Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Gettysburg of the Counterjihad

ThrashingThat’s how David Weigel views the conflict between Little Green Footballs and just about everyone else on the right side of the blogosphere. See his article, “Civil War Raging in Right-Wing Blogosphere”, in The Washington Independent.

Mr. Weigel interviewed Gates of Vienna for this article. He has quoted us accurately and in context, so it’s a relatively fair and balanced view of the whole sordid mess. He correctly identifies Counterjihad Brussels 2007 as the proximate cause of the Great Blog Schism — which continues even now, as Charles Johnson throws more and more enemies under the LGF bus.

The article allows Charles a lengthy say, but also quotes extensively from Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Below are a few excerpts:

Johnson is unapologetic about his actions. While he was attacking the attendees of the Counterjihad Summit, he was also blasting Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for taking money from, and being photographed with, the owner of the extremist Web site Stormfront.org.

“Some people at that summit in Belgium were not people we should have been associated with,” Johnson said, pointing out that since 2007 the terrorism-focused conservative bloggers have become supporters of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to outlaw Islam in his country. [Note from BB: this is not true. Geert Wilders says he wants to ban the Koran as long as Mein Kampf is still banned in Holland. The author should have fact-checked this assertion.] “Some of these people outright want to ban Islam from the United States, which I think is crazy, completely nuts. That’s not something we do in this country. These people will outright defend banning the Koran or deporting Muslims. That’s popular with the Geller/Spencer crowd.”
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“He’s really gone off the deep end,” Geller said, pointing to Johnson’s more and more frequent criticisms of creationists, such as the attack on the anti-evolution, Glenn Beck-inspired event, which made the host angry enough to lash out at LGF on his show. “He’s a leftist blogger now.”

Johnson brushes that criticism aside. “A lot of people think I discovered this creationism thing overnight,” he said, “but that’s not true. I was posting about this before 9/11. After 9/11 I had other things on my mind. And now I’ve come back to it.” But Spencer accuses Johnson of losing sight of the threat of extremist Islam by obsessing over the American religious right and equating the two faiths.

“There is no global movement of Christians trying to subjugate the world,” Spencer said. “There is such a movement on the extreme of Islam. I wrote a book called ‘Religion of Peace’ — which Johnson wrote a favorable review of — and I looked, and didn’t find, Christian extremists who were trying to replace the Constitution with Biblical law. They’re a myth. They’re the Santa Claus of the left.”

Some of Johnson’s former allies experienced a decrease in traffic numbers when he started attacking them, but they all now feel they’ve recovered from the break. “LGF tried to destroy my reputation so I wouldn’t have the access I have to my sources in law enforcement and academia,” said Spencer, “but that hasn’t happened.”

Geller has rebounded with increased prominence — she was a guest on the Fox News show “Red Eye” last week — and she said she has survived the “besmirching” of her reputation and she now fills the information-spreading role that Johnson once did. “I get my stuff from people on the inside,” she said, “from people in Europe. I field 800-900 emails a day. We all depend on our readers for these tips. That’s where Charles was getting his stuff. And now he’s cracked and he’s not getting that anymore.”

Johnson brushes off that kind of criticism. LGF is his site, and if it has to name names and shame the people who are debasing the movement against extremist Islam, he’ll do it. “I’ve definitely seen an uptick in craziness since the election,” he sighs. “Well, I don’t know if Geller got crazier. She always was nuts.”

Dymphna responds with her own remarks:

She was? In the past, before her trip to Brussels, Charles linked to Pamela. He accepted her praise and permitted her free access to the comments. When she was blindsided by his condemnation of her and struck back in anger, the vicious attacks against her character, her beliefs, and her integrity began.

Her attempts to apologize for her reactive anger were brushed aside.

The attacks continue to this day, as you can see if you peruse yesterday’s comments section for vicious slams against the sincerity of Pamela Geller’s Jewishness.

Charles dissembles when he claims to monitor his comments. The only ones he bans or criticizes are those who dare to go against his views.

If we had a penny for every email or comment from a disaffected ex-LGF reader or commenter, we’d have enough money to finance this blog for a year or two.

In any event, given the changes that others have noted in his position and demeanor since October 2007, it will be interesting to see what another year and a half brings.

Fortunately, he is not someone whose opinion matters anymore. Not that his behavior isn’t fascinating in a schadenfreude kind of way. So is a serious car accident. You come upon the scene, say a small prayer for those involved, and you keep driving, knowing there is nothing you can do.


Morgan said...

As with the Tea Parties, the Counterjihad does not associate with neo-Nazis, but yet there's Little Green Footballs seeing Nazis everywhere in the wrong places.

They were so blind they didn't see the actual Nazis hijacking the demonstrations in Cologne last year.

Anonymous said...

It's a very nice article--very objective about the whole thing, which is good. And I like how he called Baron Bodissey just "Bodissey" at one point. That was cute and amusing :)

Michael said...

Decent article. Well, he finally came out of the woodwork; "I don't consider myself rightwing".

Johnson is a curious guy. An anomaly. Whatever he may be now, he was - is - a leftist who exposed islam for what it is. Over here - and pretty much everywhere - leftist sleep with islam.

It's why we still link to LGF. Even though he has smeared my party, the VB. However, after his latest outburst against Geller - and GoV - for labelling her a fascist for showing that Luton "BNP" video, I think, we won't possibly have him on our blogroll for long anymore.

Outlaw Mike/Belgium

Avery Bullard said...

AJ Strata over at 'Strata-sphere' has had a similar meltdown. The boiling hatred comes through especially when he responds to comments he disagrees with. Similarly many frequent posters at anti-jihad blogs threw a huff over the failure of the conservative blogosphere to march lock step with Bush over immigration and Harriet Miers. I think many '9/11 conservatives' and neocons are looking for scapegoats as well as expressing pent up hatred of conservative Christian Middle America. This is an attempt to distance themselves from genuine right wingers.

Prediction: Pajamas Media will turn against conservatives in the next year. (Assuming PM is still around!)

Spinoneone said...

Islam is fascist at heart. It does not believe in capitalism, democracy, civil liberties [especially for women], or religious freedom. Islam is in favor of one religion, despotic world rule/domination, and total control of the people/economy/government of the world. It postulates a caliphate supported by an oligarchy. Such was Germany when ruled by the National Socialist German Workers Party [NSDAP - Nazis]. There is absolutely nothing, I repeat, nothing right wing [pro-capitalism, pro-small national government, pro-civil liberties, pro-private property, etc] in the Nazi lexicon. They were and are a group of left wing thugs bent on dictatorial rule. Anyone who believes they are "right wing" is either an idiot, deliberately disingenuous, or an agent provocateur.

Timbre said...

I read and comment at LGF regularly, but out of respect for Charles' house, do not mention things he prefers not to see on his weblog. But I will wear my Holger Danske clothes when I am at MY house. I am not white supremacist--in fact, I cannot stand them and their racial lunacy. In my opinion, anyone who utters the "14 Words" [spit] should be thrown overboard. And while I will never ally myself with anyone who is, or supports, neo-nazis, I will defend the West from Jihadism with all my heart...and my Defender of the West Allies.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Timbre, much as he (?) expressed his dislike of neonazis, supports their right to their opinions and the right to freely express them. Wasn't it Voltaire (an atheist no less) who said tho' he may not agree with you he would defend your right to your opinions and the expression thereof?

Debbie said...

I think Charles Johnson and Debbie Schlussel need to hook up. They're both seeing enemies where enemies aren't.

Cugel said...

Charles Johnson has developed his own peculiar brand of small-minded intolerance, but he did the world a service when he exposed Rather-gate and showed just how far the so-called mainstream media will go to distort reality for partisan purposes.

Gregory said...

That Johnson jerk is one of these people who likes talking but will never DO anything. If action were exercise, Johnson would probably weigh 800 pounds. I quit looking at his blog a couple of years ago after I detected snobbishness towards the military. I think he is like Sen McCain; he pretends to be conservative but he is really liberal through and through.

Unknown said...

It didn't start with Counterjihad Brussels 2007.

The Lizard King was energetically banning commenters from his website well before then - including a number of "former allies". A pattern that has continued, fwiw --

Picking fights with people - and other blogs - who already had well-established, independent internet identities drew more attention from the blogosphere. But Pamela, Robert, Fjordman, Dymphna and the Baron are certainly not alone underneath the LGF magic bus.

Jimmy Crackcorn said...

Count me as another LGF bannee. And I'm the better for it. Charles has really lost it over on his site. This article seemed very fair and balanced. You cannot get fair and balanced at LGF anymore, if truly one could at any time over there.

To make a long story short, I was banned because I'm "racist" but all I did was point out that I was still the same person I was 3 years ago and that the website was not as evidenced by their archives. Whoops! I didn't even say that to Charles. I said it to another poster. But I got banned.

Profitsbeard said...

I think C. Johnson, for all his banning, should be called a Monitor Lizard.

(His "exposure" of Dan Rather's lying was hardly a shocking or new revelation since Rather was also the guy who baldfacedly lied - to a public forbidden to see the footage in the 1960's- about what the Zapruder film showed {"You can see the President's head is driven forward by the gunshot..."} , already, forty years earlier, proving his lack of journalistic trustworthiness.)

PRCalDude said...

He has quoted us accurately and in context, so it’s a relatively fair and balanced view of the whole sordid mess.This is one of those "Can anything good come from Galilee?" episodes. I'll be on the lookout for flying pigs tomorrow.