July 1, 2008


Larry Johnson's Strange Trip: How a onetime hero of the liberal blogosphere and the Democratic Party spread perhaps the most damaging anti-Obama smear of the primary. (David Weigel, June 24, 2008, American Prospect)

On May 13, 2006, Larry C. Johnson -- former CIA intelligence officer, counterterrorism pundit, classmate of Valerie Plame -- put up a breaking post claiming that Karl Rove was under federal indictment for perjury and lying to investigators looking into the leaking of Plame's identity. [...]

But, by May and early June of this year, Johnson had become much more hated on the left than he ever was on the right. He was instrumental in spreading the rumor that Republican operatives possessed a tape of Barack Obama's wife Michelle railing against "whitey." The affair has turned some of Johnson's old friends and allies into raging, red-eyed enemies. "Smears of this type are unforgivable," wrote blogger Booman, who said that his friendship with Johnson had ended over the matter. "You're a sad and pathetic piece of [****]," wrote Brad Reed of Sadly, No!. Daily Kos, the left-wing blogopolis where Johnson's diaries once drew upward of 400 comments, became a carnival of Johnson-bashing. "You," wrote Kos regular Bob Johnson (no relation), "and the denizens of your cesspool of hate have promoted and stoked every fringe-lunatic, rightwing smear of Obama."

In the space of six months, a man who had been one of the most high-profile, credible recruits of the liberal blogosphere became as loathed as the White House apparatchiks he used to attack. [....]

[W]hat of the bloggers who have written him out of the movement? What about his credibility? "I am amused that my 'credibility' is now in question," Johnson wrote. "The Democrats did not have such a problem when I was asked to deliver the response to President Bush's Saturday radio address in July of 2005. I have not changed.

One hardly expects deranged people to have stable relationships.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2008 3:08 PM
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