My note: Numerous Facebook friends and a few commenters have noticed John Ziegler’s obsession with male genitals. When his anger peaks, he can’t seem to stop discussing testicles. Is this significant? See the video and judge for yourself.
During an otherwise ordinary day at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Convention, I had a run in with conservative radio talk show host John Ziegler. For the uninitiated, Ziegler is a talker memorably profiled by David Foster Wallace who, while not enjoying Limbaugh or Hannity levels of devotion, is a reasonably famous figure in the conservative media. Our confrontation is already infamous. Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins, Wonkette, and other bloggers seized on it for posts. Robert Stacy McCain, a former Washington Times writer drummed out of the Moonie paper partly because of my reporting on his white supremacist leanings, posted a barely comprehensible Youtube video.
Why the rage? Well, the roots of Ziegler’s fury lay in a series of reports I produced in 2006 about the factually challenged TV movie The Path To 9-11, in which I laid out the film’s ulterior right-wing agenda. (See here, here, here, and here for the full story). In early 2008, I received a series of emails from someone calling themselves “Konrad Ziegler.” “I am producing a documentary on how “The Path to 9/11” got essentially killed in 2006 and I am wondering if you would be willing to do an interview with me and take a victory lap for your role in helping to create that reality,” the mysterious filmmaker, “Konrad,” wrote me in an email. Given the unusually cryptic nature of his request, I declined to respond.
When the film Blocking The Path To 9-11 appeared, my suspicions were confirmed—“Konrad” was actually John Ziegler. Variety panned Ziegler’s documentary, calling it “tedious.”
Which leads us to the encounter with Ziegler in the lobby of the Omni Shoreham. When I brought up our shared history, Ziegler exploded, inexplicably accusing me of “hurt[ing] poor children, most of whom were black.” See his histrionics for yourself.