Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs in the NYT

charles-johnson-cnn.jpgToday's New York Times Magazine takes its crack at deciphering for the rest of us the bitter divorce between the ideological fanatics of the Little Green Footballs blog (in its high-traffic, anti-Islamic heyday) and its creator, Angeleno musician Charles Johnson. The story at least has some depth that the L.A. Times didn't even attempt. Couple of NYT excerpts:

It was a kind of orgy of delinking, an intentionally set brush fire meant to clear the psychic area around Johnson and ensure that no one would connect him to anyone else, period, unless he first said it was O.K. No one would define Johnson’s allegiances but Johnson. Of course, much of this was accomplished by the very methods he felt so threatened by: a kind of six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon approach to political rectitude, in which the existence of even a search-engine-generated connection between two people anywhere in the world implied a mutual back-scratching, an ideological partnership. It was unfair and simplistic and petulant, but it also seems to have achieved its goal. Very few people on the right want to be linked with Charles Johnson anymore....

if you read L.G.F. today, you will find it hard to miss the paradox that a site whose origins, and whose greatest crisis, were rooted in opposition to totalitarianism now reads at times like a blog version of “Animal Farm.” Johnson seems obsessed with what others think of him, posting much more often than he used to about references to himself elsewhere on the Internet and breaking into comment threads (a recent one was about the relative merits of top- versus front-loaded washing machines) to call commenters’ attention to yet another attack on him that was posted at some other site. On the home page, you can click to see the Top 10 comments of the day, as voted on by registered users; typically, half of those comments will be from Johnson himself.


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