OK, time to dip my toes into the Great Little Green Footballs transmogrification.
I long ago stopped checking on Little Green Footballs regularly a while ago, when I started realizing subconsciously that it simply doesn’t say very much I’m interested in reading. This was a gradual process; it used to be one of the sites I checked several times a day. But I find myself poking in there more and more often lately, with the same sort of morbid fascination one reserves for car wrecks and horrific crime scenes.
This week, there were two elements that struck me as the most entertaining.
First up, Johnson’s whole take on the Rush Limbaugh/NFL mess. Johnson repeatedly brought up the most offensive remarks attributed to Limbaugh — the “slavery did some good” and “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassin deserves a Nobel Peace Prize” quotes.
The only problem is, there is not a shred of evidence to indicate Limbaugh ever said them. The sole source is a book by a radical leftist activist who offers absolutely no citations — no date, no time, no location, nothing. Further, Limbaugh has categorically denied saying either.
That doesn’t matter to Johnson. He says that there is no proof that Limbaugh didn’t say them, and besides, he’s said other bad things.
That ain’t the Charles Johnson I remember. The Charles Johnson I admired was one of the leaders in establishing the “fake but accurate” argument as not an excuse, but a confession. Back during the Dan Rather/Texas Air National Guard fiasco, Johnson’s “flashing memo” showing almost indisputably that the CBS memos about President Bush were almost inescapably a forgery.
That Charles Johnson would look at the current Charles Johnson’s championing of the “fake but accurate” attack on Limbaugh and go ballistic at his current self.
The current Charles Johnson not only doesn’t recognize his own descent, but he glories in it — reveling in Limbaugh’s protesting about being lied about, and boasting of being part of the lynch mob that cheerfully repeated the most vile of lies.
(It’s also remarkably enlightening that CNN spent more time fact-checking a Saturday Night Live skit than reports that Limbaugh had praised slavery and the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King. And even more enlightening that the fact-checking and retractions (even half-assed ones like “we can’t prove he actually said this”) didn’t come out until the damage was done and Limbaugh had been denied a chance to buy into the NFL.)
Now, I’ve not cared about Limbaugh in a very, very long time, but the other matter strikes close to home to me. And that’s Johnson’s remarkably flexible standards about blog comments.
To Johnson, each and every single comment on a blog is a direct reflection on the blog’s owners and authors. Even those that attack the authors, disagree with the authors, and are repudiated by the authors — if they are not deleted and the commenter not banned, then they count as a tacit endorsement by the authors.
Witness the latest (very, very weak) salvo against Johnson’s current bete noir, Hot Air.
Oddly enough, I find myself agreeing with Johnson’s comment policy.
No, not the one he espouses and enforces ferociously (both directly and through his trusted minions, such as infamous serial hatemonger Killgore Trout), but the one he publishes at the top of every single comment thread:
* Comments are open and unmoderated, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Green Footballs.
* Obscene, abusive, silly, or annoying remarks may be deleted, but the fact that particular comments remain on the site in no way constitutes an endorsement of their views by Little Green Footballs.
* Posts that contain phone numbers, street addresses, email addresses or other personal information will also be deleted, as will posts that consist only of a variation on the word, “First!”
* Comments that advocate violence will be cause for immediate banning with no appeal.
* Disagreement and debate are welcome, but insults and abuse are not, and may cause your account to be blocked.
* REMEMBER: posting comments at LGF is a privilege, not a right. Abuse that privilege, and your account will be blocked.
That’s a reasonable, sensible, logical, fair, and balanced policy.
Pity Charles doesn’t believe in it any more.
And even more the pity that he can’t tolerate others abiding by his stated policies.
I speak from experience. I recently revived my long-unused login at LGF to denounce Killgore Trout’s hit-and-run attack on Hot Air, where he left about a dozen racist comments in the middle of the night, then denounced Hot Air for not immediately deleting them and banning him.
Trout, it should be noted, is a trusted moderator at LGF and still a loyal, valued minion there. He’s thanked in the Hot Air comments article cited above.
Anyway, I obeyed all the published rules for comments — but as soon as Charles woke up, my comments were all deleted and I was banned. My offense was against the unpublished rule — Thou Shalt Not Disagree With Charles And His Inner Cabal.
No great loss.
I have never ascribed to the “delete disagreeable comments” philosophy. I hold the words of a commenter the responsibility of the commenter alone. If the commenter in question goes beyond what I consider the bounds of propriety or legality (which I define very liberally), I will act, but for the most part I believe that ‘if you want to proclaim yourself an ass, I will not protect you from yourself.”
If Charles had the slightest bit of integrity left, he’d correct his published comments policy to reflect how he’s actually enforcing them.
Oh, and he’d go through his site’s dictionary and clean up some of the hate-filled language there — “Nazimedia,” “Islamofascist,” “ZioNazi,” “Oil Ticks,” “Religion Of Pieces,” “St. Pancake,” “Aloha Snackbar,” “Fwench,” “IslamoNazi,” “Jordyptian,” “Frogistan,” “Holy Shiite,” “Sudden Jihad Syndrome,” “Paleostinian,” and a host of others.
I’d HATE to see you judged by the wordsd you posted yourself on your own site, Charles…