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There's fascism and then there's fascism
January 25, 2010 2:51 PM   Subscribe


 
Psychological cripples fighting like cats in a bag...what a surprise!

Little Green Footballs has always been the epitome of rightwing echo-chamber thought. Disagree with Johnson in the slightest, correct a factual error, and you are gone.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:59 PM on January 25, 2010


Little Green Footballs has always been the epitome of rightwing echo-chamber thought

Actually, if you read the article, you'll find that before 9/11 it was mostly a place for code jockeys to hang out and chat. Interesting post - I check the NYT fairly regularly but somehow this slipped past me.
posted by AdamCSnider at 3:02 PM on January 25, 2010


"A popular blog like L.G.F. functions as a kind of cloud-sourced id."

I love that description.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:02 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe now he'll give up what the hell the joke is behind "Little Green Footballs".
posted by Burhanistan at 3:08 PM on January 25, 2010


People who have pledged their lives to fighting Islamic extremism, when asked about Charles Johnson now, unsheathe a word they do not throw around lightly: “evil.”

Don't throw around lightly? I LOL'ed.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:09 PM on January 25, 2010 [26 favorites]


According to the article, his empire was built on his knowledge of animated GIFs.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Maybe now he'll give up what the hell the joke is behind "Little Green Footballs".

I always assumed he was referring to boogers.
posted by NoMich at 3:15 PM on January 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


There is some dispute, even today, as to who was the first to expose the fraud behind the so-called Killian documents, but Johnson will forever be associated with the episode because, unlike most other bloggers — who know as much about the technical workings of their medium as a poet is likely to know about a printing press — he had the wherewithal to create, almost instantly, an animated .gif image that toggled between the original letter and that same letter typed in Microsoft Word 32 years later, illustrating the issue in a way that no 500-word blog post could have done.

Man, the breathless descriptions of Johnson's "mastery" of some pretty mundane technologies are a little much. Yeah dude. Making an animated .gif is a toughie.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:15 PM on January 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't get the point of open threads. Or maybe I do but think they're dumb.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2010


God, it's not worth reading five pages of that even for schadenfreude.
posted by Caduceus at 3:17 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Johnson insists that this is not true — that no one has ever been banned from L.G.F. merely for disagreeing with him — but the anecdotal evidence to the contrary is voluminous, and the fact that the offending comments were instantly and permanently deleted makes it impossible to check others’ records against his.

Sounds like his intellectual honesty levels haven't changed.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:19 PM on January 25, 2010


Johnson's mastery of the medium didn't extend to understanding that it's a lot harder to produce the typos in the Killian memo in Word than on a real typewriter. There's inconsistent use of the superscript in the Killian memo that requires toggling the feature on and off in Word, whereas in the typewriter all it requires is forgetting that the special key is there when you're typing quickly.

Someone very clever would have done the toggling...but someone very clever would have rounded up an IBM Selectric, rather than using MS Word.

It's no surprise that there was a memo detailing Bush's dereliction in the National Guard, the only real surprise is that a copy of it survived the purging of his records.

Of course, Johnson wasn't interested in facts, he was only interested in creating his own reality.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:23 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I credit Johnson with called racists out that his former allies still support, his larger-scale conversion would have been far more meaningful if he'd done it before, well, everyone else of similar significance. Say, when Bush was still in office.
posted by fatbird at 3:26 PM on January 25, 2010


I always assumed he was referring to boogers.

I was told grenades, but if it predates 9/11 and war, then maybe not.
posted by thelastenglishmajor at 3:31 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Many of us felt guilty that we didn’t even know who had invaded this country,” says Pamela Geller, an early Little Green Footballs reader and a former associate publisher at The New York Observer, who now writes a blog of her own called Atlas Shrugs. “The media had been, I think, somewhat derelict in terms of describing our mortal enemy. Charles Johnson was covering the global jihad in an in-depth and comprehensive fashion that nobody else was. That’s where I was getting my best news, from Little Green Footballs.”
christ, could there be any more telling a series of statements? blog called atlas shrugs, derelict media, mortal enemy, global jihad, best news... it's like hearing rusty gears click against one another.
posted by shmegegge at 3:32 PM on January 25, 2010 [18 favorites]


“It’s just so illogical,” Geller told me heatedly not long ago. “I loved him. I respected him. But the way he went after people was like a mental illness. There’s an evil to that, a maliciousness.

mind you, Geller's talking about Johnson' NEW behavior, which is hysterical.
posted by shmegegge at 3:35 PM on January 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jimmy Havok, like it or not, that memo was a forgery. No question. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:37 PM on January 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was watching the end of Season 2 of Mad Men last night which (no spoilers) takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's fiction and all, but they depict in a fairly convincing way the general state of panic that must have pervaded everyone's lives. Nuclear missiles, just off the coast of the country. A foreign military that possesses the means to destroy the entire US, who could respond with similar force. The very real possibility that the world could have been destroyed in a matter of hours with one misstep or misstatement on the part of either side in a global game of genocide-chicken. That's some terrifying stuff.

And then I think, nowadays the entire country shits its pants because of some douchebag with powder in his tighty-whiteys? What the fuck? Not that 9/11 wasn't a spectacularly terrible thing to witness -- and certainly frightening -- but the "global jihad" poses nowhere near the threat in terms of pure carnage and destruction that the Cold War did. Oh well, I guess that's why they call it "terrorism."
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:40 PM on January 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yes, an interesting read, but it feels a bit journalistically underhand to portray Pamela Geller as a member of a legitimate debate about different shades of conservativism, and America's response to the threat of terrorism. Pamela Geller is an absolute grade-A, Obama-was-born-in-Kenya, lunatic fringe paranoiac. Feels like this should have been clarified somewhere, especially if she's going to accuse other people of mental illness.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 3:41 PM on January 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


Self-absorbed coward loses his fucking shit over over muslims, makes lots of money droning on and on about how scared he is of muslims, gradually regains his shit and realizes all his fans are complete assholes. It's an age-old story.
posted by Jimbob at 3:43 PM on January 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


The article neglects to mention that Pamela Geller is batshitinsane.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:44 PM on January 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


“I don’t know why things can’t just stay on the level of the factual,” he said. “I don’t know why everything has to have a slant. I mean, The New York Times has a slant, and in the past I’ve called them out for that.” He sighed. “I miss the days of Walter Cronkite.”

ha.
posted by shmegegge at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Combustible, recent efforts in the media to tackle the issue of climate change have demonstrated that ringing in a complete fucking loony as the token "opposing voice" is par for the course.
posted by Jimbob at 3:48 PM on January 25, 2010


Haha, Combustible's link reminded me of her earnest publishing of the story, during the election, that Barack Obama was actually the son of Malcolm X. It's like she'd overheard some racist anti-Obama person speaking metaphorically, but couldn't grasp the concept of metaphor.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 3:51 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Someone needs to create a Political Normal Relativity Theory to explain to right wingers that the reason they see liberal bias everywhere is because they themselves are slanted. Relative to their frame of reference, a plate of beans is remarkably leftist.

There's no conspiracy. There's no cabal of elite liberals controlling the media (outside of Fox and MSNBC before they found the liberal niche). If you are used to seeing all your facts from a conservative perspective, anything outside of your desired spin will sound revisionist.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:52 PM on January 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Err, that was awkard. I meant there is no cabal, and the parenthesis meant that somehow Fox and Early MSNBC would have escaped their grip if they did exist.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:53 PM on January 25, 2010


For a long time, Little Green Footballs has been one of the nastiest, ugliest blogs on the web. Apparently, that will be continuing.

What a mean and petty man.
posted by BigSky at 3:58 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


He sounds like a sad, angry, deeply pathetic little man. If his website were a country, it would be North Korea, and he'd be Kim Jong-il, executing everyone who did anything but agree with him. Fascinating piece.
posted by Dasein at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2010


Good piece. I used to read LGF when it started, not because I agreed with a bit of it, but because there were relatively few political bloggers at the time so it was easy to follow everybody that had much of an audience. Atlas Shrugs comes off as somewhat intellectually honest and serious here, and the content of her site is NOT that.. it's really off the hook and gleefully promoted lies such as "Obama is actually Muslim and was born in Kenya." And though a paragraph was devoted to the kind of vitriol that was expressed on LGF, that too is downplayed and you don't get a sense of just how bad it was, in LGF's heyday. It was extremely disturbing.

In general I guess people tend to get swept up by drama (some drastically changed their worldviews after 9/11), and having other bloggers to fight with causes them to dig in their heels and get more extreme, and then sometimes their contrarian urges take over and they do something like this that creates more drama. I wonder if Johnson feels any responsibility or regret for building a community where commenters felt free to post hate speech and call for the military to bomb and/or nuke the entire Muslim world.
posted by citron at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2010


all you need is love....
posted by Postroad at 4:10 PM on January 25, 2010


I can remember running across LGF before 9/11, and it did indeed seem to be a regular web-designery blog. Later, when it became the go-to spot for batshit insane frothing I felt like I had wandered into the mirror universe, with Jakob Nielsen critiquing Agonizer usability and "Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: Nuke Mecca Now!".
posted by gamera at 4:11 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sitting at his desk, he read me an e-mail message he received that day from a stranger who wished upon him a series of unprintable misfortunes ... He closed the e-mail message and shook his head. Incivility, at least of the F2F variety, clearly makes him uncomfortable.

I remember visiting LGF sometime around 2002 or 2003. The website seemed devoted to wishing apparently printable misfortunes on Arabs. I became uncomfortable.

It's probably unfair, but having to distinguish between Pamela Geller and Charles Johnson involves more nuance than this Arab can muster.
posted by Killick at 4:19 PM on January 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: cloud-sourced id
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:24 PM on January 25, 2010


I was really interested in this and started reading it, but it started to sound like a rehash of BBS fueds from the eighties, and a lone tear rolled down my cheek as I contemplated what the NYT has become.
posted by mecran01 at 4:25 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's no cabal

That's just what they want you to believe.

OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampire, are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner!
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:26 PM on January 25, 2010


This is one reason that intellectual inflexibility has become such a hallmark of modern political discourse, and why, so often, no distinction is recognized between hypocrisy and changing your mind.
Whoa, you just blew my tiny little mind.
posted by Ritchie at 4:33 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw Johnson's about-face when he first posted it. The article's descriptions of his subsequent thread-sitting are on the nose. Every few dozen comments there was a link from him saying "Hey everybody, here's another blogger talking about me" or obsessing over the reaction on Twitter. It was kind of sad.

So I checked his site after I came across this story and sure enough, he already had two responses up decrying its inaccuracy. I wonder if he'll note that "Meatflitter" is talking about him now. It's happened before...

Also:

“It’s just so illogical,” Geller told me heatedly not long ago. “I loved him. I respected him. But the way he went after people was like a mental illness. There’s an evil to that, a maliciousness. He’s a traitor, a turncoat, a plant. We may not know for years what actually happened. You think he changed his mind?

Inconceivable!
posted by Rhaomi at 4:52 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've long detested him and his site, the article does not accurately portray the atmosphere of hatred and fear his site fostered. In its hey-day, the comments section made the term cesspool seem overly kind.
posted by cell divide at 5:02 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


“It’s not that the war on terror has finished,” he said. “It’s never going to be finished, but I think things have reached the point now where it’s not as pressing as it was.

Sounds pretty terrifying to me.
posted by tapeguy at 5:14 PM on January 25, 2010


It's happened before...

From the related comments:

I went reading through their rules & faqs... quite an amazing ideological straight jacket that you must wear to post.

News to me (and I'm not exactly a flaming Communist).

LGF: Lame then, lame now, lame tomorrow.
posted by MikeMc at 5:24 PM on January 25, 2010


Someone I knew moderately well through college alumni circles fell in with the LGF crowd when we were all doing the political blog thing back in the early aughts. He was a really funny guy, but our crowd was fast and collectively pretty thick with humor and he couldn't quite get the recognition he craved as the funniest. He got it from the LGFers, for making jokes that grew increasingly less edgy and increasingly more foul.

I couldn't have told you my old buddy's political opinions before he got involved in the cloud-sourced id that was the LGF comments, but watching him take the long slide into batshit was kind of heartbreaking. There are people from my alumni crowd I'm still really tight with, and others I'm not and don't miss. He's the one I miss for who he was and want nothing to do with who he is.

Another friend of mine from those blogging days, whose politics are different to mine but whose views I respect, questioned me once on why I communicated with/linked to/exachanged comments with my old buddy, whom he knew only as an LGF toady. I explained the personal connection, and he said something to the effect of "You must hate Charles Johnson." I don't hate Charles Johnson because I try not to hate people at all. I'm glad Johnson has stepped back from where he was, but what goes around come around. Sounds like he's getting some comearound at long last.
posted by immlass at 5:26 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


While I credit Johnson with called racists out that his former allies still support, his larger-scale conversion would have been far more meaningful if he'd done it before, well, everyone else of similar significance. Say, when Bush was still in office.

I don't think he "changed his mind" I think the zeitgeist changed and he's trying to pull a David Brock in an attempt to keep up. He's probably disappointed that the center/left isn't fawning over him for his courageous stand against the fascism he profited from for so long.
posted by MikeMc at 5:46 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm saddened by how many of the hard-right blogs are so obsessed with ... wierd shit. (Birthers, etc). Are there comparable left-wing sites that are as batshitinsane?
posted by Artful Codger at 5:50 PM on January 25, 2010


For anyone interested in more, here is Johnson talking with rightwinger Conn Carroll about this.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 6:01 PM on January 25, 2010


Are there comparable left-wing sites that are as batshitinsane?

Sure there are, but it sounds different.. The leftists get more lost in squabbles that are politically meaningless. Like the Marxist-Lenonist-Trotskyist thing. The Gore-Nader thing. Hell, now that I've mentioned Gore-Nader, I'm sure you'll start seeing a rehashing of that fight right here in this thread. I don't know what the sites are for the various positions, but they are out there.
posted by Chuckles at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2010


I was told grenades, but if it predates 9/11 and war, then maybe not.

Back in the late 80s one of my favorite utilities for my Atari ST was the Little Green File Selector. There was a bunch of other software from Little Green Footballs I used to use in that era as well. Yes, they were written by C.F. Johnson.

When the LGF blog/forum started gaining its notoriety after 9/11 I had a look at it as I fondly remembered the software...let's just say it was a bit of a shock.
posted by jburka at 6:25 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good thing the Times is here to report that crazy people full of hate are crazy...and full of hate.
posted by Legomancer at 6:30 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Combustible, recent efforts in the media to tackle the issue of climate change have demonstrated that ringing in a complete fucking loony as the token "opposing voice" is par for the course.

How are those increasing storms going, sizzlechest?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:41 PM on January 25, 2010


OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampire, are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner!

I think I know your inspiration for that one. Well played!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:44 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do note that Johnson changed his views right about the time I moved to LA.

Mind control rays patent pending.
posted by klangklangston at 8:03 PM on January 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


How are those increasing storms going, sizzlechest?

Oh they're going just fine, thanks.
posted by Jimbob at 8:12 PM on January 25, 2010


LGF once posted a nasty little article about something I wrote, and the associated commentary basically crowdsourced into: someone should fuck this guy up. Have never heard of that website before I was surprised to find my blog comments being randomly filled up with crazy and just plain mean stuff, there were a bunch of lame DOS attacks that never really got going but ticked on and off for a few months, and my public emails were spammed with a wide variety of bizarre subscriptions and some really graphic attachments. A lot of unpleasant people seem to like to hang out there.
posted by meehawl at 8:13 PM on January 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


The flip side of the fact that his acolytes felt so close to him without ever actually knowing him is that he serves now, just as credibly, as a sort of blank screen upon which to project conspiracy theories. It has been suggested online, with a gravity that is hard to overstate, that he is a convicted child molester worried about public exposure; that he is a closeted homosexual threatened with blackmail; that he is in sexual thrall to an unnamed woman; that he is being paid by George Soros; or that he is not, in fact, Charles Johnson at all but some sort of cyberpirate writing the blog's posts from an undisclosed location.

Fucking hilarious
posted by Ironmouth at 9:02 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah dude. Making an animated .gif is a toughie.

I think it was the choice of highly instructive images which was the real trick.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:06 PM on January 25, 2010


I used to read LGF a bit back in the day (think immediately post 9/11) and just clicked on it now for the first time in years.

And holy SHIT does Johnson love him some ADS.
posted by Avenger at 9:18 PM on January 25, 2010


Johnson's condemnations of two-bit European "neo-fascists", "far right extremists" and "ethno-nationalists" such as Geert Wilders and Philip DeWinters are a little hollow when he has never had a bad word to say about Avigdor Lieberman.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 9:35 PM on January 25, 2010


A basketball game: Charles Johnson is on the shirts team. It's 4v4.

Johnson: WHOO! YEAH! let's play some fuckin' BASKETBALL! YEAH! ... fuckin' PUMPED! WHOO! We're gonna kick your fucking ASSES! FUCK YEAH!

Skins Player #1: Damn, man. you alright?

Johnson: FUCK YEAH I'M ALRIGHT! I just love fuckin' BASKETBALL, man! I fuckin' LOVE this game! I guess I just love basketball more than you, motherfucker! MAYBE YOU DON'T LOVE BASKETBALL ENOUGH!

Skins Player: ... what?

Johnson: yeah, go ahead and act like you don't know what I'm talkin' about, motherfucker! WE'LL SEE WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT ON THE COURT, ASSHOLE!

Skins Player: oh god.

2 minutes pass:

Johnson: FUCK YEAH! 4 points! Just like that! 4 fucking POINTS, motherfucker! What are you gonna do about it, huh? We got 4 fucking points right at the begining because WE CARE ABOUT BASKETBALL MORE! We got the fighting fucking spirit, holmes! You fucking SUCK!

Skins: come on, dude. we're just trying to play the game, here. you don't have to make it into this huge thing.

Johnson: IT IS A HUGE FUCKING THING! MAYBE IF YOU TOOK IT AS SERIOUSLY AS I DO YOU WOULDN'T BE DOWN 4 FUCKING POINTS RIGHT NOW!

Skins: fine, dude. whatever.

At the half:

Johnson: 4 MORE POINTS! 4 MORE POINTS! 4 MORE POINTS! SUCK MY DICK, LOSERS!

2 minutes later:

Johnson: Guys, they scored 4 FUCKING POINTS!! Play some FUCKING d, for christ's sake! Geller, what the fuck are you doing?! Have you ever seen a fucking basketball before? JESUS CHRIST, GUYS DO I HAVE TO CARRY THIS TEAM BY MY FUCKING SELF?!

5 minutes till game over:

Johnson: GOD DAMN IT, GUYS THEY'VE GOT A FUCKING SUPERMAJORITY IN CONGRESS! (I couldn't think of a basketball thing for this. fuck off.) DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE?! WHAT THE FUCK, YOU FUCKING LOSERS! YOU SUCK! WHY DO I HAVE TO BE ON A TEAM WITH PEOPLE WHO SUCK?! WHY?! STOP! SUCKING! FUCKING STOP SUCKING YOU SUCKING LOSER SUCK FUCKS!

Game over:

Johnson: God damn it, we lost! I just... I don't know why everybody has to get so god damn competitive all the time... sniff... it's just... I miss the days of regular basketball, you know? I wish people wouldn't... wouldn't get so... sniff... competitive. It's just a game. It's just a game. Anyway, it's my ball. I'm going home. losers.
posted by shmegegge at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I actually read LGF all the time, just because he regularly nutpicks from Hot Air, etc, which I find entertaining/terrifying.
posted by empath at 9:48 PM on January 25, 2010


“Many of us felt guilty that we didn’t even know who had invaded this country,” says Pamela Geller, an early Little Green Footballs reader and a former associate publisher at The New York Observer, who now writes a blog of her own called Atlas Shrugs. “The media had been, I think, somewhat derelict in terms of describing our mortal enemy. Charles Johnson was covering the global jihad in an in-depth and comprehensive fashion that nobody else was. That’s where I was getting my best news, from Little Green Footballs.”
christ, could there be any more telling a series of statements? blog called atlas shrugs, derelict media, mortal enemy, global jihad, best news... it's like hearing rusty gears click against one another.
They had me at "Pamela Geller"
And then I think, nowadays the entire country shits its pants because of some douchebag with powder in his tighty-whiteys? What the fuck?
Well, if you look at polling people didn't actually get that scared. Apparently confidence in DHS and the government's ability to prevent terrorism went up by a few points. The media and the republicans were in a tizzy -- the media because they are insane, and the republicans because they want people afraid and angry at Obama.
I don't think he "changed his mind" I think the zeitgeist changed and he's trying to pull a David Brock in an attempt to keep up. He's probably disappointed that the center/left isn't fawning over him for his courageous stand against the fascism he profited from for so long.
Andrew Sullivan pulled it off. But, he started switching a lot earlier.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 PM on January 25, 2010


In general I guess people tend to get swept up by drama (some drastically changed their worldviews after 9/11)

I don't know about this. Surely some people did, but mostly Americans were extremely myopic about world events before 9/11, and have remained so. 9/11 was shocking in part because we didn't see it coming, even though it was folly to expect to hold that much of the world's wealth and power and cultural impact and not expect someone on earth to attack us for it. But the response to 9/11 was about looking for that "mortal enemy," as Geller so nicely put it, and determining that the only reason for the attack was that the aforementioned enemy was evil, while ignoring the things which led to our being a target of that kind of terrorism. Essentially we went from "We are the World" to "We are the World and there's a monolithic 'other' out there that we must destroy by any means necessary."

I don't read LGF. I'm glad that he switched sides, and that his stated reasons are at least the "right" ones. Johnson still seems like a prick, though, and his blog seems to have been one of the major reasons that refusal to learn any lesson about America's place on the world stage, and the consequences of our actions, became something like an act of patriotism during the Bush years and continuing through today.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:16 PM on January 25, 2010


christ, could there be any more telling a series of statements? blog called atlas shrugs, derelict media, mortal enemy, global jihad, best news... it's like hearing rusty gears click against one another.

Agreed. I have this problem where if I read too much of stuff like this, my eyeballs get sore from rolling over all the time. Like when she announces that Al-Qaeda 'invaded the country'. Ouch, I'm gonna be sore tomorrow!

But I'd give good money to learn how someone packs so much crazy into a few short sentences. That's a decent compression algorithm. Someone should patent that shit.
posted by Ritchie at 10:32 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


That’s where I was getting my best news, from Little Green Footballs

And this is the Right in a nutshell. Shouty voices who don know a damn thing of which they speak. People whose ignorance and anger has no place for nuance and tolerates no disagreement. It reminds me of the line about the arrogance of the semi-informed.
posted by quarsan at 10:32 PM on January 25, 2010


that memo was a forgery

I saw no proof either way. Johnson's replication of it in Word was about as far from proof as you could get. On the other hand, Killian's claim that he burned the originals certainly makes his claim look questionable.

Most interesting is that no one seems to have disputed the content of the memos.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:45 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Like when she announces that Al-Qaeda 'invaded the country'."

Piss-poor invasion. They didn't even land.
posted by klangklangston at 11:34 PM on January 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw no proof either way. Johnson's replication of it in Word was about as far from proof as you could get. On the other hand, Killian's claim that he burned the originals certainly makes his claim look questionable.

Oh come on. Someone actually did find a sample produced by a selectric with a variable width font and it was way different.
posted by delmoi at 11:40 PM on January 25, 2010


Are there comparable left-wing sites that are as batshitinsane?

Well, there's Metafilter. They're obsessed with fonts.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:30 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, someone? OK, then.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:07 AM on January 26, 2010


...his old right-wing allies... when asked about Charles Johnson now, unsheathe a word they do not throw around lightly: “evil.” Glenn Beck...

Are you fucking kidding me? Those people throw that word around like they're getting paid to say it.

Oh wait, they are.
posted by clarknova at 2:21 AM on January 26, 2010


Was happy to showcase LGF in my masters' thesis as an example of rabid-right wing echo chamberness, where free speech was chilled and dissenting voices eliminated through an autocratic fascist overlord. The guys who repeatedly posted "FAG" to Noam Chomsky's blog when it opened only appeared after Charles pointed to his newly opened site; it lasted less than an afternoon.

The terrurists hate 'em for their freedums.
posted by davemee at 2:24 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I rather respect someone for changing their mind and saying so. I'm pretty sure that he honestly believes that he fell in with a group of increasingly bad, stupid people and he wants to get away from them.

I'm not sure how much of a better person he's become, but I really do think it's important that he has moved towards a more sensible, moral position. Good for him.
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:34 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw no proof either way. Johnson's replication of it in Word was about as far from proof as you could get.

No, actually, it's pretty damning. Try it out yourself.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:37 AM on January 26, 2010


That was a good read... thanks for posting it.
posted by ph00dz at 5:18 AM on January 26, 2010


Can we come up with a snarky name for the memo believers? I had no idea there were any left. Something as good as "birthers" or "teabagger."
posted by rr at 6:45 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't believe the memos were real, I just don't believe they were fake either. The evidence either way is lacking. I do think that Dan Rather didn't do due diligence, and deserved to get smacked for it, though not fired.

Perhaps you could call me a skeptic.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:49 AM on January 26, 2010


Oh, someone? OK, then.

come on, dude. you can sit here and plug your fingers in your ears without actually knowing what you're talking about, or you can look it up yourself. The documents were faked, and unless you're a typography expert who's examined the docs yourself, your "well I'm not convinced" nonsense means exactly jack shit. actual reputable typography experts whose reputations leave no room for questions of bias have come out to discredit these documents after thorough examination, and not one single typography expert has been able to make the claim that they're authentic.

I hate lgf as much as the next guy, and I think rathergate was a deplorable shame because a quality anchor who was just trying to do his job was hounded into having his career destroyed by a handful of frothing wingnuts. but THAT'S the problem. not that the documents were supposedly real.
posted by shmegegge at 7:49 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


LGF was the site people linked to back in the day for the most egregious rightwing moonbattery. A friend sent me a link to a story there the other day, and it was surprisingly reasonable. Sure, there's some right-wing kneejerkery, and it's not as highly moderated as Mefi, but overall not bad.
posted by electroboy at 7:56 AM on January 26, 2010


Holy shit! We were invaded!? Wolverines! Oh, you mean when 19 guys infiltrated the US, hijacked planes, and crashed them into buildings? That's a horrible crime, not an invasion. What is this, The Mouse That Roared?

the trans-Atlantic counterjihad movement

Ah, the sweet sound of self-aggrandizement.

MetaFilter: more than 34,000 registered users, but the comment threads are dominated by the same two dozen or so names.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:32 AM on January 26, 2010


I'm guessing the transatlantic counterjihad movement had fewer participants than most bowling leagues.
posted by electroboy at 8:44 AM on January 26, 2010


Can we come up with a snarky name for the memo believers? I had no idea there were any left. Something as good as "birthers" or "teabagger."

"Typos"?

And what are we beleiving, exactly? That it was real, fake, really fake, or true but faked?

Man, there are too many schisms already. No wonder there isn't a name.

I happened to catch Rather at some internet televised conference where he was asked in detail about the whole memo/story process, and he said that he couldn't talk because of his lawsuit.

But he promised as soon as it was done, the truth would come out.

Still waiting, Mr. Rather...
posted by lysdexic at 9:19 AM on January 26, 2010


Maybe I'm misreading, but it seemed a bit like Johnson's reaction was to carry the torch for a American party that was displaying increasingly fascist tendencies, cheer-leading the whole way, and then he suddenly realized that fascism is actually more than a bit connected to the kinds of people who used to be Nazis he got a big wallop of conscience.

So, assuming I got that right; great. It's good to see someone change their mind in light of new evidence, and at the same time, fuck him for not catching on to what everyone else was saying from the outset.
posted by quin at 9:24 AM on January 26, 2010


"...before 9/11 it was mostly a place for code jockeys to hang out and chat."
I remember those days. It also used to be a good source for Tour de France news. Boy how things change, huh?
posted by howling fantods at 10:33 AM on January 26, 2010


People who have pledged their lives to fighting Islamic extremism, when asked about Charles Johnson now, unsheathe a word they do not throw around lightly: “evil.”

Yes they do. They do all the time.
posted by cereselle at 2:31 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we come up with a snarky name for the memo believers?

'Memorons'?
posted by Ritchie at 7:28 PM on January 26, 2010


People who have pledged their lives to fighting Islamic extremism

Every time I read this article, my eyes get dragged back to this phrase. Are these people in the US military, part of an intelligence agency, do they even speak Arabic, Pashto, or Urdu?
Maybe they're diplomats, maybe they're journalists producing thoughtful, informed work on the Middle East.
Ah, so. They're not?
I see, maybe they are instead private citizens trying to get to the bottom of what drives political terrorism. Or maybe they're activists against Saudi money influencing Islam outside KSA?

These people are nothing more than genocidal lunatics, living in a demented fantasia of moral black and whites. They would do well to remember Julius Streicher.
posted by atrazine at 2:24 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


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