The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Crazy Guy at The American Spectator Who Made the Big Headlines …

Posted on | October 9, 2011 | 39 Comments

. . . wasn’t me? Damn, here I am writing thousands of words of 99.4% pure crazy, only to get upstaged by a kid:

American Spectator Editor Admits to Being
Agent Provocateur at D.C. Museum

. . . Immediately after the incident began hitting the newswires Howley published a “Breaking News” story with The American Spectator online in which he reveals that he had consciously infiltrated the group on Friday with the intent to discredit the movement.  He states that “as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.”
According to Howley’s story he joined the group in its march toward the Air and Space Museum but the protesters on the march were unwilling to be confrontational.  He states “they lack the nerve to confront authority. From estimates within the protest, only ten people were pepper-sprayed, and as far as I could tell I was the only one who got inside.” . . .

Read the rest of Howley’s story, or the rest of the Firedoglake article denouncing him. My own experience with “civil disobedience” is mostly limited to a profligate disregard for speed limits and occasional Thoreau-esque protests against state laws prohibiting consumer fireworks.


39 Responses to “The Crazy Guy at The American Spectator Who Made the Big Headlines …”

  1. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    Must have been a little difficult for him to have been an “agent provocateur”, when “the “Action Committee” for the protest movement organized by suggested storming the museum”.

    If it wasn’t his idea to “storm the museum”, how exactly did he “provoke” them? 

  2. Russ
    October 9th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Doesn’t “agent provocateur” imply he was leading people to their doom/embarrassment?

  3. NeoSexist
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    Unless Howley modified his article, the FDL blogger does not understand how to use quotes correctly.

  4. NeoSexist
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    He states that “as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause —a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator —and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.”

    Is that how the dash works? Effectively negating the actual quote so that FDL, Raw Story, thinkprogress, et al can make shit up?

  5. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    Leftists never fail to disappoint do they?

  6. JeffS
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    The article that Howley writes doesn’t paint a positive picture of the #OccupyWhateverCretins, particularly the Washington DC chapter. 

    I especially appreciated his observation:

    Socialist indoctrination methods are surprisingly effective.
    It’s hard not to get swept up in the Movement when you’re among a
    hundred foot soldiers — most of them attractive 20-year old girls
    — marching down E Street toward Freedom Plaza chanting, “How do we
    end the deficit? End the war and tax the rich!” Whenever the
    protesters would pass a group of tourists they’d implore them to
    join, and when a few smiling college kids would hesitantly jump in
    everyone would applaud wildly.

    Emphasis is mine.  As is the conclusion that the lefties are still targeting the beta male in order to swell their ranks.

  7. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    It’s not hard to have one nut incite the crowd, look at the photo… of all the protesters there, Howley was in the very front leading the charge.

    As a mater of fact, Howley himself said “As far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator.”

    Btw, if Howley’s got nothing to hide why did he just delete his entire piece? Now it’s just a “404” error.

  8. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    It’s not like the went to war with a country based on cherry-picked, phony-baloney intelligence.

  9. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    No, instead your President went to war in Kosovo with no intelligence and no US interest at stake (and no UN approval)…. when he wasn’t passing a law requiring the US to remove Saddam… and then not carrying it out.

  10. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    And davemartin proves it works…

  11. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    Thank you for reiterating my point.

  12. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

    Idiot. American Spectator needs to fire his ass. “Infiltrating?” Openly participating? Leading the charge? Sorry, he oughta be toast.


  13. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Comparing false equivalents is a favorite Sean Hannity debate tactic…it’s called “Tu quoque.”

    “He cannot accuse me of libel because he was just successfully sued for libel.”

    Tu quoque (play /tu??kwo?kwi?/),or the appeal to hypocrisy, is a kind of logical fallacy.

    In many cases tu quoque arguments are used in a logically fallacious way, to draw a conclusion which is not supported by the premises of the argument.

  14. john lichtenstein
    October 9th, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    The Spectator link is now incorrect. This is good.

  15. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Compare these demonstrators to those of decades past. The anti-war protesters from the late sixties and early seventies were just the big ones in DC. But there was always something going on, keeping Capital and DC police on their toes and in fighting trim.
    Pro and anti-Shah protests on opposite side of a street and then pro and anti-Khomeini protests or in the late eighties, Lithuanian, Latvian and numerous other oppressed groups from Soviet Russia who could be relied on to stir up a brawl and screw-up traffic every time a high level Soviet dignitary came to visit.

    Compare that to the video from Atlanta where they reached “consensus” on not letting John Lewis speak out of turn and the spent two hours assuaging their guilt about it. Or the subject of this post wherein the only person to get past the security guards was the infiltrating reporter. One has to admit that you’d feel guilty strafing these nitwits, at least a little. 

  16. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    Failing their “rewrite” attempt – the American Spectator has now taken the story completely offline.

  17. Michael Smith
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    I have a real live Ph.D. on the hook discussing my take on the #OWS situation, should anyone want to join in.

  18. McGehee
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    It’s not deleted. It’s here now.

  19. McGehee
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:16 pm


  20. JeffS
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    Shorter version:  “I BLAME BUSH!!!!!!1111!!!11!1eleventy!!!!!

  21. JeffS
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    Maybe he’s still working to earn his monthly session of bumping uglies.  That would explain davemartin’s “enthusiasm”.

  22. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Dave, if you have any specific evidence that Mr. Howley incited anyone, I’d be glad to hear it. But just having a picture of him at the door of the museum (he admitted sneaking in the door) proves nothing. Except, maybe that FDL writers have vivid imaginations?

    Evidence. It’s what’s for breakfast!

  23. Mike
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    You must not be holding your mouth right…I got to the story just fine.

  24. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    Jay Tea, that was my first impression. But there is a big difference between being near the head of the line and “leading the charge”.

    If anyone has any cellphone video proving that he indeed was leading the charge or egging the protesters on, then I’d call for him to be fired as well. I think he just wanted a “front row seat” for what was happening.

    The rest is just hearsay.

  25. Garym
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm


  26. Adjoran
    October 9th, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    Unless his editor was advised of the plan and approved it in advance, I would agree. 

    It’s one thing to infiltrate quietly to gather information, becoming part of the story is quite another.

  27. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    The Firedog Lake Lapper said Howley “admitted” to being an agent provocateur, but I saw no such admission. He admitted to being there and blending in with the crowd, but in typical leftie fashion, FDL jumps to conclusions based on very little genuine fact.

    Dave is going to have to go beyond just reading the headlines.

  28. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    And just think how weak minded those protesters must be if just one conservative ringer can lead hundreds of them around by the nose as FDL suggests? Heh.

  29. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    He wound up at the front of the pack because he made the same mistake they did, he took them seriously. If these people are going to be storming Bastilles they’ll need to get some steel from somewhere.

  30. Mike
    October 9th, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    Went and made a comment myself…hope it was coherent enough for you educated gentlemen. 

  31. Proof
    October 9th, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    Someone should tell the mob that Marie Antoinette is currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not Wall Street.

  32. Joe
    October 9th, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    Bring and shoot off a few fireworks at a DC event and I guarantee you’ll get some headlines. But I doubt any invites to any Con Blog events (unless there is one for convicted bloggers!).

  33. john lichtenstein
    October 9th, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    The link RSM gives is a little off. The article is still online. 

  34. Quartermaster
    October 9th, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Stacy, “Day By Day” had a good comment about you and Ericson.

    The post for 10/10/2011

  35. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

    Weird, if you seach for the article “Standoff in D.C.” on the The American Spectator’s own database it’s all 404.

  36. Adjoran
    October 9th, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    Et tu, “tu quoque”?

  37. Adjoran
    October 10th, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    What?  Doesn’t Chris Muir know that Stacy’s a stuttering fustercluck of a miserable failure and his predictions which come to pass ought never be mentioned in polite conservative society?

    Boy, somebody is going to get one tersely-worded memo tomorrow, IYKWIMAITTYD.

  38. McGehee
    October 10th, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    I looked up the article’s author in the staff menu.

  39. Objections, Mormons and John who?
    October 10th, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    […] remembers. If you make a boneheaded move, own it and move on, don’t play duck and cover. Stacy McCain could have told them […]