On Sunday, The New York Times Magazine featured an article on Charles Johnson, whose website -- littlegreenfootballs -- had for years been very popular among conservatives and among all those who believed that Islamic terror and Islamic religious totalitarianism were the greatest expressions of contemporary evil. The reason for the article was that Mr. Johnson has made a 180-degree turn and is now profoundly, even stridently, anti-right. This is my letter to him.
As you know, over the years, I was so impressed with your near-daily documentation of developments in the Islamist world that I twice had you on my national radio show -- both times face to face in my studio. And you, in turn, periodically cited my radio show and would tell your many readers when they could hear you on my show.
So it came as somewhat of a shock to see your 180-degree turn from waging war on Islamist evil to waging war on your erstwhile allies and supporters on the right. You attempted to explain this reversal Nov. 30, 2009, when you published "Why I Parted Ways With The Right."
You offered 10 reasons, and I would like to respond to them. First, as disappointed as I am with your metamorphosis, I still have gratitude for all the good you did and I respect your change as a sincere act of conscience. But neither this gratitude nor this respect elevates my regard for your 10 points. They are well beneath the intellectual and moral level of your prior work. They sound like something Keith Olbermann would write if he were given 10 minutes to come up with an attack on conservatives.
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, etc.).
Associating the American right with fascism is done only by leftist ideologues and propagandists, not by serious critics. It is akin to calling everyone on the left a Communist. As for the specific examples, forgive me, but in 28 years as a talk show host and columnist, I had never heard of Robert Stacy McCain or of Vlaams Belang. Nor did the BNP or SIOE register on my intellectual radar screen.
I looked them up and found that McCain is a former editor at the Washington Times charged with racist views. So what?
The BNP is the British National Party, a racist group that in the last U.K. general election received 0.7 percent of the popular vote. So what?