adjoran
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:01 pm

    Chuck Johnson is a joke. His record isn’t that of an “investigative journalist,” he is a muck-raking rumor-monger and nothing more. Just look at his “reporting” from the primary season: he fanned the flames of intraparty strife with wild accusations and promises of stories “to come” that would break things wide open. Those things never arrived, though, because he is as phony as a Barbara Boxer visual aid.

  8. Adjoran
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

    Made a lot of promises he did not keep. Much of his “reporting” was just BS.

  9. RS
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

    No doubt. And I’m sure she received it. And I don’t judge her for her failure, as I have my own to deal with.

    My point is, when you set yourself up or hold yourself out as a leader, that necessitates that you elevate your conduct to a level which is beyond reproach as much as possible. And given the current climate, where we know the Progressive Left will be seeking anything to disparage Conservatives, behaving badly does more damage than the positive publicity which led to it.

  10. EPWJ
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

    Flawed, we all are, the fact that someone by the grace of god gained the wisdom first hand of the pain and suffering of their actions becomes an even more powerful force

  11. texlovera
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:15 pm

    Nice post, Stacy.

    Yeah, it’s disappointing that it happened, but thank goodness that she recognizes her mistakes and that her loved ones forgave her. May their relationship become stronger than ever.

  12. CrustyB
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

    I unfollowed Charles on Twitter this morning. At least we no longer have to distinguish between the “good” and the “bad” Charles Johnsons. They’re both rotten now.

  13. LN_Smithee
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

    People stop looking at the arguments for religious liberty embodied in
    the Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A situations and become focused on the ad hominem. Illogical? Fallacious? Sure, but totally self-inflicted.

    I for one am tired of having to put up with people who say “Look! Squirrel!” in these cases, knowing that principles will be dismissed along with individuals’ inability to live up to them.

    Such is the case with the scandal swirling around Bill Cosby. The tipping point that brought the subterranean rumors about his sexual assaults to the surface was a less-known black comedian who didn’t appreciate Cosby telling poor black men how to behave. The more we learn about the allegations that have been surfacing weekly, the more reason we have to believe that the man who was once among the most respected men in America (regardless of race) is not only a hypocrite, but a sociopath of monstrous proportion.

    Now, does that mean that Cosby is wrong about young black men who drop out of school and for unknown reasons, wear their pants so low their crack shows? Hell, no. In fact, if Cosby himself wasn’t the opposite of that image, he might be rotting in prison alongside some of the guys who embrace that culture because they don’t want to “act white.”

  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

    Seems like “punching down.” My response is “meh.”

  15. Zohydro
    January 19th, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

    When Cosby “went off the reservation”, I assumed it would come back to haunt him someday… He’s no saint, it is clear—but, I’m sure whatever the truth, he’s only in the minor leagues of celebrity scumbaggery!

  16. LN_Smithee
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

    I reject the premise that the progressive left would’ve targeted Fisher before Johnson decided to go after her.

  17. robertstacymccain
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

    I also believe in moral absolutes. Unfortunately, we are in a war for the survival of our republic, and my sense of priorities tells me that publishing a story about Mrs. Fisher’s personal problems is not doing anything to help the republic survive.

    Also, I have been able to make an educated guess about the source of this story, and am of the opinion that this was made public as payback. Do you know the kind of motives involved? No, because you don’t know the source. I don’t know for certain who the source is, but my educated guess leads me to think the motive was spiteful and selfish. This does not excuse Mrs. Fisher’s personal wrongdoing, of course. However, it causes me to wonder why Chuck Johnson would lend assistance to such a vindictive act.

  18. Proof
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

    As far as this guy claiming you ‘threatened” him, that’s just part of the liberals’ M.O. There was this one Internet troll who was constantly bad mouthing the military & dropping way too much personal information about himself online. I cautioned him that if some of those comments, easily accessible online, became known to his employer, a man with contracts with the military, that there could be negative consequences.

    Forever after, to him, I was the guy who “threatened to call his boss”. And whenever the narrative lagged, he’d falsely accuse me of already having done it.

  19. Jim R
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:37 pm

    I am entirely in agreement with you. If a thing is wrong, it is wrong no matter who does it*. And who wants to be associated with people (like democrats) who will excuse ANY bad behavior so long as the villain is “on our side”?

    In the case of Holly Fisher, I don’t think she meant to become a “public figure”. Unfortunately, she DID become one… and that put a target on her back for any piece of trash liberal “journalist” who wanted to serve the cause by dragging her through the dirt (where’s the “War on Women” crowd now, eh?). I don’t know what caused her to cheat on her husband and I don’t care. Glad he seems to have forgiven her and I hope all is well for them in the future.

    As for Christians… There should be a clearer line between hating the sin and loving the sinner. Who amongst us could withstand the full attention of trash like this Johnson or other scum like that Carville troll? We can regret when somebody falls, but I think condemnation ought to be held well in abeyance until we can see if they are trying to grt back up.


    (*) I exclude war from this as there are regrettably things that are very wrong that a nation may well have to do, and the greater end definitely justifies the means.

  20. MrPaulRevere
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

    Doing this was completely unnecessary on Johnsons part: It serves no identifiable purpose whatsoever. The man seems incapable of any sort of restraint or self-reflection (which I might add are core conservative character traits). Great post!

  21. RKae
    January 19th, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

    Were we ever sure that they didn’t inhabit the same body?

    Hmmm… I wonder.

  22. RS
    January 19th, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

    Perhaps. Except our host links to a prior post indicating that she was being attacked.

    I certainly don’t mean to justify Johnson’s reportage, BTW. Alas, we live in an age where spiteful people seek out targets of opportunity.

  23. RS
    January 19th, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

    . . . my sense of priorities tells me that publishing a story about Mrs. Fisher’s personal problems is not doing anything to help the republic survive.

    Of course it does not. And of course, Johnson is a sleeze and his source, whoever it is is a douchebag. I’m the young lady has set thing right with her family.

    Unfortunately, we on the Right have realize that this is the Left’s MO in this fight for the survival of our Republic. The Left had no problems attacking Sarah Palin’s family with the most vile lies imaginable. We should expect this and each person who seeks or is thrust into a position of notoriety needs to make sure his house is in order because there’s always one disgruntled neighbor, family member or acquaintance away from a National Enquirer. To quote my dear mother, one must avoid the very appearance of Evil.

  24. Daniel Freeman
    January 19th, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

    This isn’t rocket science. Both partners in an affair know about it, and presumably so do their respective best friends, since they know they’re doing wrong and will seek validation. She went back to her husband, so the revelation hurts her. I have an aversion to social media, but if I looked and neither ex-paramour was denouncing their erstwhile BFF as a traitor, then I would bet Voodoo doughnuts to dollars that Chuck’s source was the other man himself.

  25. K-Bob
    January 19th, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

    This is a fascinating article.

    If I may…

    In the realm of political debate and discourse, one of the metaphorical nails which I frequently hammer is the concept of avoiding the “own goal.”

    To begin with, let’s dispense with the concept of politics being defined as, “The art of the possible.” Oh hell, no; it’s war. It’s always war.

    But this particular war is played out in a virtual arena, on a loosely-defined field, with active players, cheerleaders, and spectators. Like Holly Fisher, people in a given category may find themselves suddenly in one or more of the other categories—if perhaps only briefly. Though similar to other events that take place in an arena, this war features some strangely loose rules (part of the game is coercing rule changes by pushing the “referees”—another group of participants that constantly changes—to look the other way, to suddenly call newly invented penalties, or hamper their power to judge in some way).

    As with real warfare, in our arena-style war it’s important to play to win. (Though the game/war never ends, and winning is only a matter of getting ahead for as long as possible.) The game is our State of the Union. Right now we are far behind.

    Democrats understand all of this reflexively. Their instinct to hamstring, cheat, never accept the referees’ calls, never stop moving the line of scrimmage—legally or otherwise, even while play is stopped, like it was after 9-11—is something buried down deep in their makeup. They scrabble to prevent goals against them any way possible. Personal embarrassment is no impediment to that effort. This is especially true for the category of goal (really, any temporary advantage) caused by error of their own players: the dreaded own goal.

    Republicans continually fail to understand this from every analytical and presentational viewpoint. It’s a form of self-hobbling that exasperates their own fans and most players. They rarely play to get ahead in the game. They seem far more content to simply match the Democrats in overall game time, regardless of score.

    So what constitutes an own goal? Exactly what Stacy refers to in most of this article. Doing the work for the opposition is a definite error. But many on the Republican side cannot resist the urge to point fingers at the imperfections of their own team. Ironically, many of those same people act as though they think it dishonorable to point out similar offenses and failings of the other team (better, they seem to say, to accept the situation for what it is, and just get on with play). It’s a two-pronged, psychological strategy these people use to both try and appear “fair minded” and also look like the smartest guy in the room by showing the failings of others; even if they are on your own team.

    In football, we’ve all seen the arm waving and pointing after a play, where one or more players tries to convince the referees that a player from the other team broke the rules. You never see a player do that to his own team. (Never twice, at any rate.) To do that to your own team is a form of own goal. Too many Republicans do this constantly. It drives the rest of us crazy.

    Where Democrats cause distractions to divert attention from the rule-breaking by their own team, Republicans will break your heart by halting play to focus excessively on rulebreaking by their own team.

    We’re not talking about genuine criminal behavior (most of the time). So the problem is rarely one of ethics. It seems to be an attempt to prevent our best players from standing out. It’s as if they believe such qualities are bad for the team. And yes, there are players who would rather hold someone back so that they can steal the limelight from them. That was how Obama got on the Senatorial ticket in Illinois. I’m sure we have such opportunists on the Republican side.

    Well, enough.

    I hope some of the cheerleader and referee folks read this article by Stacy and learn the consequences of committing own goals.

    They will be noticed.

  26. K-Bob
    January 19th, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

    Oh, yeah. I’ve seen similar things happen. And of course, moderators get claims of having issued threats all the time. Just for stating the canned-response, “If you wish to keep your commenting privileges, please follow the comment policy.”

  27. Bunk X
    January 19th, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

    It’s ALL about ethics.

  28. Jeanette Victoria
    January 20th, 2015 @ 12:26 am

    There was a time when this kind if personal failure was simply kept private as it should be. But we live in vulgar nasty times where a former friend (or siblings) will gleefully betray a confidence in vindictive vegange. Progressives don’t care if their own are evil (damn ted kennedy MURDERED a woman)

    Convicted pedophile Democrat Joseph Morrissey re-elected while he was in JAIL!

    We live in a nasty brutish and evil cutture thesedays

  29. Mm
    January 20th, 2015 @ 12:26 am

    I remember this incident. The person is a woman with a high social profile in a small, conservative town. Stacy contacted her husband and let him know what she was up to. As fo Johnson, this reminds me of the type of thing Schmalfeldt would do. He’d have most of the facts wrong, but he’d do it just because, like he did to the Stranahans.

  30. Mm
    January 20th, 2015 @ 12:27 am

    My reply was supposed to be to Proof’s comment below.

  31. LN_Smithee
    January 20th, 2015 @ 1:05 am

    The decision not to publish a story is one that every journalist must learn to make. It’s frustrating to spend hours or days chasing after a story and then have to decide that you’ve just wasted your time in pursuit of a story that either (a) can’t be properly confirmed, or (b)
    just isn’t worth reporting.

    Many years ago, I was intent on publishing on my AOL homepage (and on Free Republic) a long essay detailing well-founded suspicions about a single septuagenarian Southern California philanthropist who A) formed a little-known nonprofit organization that funds youth athletics, and B) also funded through that same nonprofit a scholarly compilation of previously published papers written by apologists for (wait for it) pedophilia.

    I actually talked to the guy on the phone to ask why he would do such a thing, and his answer was unsatisfactory. But I subsequently found out that the guy is absolutely loaded; he’s old money, and has never had to work a day in his life. He’s a well-respected local legend among his city’s government, being a former commissioner of some sort and maintaining a reputation as a lovable gadfly always speaking up at city council meetings. I have no idea if anyone besides me any idea he has financially supported the idea of sex with people the same age as he associates with through his foundation.

    I had to decide whether or not I was going to go out on a tightrope without a net and try to alert the world to this guy, knowing that if he chose, he could crush me legally. I decided that he couldn’t be long for this earth in any event.

    He’s in his late nineties now.

  32. K-Bob
    January 20th, 2015 @ 2:31 am

    Only in the idealized version. I’m discussing the actual version.

  33. Daniel Freeman
    January 20th, 2015 @ 4:43 am

    That isn’t enough. You need to get all up in the ref’s face whenever the other side commits an own goal, and point it out.

    Lefty cannibalism is a thing. Every time there’s a twitstorm, someone should be documenting it, reporting it in brief, and asking all the regular people out there whether they want to be held to a standard of ideological purity that even the devout can’t meet.

  34. K-Bob
    January 20th, 2015 @ 5:43 am

    No, it’s not enough we do need a more aggressive approach. But I would be happy to see *some* attempt on the right to stop with the own goals. Let the left do their own homework. We don’t have to condone bad behavior on our side, but it’s not our job to point out the venial sins of our team members.

    We have two types of pundit that drive me crazy in this arena. The “own goal” types like Stacy features here, and the type I call “Wet Blanket” Conservatives. I try to avoid singling him out, but Ramesh Ponnuru is an excellent example of the latter. He’s a very conservative thinker, and brilliant. But he’s quick to point out how things are failing, how they aren’t being fixed, and how things we’d like to see “won’t happen.”

    Very Eeyore-ish. That’s not exactly the kind of, “Let’s win one for the Gipper!” kind of commentary that inspires victory.

  35. robertstacymccain
    January 20th, 2015 @ 7:58 am

    Hmmm. I bet someone in Southern California could figure out who you’re talking about, just by your outline description. Be careful.

  36. robertstacymccain
    January 20th, 2015 @ 8:16 am

    The “own goal” problem is one that liberals incentivize for Republicans. When John McCain or Lindsay Graham sabotages conservatives on a core issues like border security, the “reasonableness” of the saboteur is deployed to make conservatives seem irrational for adhering to a conservative policy position. The same is true on issue after issue: Because the media are so overwhelmingly liberal (at least 5-to-1 Democrat-to-Republican), there is always some prominent Republican who can be persuaded to adopt the Democrat position on any issue, and this person will be celebrated in the media as an exemplar of “reasonableness.” It is always reasonable, according to the media, to prefer bad liberal policy to good conservative policy. People who enter the political debate must take into consideration the ways in which the terms of the debate are controlled by liberal discourse. The proper conservative attitude toward any controversy is, “We win, they lose.” Resolve first to defeat liberals in every conflict, and all other considerations of politics become secondary.

  37. Rob Crawford
    January 20th, 2015 @ 11:00 am

    He had some problems with Conservative Treehouse when he supposedly republished some of their discoveries and even marked-up photos as “exclusives”.

  38. RosalindJ
    January 20th, 2015 @ 7:09 pm

    Thank you for addressing this. I had no idea about the story (there’s so much to keep up with anymore), but I have observed on the fly one Chuck Johnson, bouncing around from story to angle to vague statement to nearly menacing statement back to story again with the energy and direction of a drop of water on a hot skillet. His approach to stories already had my radar pegging to the drama-llama narcissist side.

  39. RosalindJ
    January 20th, 2015 @ 7:12 pm

    Indeed he did. Made me wonder just which cause he was supposedly a warrior for.

  40. LN_Smithee
    January 20th, 2015 @ 9:15 pm

    I could send you a link proving that the nonprofit made a grant toward the aforementioned collection (it’s in Google Books). What I can’t do is prove that there was any hanky-panky going on when he’d travel with teenage athletes all over the world.

  41. K-Bob
    January 20th, 2015 @ 9:38 pm


  42. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 21st, 2015 @ 12:19 pm
  43. K-Bob
    January 21st, 2015 @ 4:23 pm

    Good point. I doubt he ever was invited to the X-Men director’s pool parties.

  44. goddd
    January 21st, 2015 @ 10:34 pm

    It’s really time for men to stop defending sluts. Doing so only creates more sluts. All the other political stuff is just blah blah.

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  46. Diana C
    January 24th, 2015 @ 10:57 pm

    See here’s the thing, Holly is being called out simply because she’s a mean girl. “How to make a liberal’s head explode” kind of gave it away that that girl had NO desire to have an intelligent discussion regarding politics. What she provided was merely junkfood for the conservative party (yes, we have the same jerk on our side, too). She just wanted to make fun of people who thought differently than her (I’ve read her past posts, some of them weren’t so christian or ladylike). She was very rude and hurtful in how she presented herself. You can’t build a “career” out of making people hate you and then expect for those same people to respect your privacy when you screw up. I’m a liberal, but I’m able to discuss ideas, beliefs and policies while being respectful to opposing positions. Holly was unable to do that for some reason. Otherwise, people seriously wouldn’t have cared about her affair (hell, we would been screaming “it’s her business only!” right along with you). However, people love to see the mean girl suffer. I read Holly’s post where she apologized for being a bully, I was excited to read her words, how she regrets being so inappropriate in regards to Doug’s DUI, and I hope she really did learn her lesson and hopefully she’ll come out of all of this a more mature and wiser woman. I lean to the left but I get more excited when I see bipartisanship than when I see arguing and mud slinging from either side.

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