At certain points in the past few months, I often thought that a piece on Larry Johnson--the former CIA agent-turned-blogger who became a hero to the Daily Kos crowd before turning into a hero of Rush Limbaugh's--would be a good thing to do. But, frankly, I didn't have the stomach to read through Johnson's body of work to do it myself. Thankfully, Dave Weigel is made of stronger stuff than I, and he's done a good Johnson profile for The American Prospect. A taste:
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 shit," 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.
Weigel also notes the key role Joe Wilson played in Johnson's, uh, evolution. Surprise, surprise.