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):
[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.
What’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.
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?
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.