Charles C. Johnson

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Chuck Johnson
Born Charles C. Johnson
1988 (age 28–29)
United States
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education Claremont McKenna College
Occupation Journalist, author
Years active 2011 – present
Website GotNews
Personal website

Charles "Chuck" C. Johnson (born 1988)[1] is an independent American journalist and owner of the website GotNews.com. He has written for several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post, and has written two books.[2]

Johnson has been a controversial figure throughout his career. He is frequently described as an internet troll[3][4][5] and accused of unethical and false journalism. Johnson denies these claims, and describes himself as a "Champion of Truth".[6]

Education

Johnson attended Milton Academy for high school, graduating in 2007. Johnson attended Claremont McKenna College, graduating in 2011.[7] During his college years he was awarded the Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism Award and the Publius Fellowship at the Claremont Institute.[2]

Elizabeth O'Bagy

Johnson is credited with ending the career of foreign policy analyst Elizabeth O'Bagy. Johnson revealed that O'Bagy did not have a Ph.D. from Georgetown University as she had claimed on her application to the Institute for the Study of War.[8] O'Bagy was fired shortly after Johnson's story broke.[8]

Controversies

Johnson has been involved in many controversies throughout his career.

Bob Menendez

Johnson was involved in the creation of a Daily Caller story that accused U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) of soliciting underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.[9] A criminal investigation of the case found no evidence, and the women making the allegations later admitted they had been paid by a local lawyer to make the claims.[10][11]

In August 2015, a judge declined requests from Menendez' lawyers to dismiss the charges, and the investigation was ongoing.[12]

Cory Booker

On October 14, 2013, Johnson published an article on The Daily Caller claiming that Newark mayor and senatorial candidate Cory Booker never lived in Newark, citing neighbors of Booker's alleged address as evidence.[13] The website Buzzfeed claimed to find rental checks for the address were found and reported Booker's claim that Booker once lived there and Booker was elected Senator a few weeks later. Johnson stands by his reporting, claiming that Booker may well have paid rent but did not live in Newark.[14]

David D. Kirkpatrick

In January 2014, Johnson published an article reporting that New York Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick was arrested for exhibitionism and posing for Playgirl.[15] Johnson's source for the Playgirl claim was a January 22, 1990, article in The Daily Princetonian, which was later revealed to be satirical.[16] Johnson apologized to Kirkpatrick.

2014 Mississippi Republican primary election

On June 30, 2014, Johnson published a story on GotNews accusing Mississippi senator Thad Cochran of bribing African-Americans to vote for him in the Mississippi Senate Republican primary.[17] The story came days after Cochran had defeated Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in a run-off election. Johnson claimed that a Black pastor named Stevie Fielder had told him he was paid by Cochran's campaign to bribe Black Democrats into voting for Cochran. Johnson paid the pastor for his statements, a controversial practice sometimes known as "checkbook journalism".[17] Fielder later partially recanted his story, saying that he had been speaking hypothetically, that he had turned down the offer, and that Johnson's recording of his interview had been selectively edited, a claim Johnson denies.[18]

During the election, Johnson also accused the Cochran campaign of being responsible for Mississippi Tea Party leader Mark Mayfield's suicide and encouraged his Twitter followers to flood a Cochran campaign conference call.[17][19]

Ferguson

During the Ferguson unrest, Johnson published the Instagram account of shooting victim Michael Brown and stated that the account "shows a violent streak that may help explain what led to a violent confrontation with Police officer Darren Wilson".[20] Johnson also filed a lawsuit to have Brown's juvenile records released. In Brown's home state of Missouri, the records of minors are private, but Johnson argued that the matter was of pressing public interest under the state's sunshine law. The county court disagreed.[21] Further appeal attempts by Johnson to unseal the records went as far the State Supreme Court of Missouri, which denied his request.

In a separate incident during the unrest, Johnson published the addresses of two New York Times reporters after they published the neighbor information of Darren Wilson.[22] The New York Times has said the reporters only revealed the street on which Wilson once lived.[22]

University of Virginia rape case

In December 2014, Rolling Stone columnist Sabrina Erdely published an article entitled "A Rape on Campus" about the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia (UVA) student named "Jackie" in 2012 at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at UVA. The article was later found to be fabricated.[22] Johnson publicly identified Jackie. [23]

Banning from Twitter

On May 24, 2015, Johnson sent a tweet asking his followers for donations to help him "take out" Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson. McKesson shared the tweet and took the tweet as a threat. Johnson was permanently banned from Twitter after several users reported him for harassment.[3]

Gawker lawsuit

In June 2015, Johnson sued Gawker for defamation in Missouri for $66 million, and filed a similar suit in California in December.[24] In January 2016, the Missouri suit was dismissed.[25]

Personal life

Johnson is married and lives with his wife in California. He is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish.[2]

Bibliography and awards

Books

  • Why Coolidge Matters: Leadership Lessons from America’s Most Underrated President, published by Encounter Books[2]
  • The Truth About the IRS Scandals, published by Encounter Books

Awards

References

  1. "Charles Johnson Threatens To Sue Man Who Called Him A Child Molester". The Daily Caller. 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "About Charles C. Johnson, investigative journalist and author". Charlescjohnson.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hess, Amanda (2015-05-28). "Chuck C. Johnson suspended from Twitter: Why?". Slate.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  4. Christian Dem in NC (2015-05-25). "Charles C. Johnson gets booted off Twitter for wanting to "take out" Deray McKesson". Dailykos.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  5. Wicentowski, Danny (2015-06-08). "St. Louis Lawyer Fighting to Reinstate Troll King Charles Johnson on Twitter | News Blog | St. Louis News and Events". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  6. http://charlescjohnson.com/
  7. "Charles Johnson". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Wagging the dog: The tale of Elizabeth O'Bagy – The Lead with Jake Tapper – CNN.com Blogs". Thelead.blogs.cnn.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  9. "Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic". The Daily Caller. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  10. Bump, Philip (March 8, 2013). "Daily Caller's Prostitution 'Scoop' Was So Thin Even the "New York Post" Passed". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  11. Lazo, Luz (March 18, 2013). "Dominican police: 3 women paid to make false claims about Menendez". "Washington Post". Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  12. "Sen. Robert Menendez may have had sex with underage hookers in Dominican Republic: prosecutors". New York Daily News. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  13. Charles C. JohnsonContributor (2013-10-14). "Neighbors: Cory Booker never lived in Newark". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  14. Weigel, David (2013-10-15). "Birther director claims Cory Booker does not live in Newark". Slate.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  15. Charles C. JohnsonContributor. "Benghazi reporter Kirkpatrick went nude constantly". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  16. Weigel, David (2014-01-06). "Daily Caller's Charles C. Johnson cites 24-year-old fake Princeton newspaper to attack the David D. Kirkpatrick, the New York Times' Benghazi reporter". Slate.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Politics (2014-07-11). "Charles Johnson And The Mississippi Senate Race". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  18. Pender, Geoff (July 11, 2014). "Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  19. Cogan, Marin (June 16, 2015). "Ugly: The aftershocks of a tea-party suicide". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  20. Wilstein, Matt (September 5, 2014). "Conservative Blogger Tries to Prove ‘Violent Streak’ with Michael Brown’s Photos". Mediaite. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  21. Zara, Christopher (August 28, 2014). "Mike Brown Juvenile Record? Lawsuit Seeks Alleged Arrest History Of Slain Missouri Teen". International Business Times. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/15/business/media/sowing-mayhem-one-click-at-a-time.html
  23. Howell, Patrick (2014-12-07). "Journalist publishes alleged name and photo of UVA rape victim". Dailydot.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  24. Sola, Katie (June 19, 2015). "Conservative Blogger Sues Gawker For $66 Million Over Public Pooping Rumors". Huffington Post. 
  25. Patrick, Robert (January 15, 2016). "Blogger's defamation lawsuit tossed out — of Missouri". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

External links