“It Struck Me That He Might Be The Ultimate Expression Of A Certain Kind Of Citizen Journalism”

Don’t know if Forbes is correct in reporting that loathsome pisshole Chuck Johnson is consulting with the Trump transition team, but it’s a sign of have far we’ve fallen from grace that such a thing even seems plausible. Any other President-Elect would want to immediately deny it’s so, but the next Administration is every bit the fringe element that Johnson is. The sideshow has been relocated to the center ring.

An excerpt from the late David Carr’s final New York Times column from 2014, a nuanced excoriation–and appreciation, for lack of a better term–of a venomous, irresponsible troll who fancies himself a “citizen journalist” and is, sort of, in our age of destabilized media:

The Internet has given us many glorious things: streaming movies, multiplayer games, real-time information and videos of cats playing the piano. It has also offered up some less edifying creations: web-borne viruses, cybercrime and Charles C. Johnson.

His name came out of nowhere and now seems to be everywhere. When the consumer Internet first unfolded, there was much talk about millions of new voices blooming. Mr. Johnson is one of those flowers. His tactics may have as much in common with ultimate fighting as journalism, but that doesn’t mean he is not part of the conversation.

Mr. Johnson, a 26-year-old blogger based in California, has worked his way to the white-hot center of the controversy over a Rolling Stone article about rape accusations made by a student at the University of Virginia. His instinct that the report was deeply flawed was correct, but he proceeded to threaten on Twitter to expose the student and then later named her. And he serially printed her photo while going after her in personal and public ways.

In the frenzy to discredit her, he published a Facebook photo of someone he said was the same woman at a rally protesting an earlier rape. Oops. Different person. He did correct himself, but the damage, now to two different women, was done. …

After watching him set off a series of small mushroom clouds, it struck me that he might be the ultimate expression of a certain kind of citizen journalism — one far more toxic than we’re accustomed to seeing. Once a promising young conservative voice who wrote for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller and The Blaze, Mr. Johnson has a loose-cannon approach that alienated many of his editors. There was a time when that would have been the end of it, but with Twitter as a promotional platform, he has been able to build his own site called GotNews.•