The answer is NO.
Charles Johnson never saved anything, including his credibility, self-respect and his own blog. Almost six years ago he beclowned himself in defense of Rep. Anthony Weiner, and we all know how that turned out.
Recent reports suggest that Weiner‘s proxy wife Huma Abedin “is working hard” to get them back together, now that the political heat is off. I suspect that her husband of convenience is doing the *ahem* same.
Meanwhile, Charles’ original Tweet is still functioning, unlike his neocortex.
Yeah, that classic deserves many more retweets than it’s received. Now about that dated avatar, Charles…
[h/t Chen Zhen for preserving the twitterlinky and stuff.]
Since it appears that CJ is going to hang on to this stern-looking, arms-crossed, monochrome image of himself indefinitely, and since the question of its age and origin pop up from time to time, the BRC decided to take a few minutes and do a little digging. So if anyone was ever curious, here you go…
First, for our visitors, here’s the image in question:
He must really be fond of this picture (go ahead and speculate as to why), as it has graced his avi spot in his twitter, facebook, and LGF profiles for as long as most can remember. We’ll get to just how long in a moment, but we’ll start with the question of where the picture was taken, since that turned out to be kinda easy…
A clue lies in the image itself. In the brick wall background you can see text etched into it. Look closer, and you see that it appears to be a quote from Cesar Chavez. With a little Google-fu, one finds:
Description: inscribed limestone panels mounted on 4 freestanding brick walls
Location: City Hall Courtyard, 9770 Culver Boulevard, Culver City
Quotation Courtyard comprises four free-standing walls that are constructed from the bricks of the former City Hall that was erected on the site in 1928. Each side of the four walls contains a limestone panel etched with a quotation. The quotations represent a culturally diverse group of historical and civil rights leaders, including Cesar Chavez, Albert Einstein, Coretta Scott King, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Yep, safe to say that’s the place. Now on to the when…
For that we can use a reverse image search, and when you scan through that stuff, you’ll discover a few interesting bits.
When giving a quick glance at the list, a first impression is that the image serves as CJ’s one official “head shot“, as it appears on a good variety of sites and pages over the years where he is the subject. Did he request that some of these sites use this pic specifically? Probably.
Anyway, digging into the older links (and with a little help from the Wayback Machine), the avi shows up on an old Pajamas Media “about” page the Archive cached in May 2008.
It also shows up in an old Forbes(!?) article from January 2007: The Web Celeb 25. He’s #20!
Thus, the pic was taken sometime before then. Perhaps some more digging could reveal an older usage (or even the actual date), so if any of you want to try different methods, by all means give it a go. In any case, it’s pretty old (certainly by headshot standards, as it would easily fail the “That’s you?!?” test).
With that context added, I suppose we could move on to the fun of speculation, and talk about just what CJ might have been doing at Culver City Hall back then, and why he looked so, I dunno…angry?
Are there any clues on LGF? Welp, fire up The World’s Greatest Blog Search Engine™, and we do find an old comment specifically about Culver City Hall (note the timestamp):
Charles 2006-06-26 08:53:24
OK — I spoke with a friend who has extensive building experience in Culver City and he said, “No way.” But when I pointed out that the mosque is funded by Saudi Arabia, he said, “Hmm.”
Any permits would be on file at the Culver City Hall.
That comment appears in LGF thread #21224:
Ahaa!!! THAT mosque!
Could this be it? Did Johnson hop on down to city hall and start digging into building permits? While there, did he stop for a nice promo shot?
Only he knows. He looked very concerned about…something, however.
But as far as a follow up to the mosque tunnel story goes, the Freepers seemed convinced that it was there, but I couldn’t find anything on LGF. Tunnel or no tunnel?
Not really a screencap, but rather a genuine LGF avatar:
I took the liberty to create an official Diary of Daedalus gravatar for those who want an avatar but haven’t gotten around to setting one up. While I was at it, I created one for visiting LGF lurkers who might want to comment here under a sock.
Simply copy these email addys into the comment form on DoD (or any site that uses gravatar ):
I chose the “trash lgf” because it is simple (so you can see what it is even when small), and it kind of reminds me of a pirate flag. The standard green football is presented for those LGFers who want to represent, but would rather remain anonymous.
Go ahead, give it a try!