October 21, 2002

CHARLES JOHNSON SEEMS TO BE THE VICTIM OF A SMEAR CAMPAIGN; you can read more about it here. And here. And Tony Pierce says:

msnbc's "blogspotting", edited by Will Femia asks its readers if Little Green Footballs is hateful. pardon me, will, but you're msnbc's expert on blogs, why dont you tell us? btw, LGF is far from hateful, they just know who their enemy is and they dont let up. relentless is the word, will, fearless is another word, bro. ruthless, sharp, pointed, popular, and seething are some other words that you could use. but hateful is bogus and reactionary and you should take it off your page.

I don't think Charles's site could be called a "hate site" by any stretch of the imagination -- er, except by using "hate" as a synonym for what certain people just disagree with. And I don't think that falling for this campaign does much for MSNBC's credibility. What's ironic is to read Charles's posts on the Middle East from before 9/11, and compare them with what he's written now. Johnson is a lefty who's faced reality, which apparently makes him offensive to those who prefer not to.

UPDATE: Meryl Yourish is weighing in on Charles' behalf. She references IndyMedia as a far more plausible example of a hatesite.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Nick Denton says the problem isn't Charles, but his commenters -- but that Charles needs to rein them in. This is tougher than MSNBC's casual slur. One reason why I don't generally have active comments is that I don't have time and energy to police them, and if I had them I'd feel obliged to do so. On the other hand, I'm sure that -- say -- MSNBC had lots of racist comments in its discussion boards (before it took them down) and that hardly made MSNBC a "hate site." While I love comments on other blogs, it seems to me that comments just don't work well past a certain traffic level.