Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lies, Damned Lies, and LGF

In the past, I have stated that I was through writing about the depredations of Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs. However, what I should have realized is that his scurrilous attacks against people of integrity are not going to stop. He is caught in some fantasy world of enemies that he creates and then attempts to destroy.

In this case, he has posted a dishonest piece of photoshopping that cannot be permitted to go unanswered. It smears people of integrity in an attempt to damage the careers of several of my friends and colleagues.

Back in December 2007 I described Charles Johnson as the “Dan Rather of the Blogosphere”. But he has extended his reach since then, and has become the blogosphere’s AP, AFP, and Reuters as well.

During the war between Israel and Hizbullah in the summer of 2006, LGF was one of a group of major blogs that exposed the staged and manufactured photographs coming out of Lebanon. These images were used by the major news services to discredit Israel, but many of them had been doctored. Some of the fakes were quite amateurish, but the MSM retailed them as if they were authentic.

Charles Johnson was one of the prominent bloggers who brought so much attention to bear on this propaganda “fauxtography” that the wire services were forced to back down and withdraw some of the images.

But now it seems that Mr. Johnson is hoist with his own petard. Last night, as part of a series of posts aimed at discrediting Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Paul Belien for their association with the “neo-Nazis” of Pro-Köln, LGF posted a “photograph” of Filip Dewinter and Marcus Beisicht shaking hands at what is assumed to be a neo-Nazi rally.

The only problem is that Charles has been taken in by the same sort of fauxtography that gulled the wire services back in 2006. Compare the version posted at LGF (left) with the actual photo (right):

Filip Dewinter and Markus Beisicht

[Update (via PI): The original photo was taken in Brussels on June 19th 2008 — see this article.]

Robert Spencer notes:

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, in his attempt to portray the German anti-jihad group Pro-Köln as neo-Nazi and to smear me in the process, has fallen for the same Photoshop techniques that he has unmasked when Leftists and jihadists use them in the mainstream media.

And here’s an excerpt from Pamela’s take on this sordid event:

One might be surprised that johnson could fall for so simple a photoshop but don’t be. He took the credit for the “fauxtography” and “rathergate” stories when it was, in fact, both were discovered by readers (the latter at Powerline).

What is so disturbing and malevolent is the lengths chuckie goes to destroy the true and the brave. Think about that. Those fighting for Western values, against Islamic supremacism are his target. What does that tell you? The exposure of Johnson is a life lesson for all.

Charles has belatedly acknowledged the fact that a photo has been altered. But which one? He doesn’t deign to make a choice:

Which one is the real photo and which is the altered one? It’s not obvious from examining the pictures, but clearly, one of them was altered.

The accompanying headline should be: “Charles Johnson Climbs Into Toaster, Pushes Down on Handle”.
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Since I do a lot of image editing myself, I took a professional interest in the technical aspects of this particular fauxtograph. The first thing I noticed was that there is direct sunlight in the original image, shining on the figures in the foreground as well as the buildings in the background. But in the fake, the background shows no evidence of sunlight. This is an obvious discrepancy, and leaves no doubt that we have a doctored photo.

However, this story is about much more than the “faux” nature of the image.

Antifa fauxWhat’s interesting is the photoshopper’s choice of background. It’s obvious to anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the current political scene in Europe that the event behind the two men is a demonstration by Antifascistische Aktion (Antifa), the anarchist “anti-Fascists” who attempt to disrupt, intimidate, and silence any politician or group that is even slightly conservative. The Antifa logos are clearly visible on the red flags, as are the demonstrating “blackhoods” carrying them.

Antifa Logos

In other words, the participants in this rally are actually the sworn enemies of Filip Dewinter and Markus Beisicht.

Antifa goons regularly disrupt Pro-Köln events, a notable example being last September’s anti-Islamization congress in Cologne. Their cadres have physically attacked Vlaams Belang and Pro-Köln in the past.

And we are supposed to believe that Messrs. Dewinter and Beisicht calmly stood and shook hands in front of a group of people who, given the chance, would have torn them to pieces?

This is yet another example of the massive and profound ignorance displayed by Charles Johnson concerning all matters European. In a word, he hasn’t the faintest idea what he is talking about.

Given the nature of the photoshopped background, one must assume that this image — like most of the other smear material concerning European conservatives peddled by Charles Johnson — was supplied to Little Green Footballs by elements of the far Left in Europe. And Charles, as always, fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

And to top it all off, he now says it doesn’t matter whether the image was photoshopped. In other words, it’s “fake but accurate”.

Do we need any further evidence that Charles Johnson has finally morphed into Dan Rather?

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I’d like to think that with this ignoble act LGF has at last greased the skids for its final slide into oblivion. But, based on past experience, mere facts are unlikely to provide any significant obstacle to LGF and its devoted followers.

There is a substantial contingent of people here in the United States, even within conservative circles, who are convinced that a renascent fascism is the greatest political threat to Europe. If you believe them, the neo-Nazi comeback lies just around the corner, and we must be ever-vigilant to ensure that we provide no assistance to it by associating with any European who is even slightly right-wing.

Real Nazis in Europe are marginalized, insignificant, and the object of ridicule. They have no more hope of attaining political power than does the Flat Earth Society. They also despise Vlaams Belang and Pro-Köln, and consider them tools of the Zionists.

The real hardcore anti-Semites are on the Left. Charles got one thing right: the demonstrators in the background of that fauxtograph are almost certainly dedicated Jew-haters. They just happen to be anarchists, and not Nazis.

So the imminent rebirth of European fascism is a phantasm, but there’s no sign that mere facts will deter its believers from their pursuit of it.

Americans who suffer from this delusion will cling to it at all costs. Any evidence that supports it, no matter how spurious, will be accepted. Any evidence to the contrary, no matter how convincing, will be summarily rejected.

It seems to be a form of collective delusion.

And it has created an entire army of Dan Rathers.


Homophobic Horse said...

I have EVIDENCE that Eurofascist Filip Dewinter was in the holocaust.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Nonsense HH, that is merely a foto from a tasteless euro far-right extremist cryptofascist party barbeque (which by a wild conincidence was held at Auschwitz this year, and next year will be in Berchtesgaden, and two years from now at Blood River).

Fauxtography at LGF, lawdy lawdy, and Chuckles lacks even the gumption to issue a retraction. Is it chutzpah or just plain clueless? LGF has jumped the shark and no mistake.

PatriotUSA said...

Looks like you have done your homework and and an excellent commentary on the downward slide of LGF and Johnson. I, personally am so sick and tired of this creep
slamming those who are in the forefront in the fight against islamofacism. I hold Mr. Spencer. Ms. Geller in the highest esteem and will support them until the Johnsons, MSM, and the ever growing Ratherstani army of people who refuse to do their homework have either been defeated or shown the rror of thier ways. It seems all these dolts want is to support any and all multicultural and diversity tactics that are ripping the framework of this country, and other to shreds. Your response is very appropriate and necessary. The world CJ lives in is one of suffering from the legend in his own mind syndrome and other self fulfulling maladies

Fjordman said...

It's pretty obvious to any casual observer that the man is simply working for the other team. I actually defended CJ back in 2007 when Pamela said he behaved like CAIR, but he really is an ally of CAIR now. Charles Johnson started blogging after the Jihadist attacks of September 11 2001 and is now working as an apologist for the people who committed those Jihadist attacks. Many Muslim websites allow more free speech than LGF.

There are many reasons why people decide to suddenly switch sides and attack former "allies." Some of them get paid by third parties to do so. Others have their own personal reasons for doing so.

spackle said...

I couldnt stop laughing when I saw this photo at JW this morning. It was obvious they were standing in front of a group from ANTIFA. Thats like putting a picture of a couple of guys from the Jewish defense league yukking it up in front of a Neo-Nazi rally. Unreal. Just unreal.

Zonka said...

The song Heuchler fits Chuckles perfectly (sorry it's in German, lyrics and translation to English can be found here)

spackle said...

Uh oh. It looks like Michelle Malkin is now falling out of the great ones graces. Could she be next under the bus?

Henrik R Clausen said...

What a waste of good energy, not least from the side of Charles. He relentlessly smears peope he doesn't like for being 'fascist', this time explicitly. He doesn't care about truth, he doesn't care about him creating distrust and hatred, as long as he gets to defend the indefensible, instead of doing the honorable thing and admitting that he was wrong from day 1. For the Fearsome European Right-wing Movement is a Myth. Deal with it, CJ!

Jimmy Crackcorn said...

"It’s not obvious from examining the pictures, but clearly, one of them was altered."

You'd have to be a blind man not to know which one was altered.

You forgot to mention that he went on to say basically, "Well, the picture is fake but it is still true."

Does that sound familiar to anyone? Think Dan Rather, 2004 election, forged documents. And that was one of the major issues that made LGF a household name in the world of bloggers.

Jimmy Crackcorn said...

Oh, and over at Ace of Spades HQ, posters are reporting that it looks like Charles is using malware against banned IPs that go to his website to browse.

no2liberals said...

Baron, you were a front row witness to a CJ melt down, which by my reckoning, was his second, but there could have been others.
You have been far more generous to him, than he has to you, and I salute your patience and level headed approach.
His behavior repelled me from lgf 1.0 nearly four years ago, and that was before his "night of the long knives" melt down.
I honestly believe he is mentally unstable. I suspected it years ago, and his actions since have done to nothing to dissuade my perception of him.
He is to be both reviled and pitied. His destruction of good will from the blogging community that he allied with is reprehensible, and yet I cannot look away as he crashes and burns.
Many at lgf 2.0, or lfg2, were regular members of lgf when he turned his scourn on you and the attendees of the conference. Even without reading what you and dymphna wrote in response to his accusations, and the desire for an honest debate, many of those posters have come to the conclusion, based on his behavior, that he was wrong in making all the scurilous accusations that he did.

endtimes said...

I'm struck by what Fjordman said. I simply can't fathom why Charles Johnson would devote so much time to smearing people like Pamela Gellar. Perhaps it is futile to try to discern motives, but the idea of some sort of financial motive seems more and more likely to me. CAIR is actually quoting Johnson to smear Robert Spencer.

I don't think this is just a small deal. I think this has huge implications. I just don't know what they are. Very disturbing. If you look at the guy's right shoulder in the fake photo, you can actually see it's a squiggly line! It's truly a hack-job.

Anonymous said...

no2liberals: You said that Charles did something repellent "nearly four years ago". To what to do you refer? I ask because that was quite a bit before I was into politics, and before I knew that LGF even existed.

Simon de Montfort said...

I have the Anti-Honour of not yet being banned by Charles the Daft--mostly because I don't post there much any more.

LGF over the past 3 years has become increasingly strange and paranoid: eccentric and bizarre, with a dozen or more minions acting like gaol wardens.

Plus, it's BORING: constant topics about how creationists are crazy and taking over the world, etc.

The war's over, B and D: You won

no2liberals said...

It's one of those "you had to be there" type of things.
It wasn't about politics, but about how he reacted when some people began to first question why he didn't intervene into some bizarre flame wars, as well as, an illegal charity that began in his comment section.
One person(admittedly unemployed) began a charity for Hurricane Katrina victims in his comment section. A few weeks later, some people that contributed money and materiel, began to question him, and demand an accounting. It became very heated, when the recipient became defensive. Rather than take a position on the matter, after the solicitations began on his blog, he just told us to "take it some place else." So we did, and that is how Gulf Coast Pundit began.
That was the first split off from his blog of some long time, and very bright posters. He didn't like being criticized from afar, I can tell you.
I just left lgf on my own accord, as I sensed something about his behavior odd, based on his actions, and a few things he said.
I guess you could say he just pegged my BS detector years ago, and I am not surprised that his behavior continued to decline.
Now, he has truly lost it.

There may be a monetary incentive, I don't know, but I do know that several years ago, CAIR came after him because of some comments on his threads. CAIR called the FBI, and they knocked on CJ's door. He seemed to change even more dramatically after that event.

blogagog said...

It's funny (to me) that CJ posted a photoshopped image as real, but it's HILARIOUS that he defends it as 'fake but irrelevant'. Not like Dan Rather's 'fake but true', just 'fake but irrelevant'.

Hah! If ever there was a distinction without a difference, we're looking at it right now :)

Steven Luotto said...

Ciao Endtimes,

I too think that the Fjordman hypothesis "follow the money" is correct.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Michelle suspected of being involved in white supremacism?

Someone is very wrong here. And it sure ain't Michelle...

Anonymous said...

The German blog Fakten - Fiktionen, which is the #2 of Germany's conservative and anti-jihadi blogosphere, has posted an articulate (in English) response to the affair. I recommend you take a look.

Marybel said...

Chuck has proven his obsession with Darwinism - he has evolved from a left winger into a 9/11 "conservative" and back into a left-wing Nazi - deleting comments, commenters, etc. Even though some of his actions disturbed me, I stayed with LGF until he threw Christians ("social conservatives") under the bus.
While I agree with the "follow the money" theory, I also believe there's a slide in his mental state, possibly due to his rabid objection of the existance of God. No matter what, he's evolved into a dangerous man. Maybe His ancestors were killa gorillas.

endtimes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phoenixgirl said...

did anyone else find it strange that cj had a thread about a photographer that who takes pictures of the same spot over a number of hours, days and then photoshops the images together? i found that an odd thread to run the day he is told the picture he ran on his site was a fake. why would those to men run in front of a marching crowd of thugs to have their picture taken? they'd have been run over. and how can he with a straight face say he can't tell which is the fake? for a "visionary" he sure is blind. time for a COMPLETE head check.

Dark Eden said...

Sadly Charles and LGF have jumped the shark. These days its post after post going after right wing targets, many on extremely shaky ground. I definitely don't mind calling out Republicans when they legitimately screw up or do something bad but this has gone too far.

CWB said...

If CJ wants to see a real fascist he should look in the mirror. I know of no other blog that goes to such an extent to quash all criticism or exercises more censorship.

Lombard1985 said...

Call me crazy, but I cannot help but wonder that maybe CJ was a sabotuer from the very beginning.

Think about it: he claims that he was a liberal who recieved a wakeup-call from 9/11 (how much of one we'll never know), but for all we know he could've merely latched onto the anti-jihad bandwagon just to help get himself noticed.

Then the whole Rathergate Scandal came about and he took most of the credit for it, and that must have really went to his head.

From that point on, he gradually began to change, to morph into an entirely different person. He now lashes out at people who question his opinion and worldview. He's got more in common with the DailyKos crowd than with any reputable blog crowd (left or right), much less the Counter Jihad.

Now he's getting, if not gotten, to the point, were he no longer needs to pretend. It wasn't as if he didn't know what the Counter Jihad's ultimate goal involves(generally speaking) and what kind of people support it: certainly not neo-nazis, who side with the muslims; and certainly not leftists who support multiculturalism.

I have no real proof, and ultimately it doesn't really matter because, regardless, he is no friend of the West or the rest of the non-Islamic world.

Armance said...

If one takes a look at today's LGF home page, it has none, absolutely no topic or information on Islam, Islamic extremism or political news. The hottest subjects of our world according to LGF are: 1) creationism is the first curse and the biggest danger of our time; 2) Spencer, Geller and Brussels Journal are neo-Nazis - perhaps will soon be invited as special guests on Stormfront; 3) Obama is not as bad and incompetent as some people think; on the contrary, he's not worse than any other American president; more than that, this guy is sort of nice; on top of that, any person who criticizes him suffers from an Obama Derangement Syndrome.

It's hilarious. And transparent.

ɱØяñιηg$ʇðя ©™ said...

All I know about CJ and LGF I've learned on GoV during all these months I've been browsing this very blog and now I have no interest what so ever to go there either. CJ seem to me not only to be grossly unsympathetic to boot but also a whackjob with delusions of grandeur. Also, about the photo itself. I haven't scrutinzed it with any computer programme. Just saw it as it is on this blog and it looks fake all the same. A toddler could see it is fake. The only regret I have from not hanging out on LGF, is that I can't be thrown under the double-decker. Too bad since I would be in good company.

Afonso Henriques said...

I... it does not astonishes me. I thought however that he did all that crying because he was afraid of hurting his reputation. Laughable.

"The exposure of Johnson is a life lesson for all."

Yes indeed, yes indeed.

laine said...

Charles Johnson is a pathologic narcissist (like the president he supports).

Below is an excerpt of an analysis of Obama by an expert in the disorder.

Remind you of anyone else?

(Incidentally, CJ is small potatoes in the scheme of things, but a thin-skinned psychologically damaged POTUS is a threat to us all. Leftism attracts a disproportionate share of narcissists because it promises control of others and freedom from opposition, critical to a narcissist's ego).

"Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);

Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist)...

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious...

Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;

Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;

Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;

Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy...

Perhaps the most immediately evident trait of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is their vulnerability to criticism and disagreement. Subject to negative input, real or imagined, even to a mild rebuke, a constructive suggestion, or an offer to help, they feel injured, humiliated and empty and they react with disdain (devaluation), rage, and defiance.

...incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist's fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the "grandiosity gap").

Dr. Sam Vaknin author "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"

songdongnigh said...

This is just a visual observation but there's just a wee tad of irony that a huge minaret is showing in the background between Filip Dewinter and Markus Beisicht.

Unknown said...

Charles banned me for supporting Pamela.

Hesperado said...

Spencer should go proudly to the Pro-Cologne event; that would be the best way to thumb his nose at Charles. Instead, he is hedging his bets and avoiding eggshells that might break.

As for Charles Johnson, he reminds me of those boorish, truculent, vulgar loudmouth Leftist atheists one runs into in chat rooms on occasion (particularly Paltalk).

Félicie said...

I also suspect that at least some (if not a lot of the) voices of his echo chamber are his own aliases. It is very suspicious how in-synch they always seem to be with the twists and turns of the "party line." It's just too unreal for them to be real people.

awake said...
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awake said...

And as usual, right on cue, Lawrence Auster arrives to discredit everyone, offers little to nothing of substance or alternatively, with the noted exception of fearlessly fighting the Jihad with like-minded people in undisclosed upper East Side apartments in New York City.

The man sure does tend to hold a grudge. He is actually discussing Pamela's breasts with his gallery over at his site. Unreal.

Homophobic Horse said...

Neither Spencer nor Geller will attend the Pro-Cologne event. The reason Spencer gives is that the Counter-Jihad must be global in nature and that national movements are too narrow. How can you oppose Jihad and Islamic expansion and then not endorse a movement that claims to do that in Germany, as though a global government with which to implement a global solution to Jihad is going to come tomorrow? Spencer's position is logically self-defeating, he has another reason, and I think that reason is that he is spooked by the charges of the Pro-Cologne movement being a movement of racists ("Nazis"), but being a good politician with a touch of populism, Spencer will want to keep his options open as well as not conceding to Charles Johnson that Pro-Cologne is "racist".

Spencer and Geller are good intellectuals and writers respectively, but as things stand their influence on politics will be secondary. Charles Johnson is the Penny Marshall of our time; it was people like him who defamed, raped Serbia during the collapse of Yugoslavia--the first round in our lifetime of the European Jihad.

awake said...

As a reply to Homophobic Horse, Spencer and Geller are bloggers, not politicians. Only if and when the populace demands that the truth about Islam, as told by the likes of Spencer and Geller, be legislature through elected officials, will any headway be made.

Unfortunately, the afrementioned cannot assist in re-writing a book for people who have not yet learned to read, for one reason or another.