As we have seen recently, the media has gone berserk in its hysteria over Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson being chosen as Speaker of the House. However leave it to Atlantic magazine to reach a new absurd low on Saturday. They published some intense opposition research by the senior writer (and co-founder) at Nieman Lab Joshua Benton, who.. revealed that (GASP!) Mike Johnson’s great great great grandfather was an insurrectionist under the headline:
How America treats those who flirt with rebellion.
Has Benton spent five minutes looking into the Hakeem Jeffries family tree…the one with the pro-Farrakhan/anti-Semite uncle in it? The uncle he defended? Nah.
Benton actually went back five generations to the Civil War to discover that great great great grandfather Alfred Johnson was what he described as an insurrectionist.
Alfred M. S. Johnson went back to farming after that August day. Not long after, he had a son and named him Andrew Johnson—presumably in honor of the man who succeeded Lincoln in the presidency and had pardoned all ex-Confederates by the end of 1868.
Andrew Johnson eventually moved west to Hempstead County, Arkansas. There, he had a son named Garner James Johnson. As a young man, Garner Johnson left farming and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, taking a job on the Kansas City Southern Railroad. He begat Raymond Ralph Johnson, who begat James Patrick Johnson, who begat James Michael Johnson.
Gee! If Benton had only gone back about 8 more Johnson generations he might have discovered that Mike Johnson’s very distant ancestor was an insurrectionist against King Charles I during the English Civil War. Anyone want to explore Benton’s ancestry for fun?
And now Benton performs what he perceives as a slam dunk insurrectionist connection between Mike Johnson and his great great great grandfather:
Like his great-great-great-grandfather Alfred, Mike Johnson was part of an attempt to oust the duly elected government of the United States and replace it with one more to his liking. In Alfred’s day, the tools were secession and battle; Johnson’s were spurious claims of voter fraud and trumped-up legal arguments.
To get an idea of where liberal journalists in general and Joshua Benton in particular are coming from it is useful to take a look at Harvard’s Nieman Lab whose very strange philosophy denigrates objectivity as a goal in reporting. As stated by University of Texas professor and Nieman Lab acolyte Anita Varma, objectivity “has never been achievable or desirable, has never served the public, and has repeatedly proven itself to be a waste of shrinking resources in the face of social injustice that denies people’s basic humanity.”
And now you can see how the Nieman Lab senior writer Joshua Benton can avoid objectively reporting on Mike Johnson 2023 by laughably stretching back five generations in his family to smear him by suggesting that he has some sort of insurrection gene in his DNA.
PS: Benton is consistent on this path. A month ago, his Atlantic hit piece was headlined:
The billionaire has described his grandfather as a risk-taking adventurer. A closer read of history reveals something much darker.