Note: The Charles Johnson discussed in this post is not the Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. It is the Charles Johnson of Got News.
Blogger Charles Johnson’s latest target is Dana Loesch. He goes out of his way to provide half stories about Dana and her husband Chris which Dana herself does a great job debunking at her site. The part of the story I can add to is where Johnson tries to convince the reader that he was among Andrew Breitbart’s closest friends. I wasn’t even close to being close friends with Andrew, but I certainly knew who he was close to. One thing I can tell you is that anyone who claims they were very close to Andrew Breitbart probably wasn’t.
In his piece Johnson claims:
I volunteered and worked for Breitbart. The reason you don’t know too much about my work for Andrew is that I was busy doing it and living in relative obscurity. (It was only after Andrew died and I got married that I decided I should be a bit more out in the public eye and began tweeting and causing trouble.)
I wrote movie reviews for Big Hollywood, I wrote a few articles vetting Obama, and I found the Derrick Bell tapes. I also found the Eric Holder “brain wash” people into not liking guns. I worked on the Obama eats dogs story and published the material on Obama’s time at Columbia, among many others. I also won two journalism awards from the Wall Street Journal for a story I published first on Andrew’s sites. (I also published a version on National Review Online.) I thanked Andrew in my speech at NewsCorp headquarters and in print. “I would never have won this great award without the help of Andrew Breitbart and the people at BigPeace.com believing in me and my work,” I said at the time.
Johnson was a volunteer reporter for the Breitbart sites and so was I.
Between late 2009 and 2011, there were over 200 articles featuring my
byline on one of the “Big” sites (and two or three since). At Big
Journalism, I broke the video which exposed Helen Thomas and got her
fired, I helped oust Obama national security pick Chas Johnson (who
believed the Muslims discovered America) among many things I broke at
Breitbart.com, I exposed Mel Gibson and his intended Maccabees movie at
Big Hollywood, and I broke countless stories about Obama’s Anti-Israel
policies at Big Peace. Or to put it another way, Johnson’s service was
But he insists:
I was also the last employee at Breitbart to contact Andrew before he died. We talked about going to a party at screenwriter Dale Launer’s house that Friday. I was also in Andrew’s office with Samuel Corcos the day he offered the money for video of the N-word being said to black congressmen. We had Mexican food at a B restaurant and he ate half my chicken burrito because I was talking too much. Sam Corcos, Bryce Gerard, and I met Andrew and Alex Marlow first at a GenX event and America’s Future Foundation event in Los Angeles when I was a freshman in college in Los Angeles. Cato’s Gene Healey and The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf were both there, too.
Did Johnson get a certificate proving he was the last employee to talk to Breitbart? Sorry I am being a bit snarky. Breitbart was a “regular guy.” If a stranger met him on the street and told him they were thinking of starting a blog, Andrew would give the stranger his card with his cell phone number and urge him to call if he needed help. So the fact that Johnson supposedly spoke to Andrew just before he died was nothing special.
In the three years since the “Bigs” began publish, Andrew and I may have spoken maybe 30 times either in person, on the phone, or at the bar at CPAC, yet I called him my friend. It is not some delusion of grandeur on my part, it was just that Andrew Breitbart made people feel they were the most important people in the world and a key component of his team. Allow me to give you an example:
While on the publicity tour for last latest book, Andrew appeared on the Hugh Hewitt show. Hewitt jokingly told Andrew of his disappointment that his name wasn’t in the acknowledgements. Piling on to a good joke, I tweeted Andrew saying Hewitt had no right to be in the acknowledgements, but as one of his most prolific contributors I should have been named and should have gotten some of his royalties on top of it. The very next day I received a phone call apologizing for not including
me (he also mentioned he wished he included Pamela Geller also) because I
was a top contributor. I don’t know whether he meant it or not, but that was the Andrew Breitbart I knew, he always found time to make others feel important.
Did Andrew Breitbart take the time to make Johnson feel important? I bet he did. Andrew made everyone seem important…but that doesn’t make him any different than the other contributors to Andrew’s sites.
But there’s more. Nine months after Andrew died Dana sued Breitbart.com. Honestly the suit had nothing to do with Andrew’s relationship with Dana or visa versa. Johnson suggests that it did. He tells of visiting the Breitbart offices
before Andrew’s death and that they would complain about Dana’s work
ethic … notice he doesn’t mention who. I don’t know the behind the scenes of Loesch’s lawsuit, but obviously she had problems with someone in the organization and obviously it didn’t metastasize until after Andrew died, hence the timing of the suit.
The last time I spoke to Andrew was the last day of the 2012 CPAC, two weeks before he died. I gave him suggestions for Big Journalism, he told me to talk to Dana about them. An indication that Breitbart still had confidence in Loesch. Also keep in mind as the site grew from a list of news services and blog posts, to the “Bigs,” Andrew divorced himself from the business side of the operations. There were times Andrew would mention to me his next project, and when I suggested he hire me to run it Andrew would always point me to his friend and partner Larry Solov as the guy who made hiring decisions. It was a point that then Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollack echoed to me after Andrew died.
I want to be very clear that I didn’t want to write this piece. Lots of people lie about my work. There’s even a bogus story about me crapping on the floor in college. I let most of this nonsense go by the way side. But Dana is lying about my work, just as she’s lying about her relationship with Andrew Breitbart toward the end of his life.
As far as who was “closer” to Andrew, like I suggested before, someone
who suggests they were close to Andrew probably wasn’t; his actual close
friends don’t have to. Remember what Charles Johnson says in his tome
about Andrew: “I was also the last employee at Breitbart to contact
Andrew before he died.” Without saying it he is suggesting he and Andrew
were best buds.
When the Breitbart team and many of Andrew’s friends gathered for his
funeral, the Breitbart team took a picture as a message that they will
carry on the fight for truth. Notice that Dana Loesch is in the
picture—notice that Charles Johnson was not.
On her website, Dana Loesch addresses Johnson’s other claims:
A few days ago while trying to cull news from my Twitter feeds, Chuck Johnson was fighting with everyone under the sun and filling up my timeline. Because he seemed petty, I opted to unfollow rather than mute him. Within thirty minutes he had a public meltdown resulting in a hit piece comprised of failed hit pieces from progressives before him. He responded with a poorly-written, error-riddled, libelous piece as his traffic (via Alexa) has taken a dive this month