Little Green Footballs was one of the first three blogs I read. First came Tim Blair, then Instapundit, then LGF.
I can’t quite put my finger on when Charles Johnson began to lose his mind. I would say it happened shortly after he left Pajamas Media. His tone changed, as did his invective and his targets. Johnson, who once held “mobying” and “sock puppetry” as capital offenses, began dealing in the type of name-calling and derangement his detractors dealt. A site dedicated to shining a light on the net world of jihad suddenly was obsessed with creationism in schools and finding fascists behind every corner.
Not that one can’t debate creationism in schools, or fascism, but Johnson took a tack where it was hard to see where he left room in the world for creationists to even exist. Then came the tea parties, which he quickly tried to link to Ron Paul nuts. When that didn’t work, he attempted to label Glenn Beck and pro-lifers as anti-choice zealots. It culminated in a recent spirited climax when he insisted Van Jones had been wronged by the right and was the victim of lies – quite the split from one who was so integral to the whole Memo-gate exposure. Johnson never answered the question, if Jones was so wronged, why he resigned. A site once dedicated to truth about truthers had finally done the complete flip.
Johnson was never a rock-ribbed conservative – heck, neither is Glenn Reynolds. And there is no problem with that, most of my favorite writers aren’t, a few far from it. But it’s one things to change ideology, another to make a habit of intellectual dishonesty and abusing good will thousands of visitors have paid to your site.
I was a regular visitor on LGF, sometimes commented on the posts and made it a habit to entertain the chat room a couple nights a week. About two months into the creation binge, I commented a seemingly innocuous post about the proclivity of creation nonsense. With that I was banned.
I forgot the site existed until a recent post at Gateway Pundit. A few clicks here and there, some of the banned commenters from LGF decided to petition to other exiles in hopes of coming up with some numbers. All said and done, around a 1,000 commenters had been banned – just from those who found this posting. Lord knows what the actual number is.
Much of this was unnoticed, until LGF began picking fights with Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Ace of Spades, Jihad Watch and now R.S. McCain.
At McCain’s post, someone posted an Alexa link to LGF’s web traffic. It’s a dying site. An utter shame, because it didn’t have to be that way.
So a lesson to all bloggers, journalists or those with an audience – respect it. Respect it very much. The net is a big, bad place and people won’t stick around if you won’t.