NYT reporter to ‘Globalite’ Christopher Johnson: “Please stop harassing my friends.”
Remember Christopher Johnson, the freelance reporter/photographer who became infamous in early 2012 after he threatened bloggers and journalists who were critical of his poorly-written account of being detained and expelled from Japan?
Well folks, it looks like the Japanese government somehow allowed him back into the country. According to some tweets he made this morning, Johnson apparently attended last weekend’s Tokyo International Literary Festival.
Christopher Johnson replied to her first Tweet by claiming total ignorance of any harassment. He then stated that he was being “framed.”
(Despite acknowledging that his tweets were public and thus would be fair game for bloggers to quote, Johnson continued to post tweets directed at Tabuchi.)
It didn’t take long for Johnson to shift towards what some might read as physical threats. He called on Tabuchi to meet him tonight, promising that he would stop his partner from tearing Tabuchi’s hair out. Woah.
Johnson described the information from Tabuchi’s friends as “false accusations from dubious sources,” and questioned her integrity as a journalist.
It’s an interesting turn of events because Johnson has frequently praised Tabuchi’s articles. This drama feels like a repeat of Johnson’s falling out with Jake Adelstein. In that case, Johnson’s public meltdown on Twitter led to a long-winded “investigative” blog post that viciously attacked Adelstein. Should we now expect an article attacking Tabuchi?
Update: Johnson is now complaining about this blog post.
His call for settling the matter in private is supremely ridiculous, as responded to Tabuchi’s post with public Twitter messages and continues to make more public posts, many of which could appear crazy or threatening to third-party observers.
Today, he has spewed out Tweets denying that he threatened Tabuchi. Johnson has also condemned Tabuchi’s “patho liar” friends.
Despite the fact that Tabuchi made a public twitter post stating that she would no longer directly communication with Johnson, he has continued to direct his Tweets at her, demanding an apology for her “false accusations.”
Johnson chooses to make public tweets to the NYT instead of contacting them privately via e-mail. Hilariously, he thinks he is so important that the NYT will read his tweets and then send him an e-mail!
There were also tweets directed at me, demanding that I edit this post to reflect “reality.”
It’s odd that Johnson feels the need to describe Hiroko Tabuchi as a “junior reporter” who is “unknown.” Regularly writing major articles for one of the world’s most well-known newspapers, she is is hardly unknown, and not exactly “junior” either. But, I suppose almost any reporter is “junior” compared to the illustrious Christopher Johnson…
Update 2: Somebody else noticed Johnson’s emphasis on Tabuchi’s lack of importance. Johnson claims that he is not “belittling” her, but is instead pointing out the truth. And making a public spectacle of his disagreement with Tabuchi’s supposedly untruthful accusations is “showing respect” for her. Um, okay. Whatever you say, man.