Newly hired BuzzFeed D.C. editor Benny Johnson described President Obama as a "truly committed statist" with a "seedy past" and "extremist ideas" who believes "there is no God above the state" and who acts as "a celebrity-in-chief."
On December 18, 2012, BuzzFeed announced that they had hired Johnson as "associate editor in BuzzFeed's Washington, D.C. Bureau focusing on viral content and its intersection with DC politics" and that he would be starting on January 3. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Johnson is "perfectly positioned" to "make the sort of smart, entertaining, and compelling political content people want to share."
Before he was hired by BuzzFeed, Johnson worked as a multimedia producer for Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze, and as a "video journalist" for the conservative group Accuracy in Media, which has a reputation for promoting anti-gay ideas and right-wing conspiracy theories.
As part of his work for The Blaze, Johnson made several appearances in 2012 on the struggling Sun News Network, Canada's conservative news network, and launched numerous attacks on Obama and progressives.
1. Johnson claimed Obama has a "seedy past" and "extremist ideas" [Sun News, Newswire, 10/5/12]
2. Johnson described Obama as a "truly committed statist" who believes that "the answer to everything - including your health care, your birth control -- is the government" [Sun News, Byline, 8/26/12]
3. Johnson: Obama is "an absolutely avowed statist" who believes "there is no God above the state" and that "government should have control over everything" [Sun News, Byline, 8/13/12]
4. Johnson said Obama is "a president who has been more inside of your life and your bedroom than any president in the history of America" [Sun News, Byline, 8/13/12]
5. According to Johnson, the 2012 election was "between someone who is a statist and someone who really believes that the Constitution means that you should have your religious and First Amendment rights not impugned upon." [Sun News, Byline, 8/13/12]
6. Johnson accused Obama of being "too busy being a celebrity-in-chief" while "not wanting to be a commander-in-chief" [Sun News, Byline, 9/28/12]
7. Johnson described Obama's fiscal policy as he saw it: "isolate successful Americans" in order to "take more out of their back pockets" [Sun News, Byline, 11/16/12]
8. Johnson said voters are suffering "from what I classify as PTOD, Post-Traumatic Obama Disorder, suffering from a bad economy, a bad job" [Sun News, Newswire, 10/5/12]
9. Johnson claimed Obama voters "got plenty of change, it's the change that [they] get from [their] unemployment paycheck" [Sun News, Newswire, 10/5/12]
10. After the election, Johnson said Obama "is going to have to do something that is not in his nature whatsoever, which is take responsibility" [Sun News, Byline, 11/9/12]
11. The First Amendment, according to Johnson, "might seem old fashioned to some people on the left" [Sun News, Byline, 11/9/12]
12. Johnson said health care reform was about "gaining government control over our private lives" [Sun News, Byline, 8/13/12]
13. Johnson claimed that "by passing Obamacare," Obama "is going to pass the largest tax increase in the history of the world, in the history of America, in the history of the planet" [Sun News, AM Agenda, 10/25/12]
14. Johnson claimed Obama has a "pretty terrible record" on jobs and the economy [Sun News, AM Agenda, 10/25/12]
15. Johnson said Ohio "has been decimated by [Obama's] energy policies and coal policies" [Sun News, AM Agenda, 10/25/12]
16. While promoting Beck's "Restoring Love" rally in Texas, Johnson said, "There is a calcification of people's well-being when they think the government's just going to swoop in and take care of them" [Sun News, Byline, 7/30/12]
17. Johnson claimed that the 47% video of Romney raised the question: "Are we a nation of people who are going to get pushed around by the government, and who are going to be dependent on the government, or are we going to be a nation where we see the government as simply something to get out of the way of success?" [Sun News, Byline, 9/21/12]
18. Johnson claimed that Romney "factually" said that "47% of America is dependent on the government" [Sun News,Byline, 9/21/12]
19. Johnson attacked the Romney 47% video as "some hidden tape video that was completely illegally done. It's a distraction, that's all it is. The media and the Obama campaign - they're panicking." [Sun News, Byline, 9/21/12]
20. Johnson said the Obama administration response to Benghazi attack was to move "as swiftly as possible to cover it up" [Sun News, Byline, 10/10/12]
21. Johnson claimed that he's not a conspiracy theorist but said that CIA director David Petraeus' resignation "seem[s] politically expedient" because "a week before he's about to go in and hammer the administration on Benghazi, and the CIA for the intelligence failures that they encountered that he's out-ski at the - at his bureau" [Sun News, Byline, 11/9/12]
22. Johnson said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) "deserves overtime pay for the amount that he's had to deal with, with Fast and Furious -- the amount of cover-up that he's had to deal with in this administration" [Sun News, Byline, 10/10/12]