The 12th Anniversary of Killgore’s Midnight Run & Charles Johnson’s Foray Into Astroturfing

The following is a repost from 18 September 2016.


There he goes again, fighting a dead man.

Andrew Breitbart enhanced Charles Johnson’s blogging career by introducing him to the players who in turn promoted Little Green Footballs and escorted Johnson into the Big Tent with fanfare. Instead of walking away with dignity, Charles chose the path of the pissant. Not only did he shun his former mentors, he turned on them, created and promoted lies, reposted invented unsubstantiated claims, and astroturfed his benefactors. Then, like a true coward, he still plays the victim when others call him on his own hypocrisy.

On 13 September 2016, Charles tried once again to erase his own history of astroturfing, but let’s roll back the clock to 18 September 2009.

Seven years ago today The Flying Monkeys of Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs began an astroturf campaign against HotAir. With no evidence to back up Johnson’s accusation that HotAir was a racist website, LGF operative Killgore Trout paid them a visit while the moderators were asleep and provided the “evidence” himself by posting offensive racial comments and daring the moderators to delete them… beginning at 12:34AM and running to 2:01AM. You can read the full diatribe here, but here’s a snippet:

Killgore Rant Condensed

Killgore’s Midnight Run set a precedent for Little Green Footballs that was recognized throughout the political blogosphere, and the running joke was that if racist comments showed up on someone’s website it was due to Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs.

Killgore 947
Killgore 965

Charles Johnson continuously accused Breitbart and others of not policing comments on their websites. Little Green Footballs typically garnered a couple of hundred comments, and Charles employed volunteer “Monitor Lizards” to do it for him. Breitbart’s “Big Journalism” had well over ten times the number of comments per post than Little Green Footballs, so it was impractical to expend the effort to review and/or edit all of them.

And Johnson’s astroturfing didn’t stop there.


100825 CFnG 2

Johnson holds the 2 of Clubs and four Post-It Notes, then claims he has 5 of a kind. The first liar never has a chance, Charles.

Jazzy Magical Meme

Charles Johnson Archive 9/11


2002 – Comments hidden.



2005 – Some 11 September post(s) deleted. Others have comments hidden.
In 2010, ChenZhen expounded on these deletions.
I *click* AM *click* NOT *click* AN *click* IDIOT!*click*……… *click*








Charles, you have never been glib.
Inane, hyperbolic, petulant, self-absorbed and flippant? Always.

[Updates: Added 2002 screencap via ISTE; added 2021 comment.]

15 years ago on Little Green Footballs : Hamas

Very coincidental topic given the recent attacks by Hamas.

The first link in the post goes to the Middle East Forum:
CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment
The second is a link to a long-gone U.S. News Wire story. Images courtesy of BRC Engineer Nil Stooge (RIP).

[Updated with direct link to Middle East Forum article. A Wayback Machine search  produces no archive of “CAIR: U.S. Muslims Say ‘Siege’…” and is defunct. – Briareus]

On the 18th Anniversary of St. Pancake

Full archive of St. Pancake goods is here.

Charles Johnson on Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh frequently mentioned Little Green Footballs on his show, and in a sense helped Charles Johnson on his career to fame (particularly during the Rathergate hoax). Many would not have heard of LGF had it not been for Rush Limbaugh’s endorsements. Charles has acknowledged it with humility and gratitude ever since.

Charles Johnson has been using the term “The Big Lie” for years.

It’s true, and here’s a prime example.

Here’s the embedded vid.

The update link to “Biden’s 14 Lies” directs to AoS.

A long time ago He_Who_Scoffs_at_Danger summed it all up.

In 2010, Dangerous Minds interviewed Charles Johnson, and we’ve all seen it. Only one comment appeared in response and here it is, verbatim and in its entirety.


the one sense in which charles johnson hasn’t changed is in his method, and this has yielded some embarrassing moments. for instance, when johnson was what he’d now describe as a “wingnut”, he ran a silly post in which he confused the colorado state flag for a flag he feverishly imagined was the u.s. flag redesigned to glorify president obama. more recently, after johnson had become what wingnut johnson would have described as a “moonbat”, he confused the tennesee state flag for a neo-nazi triskelion.

johnson has even allowed breitbart, who johnson had relied on as a trusted source for far longer than he has relied on him as a foil, to embarrass him. during the brief gestation period of the anthony weiner scandal, charles made his site the clearing house for all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories which assembled breitbart and supreme court justice clarence thomas with secret internet attack militias in a coordinated effort to make it appear as if rep. weiner had tweeted a picture of his junk to a young woman not his wife. this also pronounced an echo of “wingnut johnson”; johnson had floated conspiracy theories about shadowy partisans tampering with emails to make it appear as if rep. mark foley had been hitting on young congressional pages.

when the weiner scandal finally broke the way it did, “moonbat johnson” flailed about for some redemption and landed on a meta-meta-story about whether breitbart leaked the ultimately incriminating full-frontal nude shot of rep. weiner accidentally or maliciously. johnson’s proof of the latter scenario was a photo which he was certain depicted breitbart’s laptop being passed around on the street in front of a restaurant. the “laptop” was actually the restaurant’s menu board. johnson also tried to invent a story about palin-supporters rushing en masse to wikipedia to re-write history to match something sarah palin had said about paul revere on the basis of a single user’s edit which stood for about 45 minutes.

johnson’s only other “big” scoop from the post-wingnut era has been that the weird old john birch society had purchased the honor of being listed as a co-sponsor of last year’s cpac convention, an honor which consists of the opportunity to hang a vinyl banner from a folding table on a patch of all-weather carpet in a hotel reception hall. he then tried to contrast this association with the supposed banishment of the gay conservative group, gopac, despite that they too were co-sponsors of the convention and the convention organizers strongly defended their inclusion.

the rest of moonbat johnson’s content falls into two categories: stuff you may as well read written in it’s original, more clearly-written form 45 minutes earlier at TPM or Media Matters, and collections of anonymous comments johnson has tediously cherry-picked from b-list blogs he used to point his readers to for the unspun truth.

johnson’s reliance on the sophomoric method of indicting a blog by the content of it’s comments section is another example of the correspondence between wingnut johnson and moonbat johnson. when wingnut johnson was promoting the works of fjordman and the serbian genocide denier, serge trifkovic, and personally spewing racism about arabs, johnson was only apparently able to find hatespeech on progressive blogs. sometimes he found it there, but almost always in the comments. when progressive bloggers pointed to the hatespeech he hosted on his own blog, johnson actually possessed the huevos to dismiss scrutiny of a blog’s comments as unprincipled, cheap and anti-free speech, and attributed such comments to leftwing agent provocateurs he called “mobys” [1].

moonbat charles floats a number of post facto rationalizations with regard to the color of his site’s commenting community when he was cultivating a movement based on hatred, bigotry and paranoia; this would be the community from which pamela gellar, fjordman and robert spencer arose. he will claim that he deleted and banned objectionable comments and commenters as they appeared. this is either not a fact, or an ugly testament to the sort of talk he regarded as not objectionable. it’s true that little of it survives today, but this is due not to a consistent effort contemporaneous of the comments being posted, but to a hasty mass-deletion he performed the day following his “why i left the right” post.

and, of course, unless you’re a registered user in good standing (and who wishes to remain in good standing) you cannot access any comments at johnson’s site which predate the four days before the election which delivered president obama to office. charles makes a rather implausible claim regarding this, claiming that he has restricted public viewing of those comments to prevent automated web crawlers from slowing his site down. presumably he would have us believe that this he had similar reasons for blocking internet archive from capturing and preserving snapshots of his site.

one might note, however, that he adopted these extreme measures not to hide the first million comments from automated scripts, nor the first two million comments, but seemed to only develop this concern about site-crawlers eating his bandwidth after he had laid out six million comments under thirty thousand articles for them to crawl. that is actually a slight misstatement, as johnson undertook these measures after some two million more comments had accumulated on his servers.

an effective script that would alleviate the problem of spiders crawling though a site’s backlog would set an upper boundary for the range at n posts from the most recent. tellingly, johnson chose the specific date by which he had begun to reconcile himself to the presidency of a man who he had just a day before been describing as a secret muslim socialist with “shockingly racist anti-white views” who’s constituency was a “fifth column” of antisemites, islamic radicals and communists.

his decision to block search spiders (the primary effect of which is to block search engines) came as it did only after it was discovered that he had been quietly deleting and editing old posts of his in which he had promoted paranoid hatespeech about president obama, the “epidemic” of muslim inbreeding and a conspiracy about a secret plan to corrupt the flight 93 memorial into an “islamic victory shrine”.

this, from a guy who continues to make much of others’ revisions, deletions, absence from web archive services, and comments sections. you may think it’s good that he’s “left the right”, but what value is that when they guy can’t even be brought to acknowledge that he was rightwing to begin with? you may even think it’s good that he’s attempted to bury his past, but how can you trust his present when he’s so dishonest in his manner and motives?

and, all things being equal, how can you ever respect a man in his late fifties who attributes responsibility for all the things he did in his mid-fifties to “bad influences”?

johnson’s resort to attributing objectionable commentary to “liberal plants” goes far beyond the two items shown above. at the link is a collection of his below-the-fold commentary about spotting “mobies”.…

johnson’s perfidy reaches far beyond that, however . when johnson was what he’d now describe as a “wingnut” he would ply the same tactic of cherry-picking comments against progressive blogs, and when this would backfire on him, he had some interesting things to say about the tactic:

“Conservative” bloggers, please take note! Glenn Greenwald expects you to be aware of what every right-wing blogger is writing every single second of every day. And if you see something offensive to Glenn Greenwald, you’d better condemn it right away!

Or else you’re a hypocrite or something.

…often he would present the pro-forma comment policy notice as a shield against association with his comments section…

And you won’t find a single page of comments at Daily Kos that contains a disclaimer, to explicitly point out that comments are the responsibility of the poster, not representative of the views of the owner.

At LGF, you’ll find such a disclaimer at the top of every page of comments.

the fact of the matter is that back when his site was noxious enough that it was the subject of an fbi hatecrimes investigation, johnson would attack the messenger as enemies of free speech, …

I have a great idea, Peter. Why don’t you start your own weblog with a commenting system? Then you can experience the joy of deleting comments yourself, instead of demanding that I do it for you.

What is it about free speech that’s so hard for some people to understand?

but the fact of the matter is that charles simply wasn’t offended by racist speech in his blog comments…

sure, if you put that interpretation on it, you can see it as a racist comment.

But since there are numerous Western “peace activists” in the West Bank and Gaza, harassing the IDF and “supporting” the Palestinian Arabs, a more likely interpretation is that …

It’s a JOKE.

and when he did delete genocidal and racist comments, it was expressly for looks:

yes, there is code to filter a few derogatory terms that have been found to provoke strong reactions, cause arguments, and give the Morlocks (e.d.: “liberals”) ammunition when they’re cherry-picking commentsto smear LGF.

Get another 3am phone call, Charles?

In 2011, post-meltdown Johnson posted this:

That comment linked to this:

And now Al-Jazeera is a credible reference.


Charles Johnson on Joe Biden’s Lies

Charles Sun, Jun 3, 2007

Biden wins for “phoniest emotional outburst.”

Charles Wed, Sep 26, 2007

Biden’s fine with sanctuary cities too, but he’s taking a much longer time to say it.

Biden’s makeup goes all the way over his balding head.

I feel for the makeup artist who had to make Biden’s scalp look natural.

Charles Tue, Oct 30, 2007

Biden’s had too much Zoloft.

Biden’s forgetting to complete words. It’s the lightning round!

Charles Fri, Aug 22, 2008

Please pick Biden. Yes. Couldn’t ask for an angrier, more arrogant Dem.

Charles Thu, Oct 2, 2008

Biden: I’ve dealt with violence against women.
Obvious enough?

Biden’s grinning like a goon at her when he thinks the cameras are not on him.

Biden is beginning to look very tired.

Biden: “This is the most important election since 1932.” WTF?

Who would have thought that it would be Biden who started crying?

Biden’s voice is approaching a monotone. He’s lethargic.

There are going to be some koolaid drinkers voting for Biden.

Charles Wed, Jun 30, 2010

I’ll bet Andrew Breitbart wrote this headline for Drudge Report:
Biden Compares Republicans to Nazis…

Funny you should ask….