Righty Blogger Infiltrates DC Protest, Ignites Uproar

Spectator pulls writer's claim that he was most effective protester
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Fondue
Posted Oct 11, 2011 8:45 AM CDT
A demonstrator lies on the ground at an entrance to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington after police pepper-sprayed a group of protesters Saturday.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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(Newser) – A right-wing journalist infiltrated the DC protest that ultimately closed the Air and Space Museum this weekend and emerged with the latest scandal to grip the blogosphere: American Spectator writer Patrick Howley wrote that he played the role of agent provocateur, leading the charge against guards at the museum in an attempt to "mock and undermine" the movement. “I wasn’t giving up before I had my story,” he writes in a post that the Washington Post notes has since been edited to downplay his role as instigator. Left-wing blogs including the Daily Kos are outraged.

Howley says he was among a small group who were pepper-sprayed as they tried to enter the museum—and he was the only one to gain entry. "I was surprised to find myself a fugitive Saturday afternoon, stumbling around aircraft displays with just enough vision to keep tabs on my uniformed pursuers," Howley wrote, deriding the protesters for lacking courage and praising the guards who pepper-sprayed him. Howley's behavior "goes against every tenet of ethical journalism" and he should face criminal charges, activist Charlie Grapski tells the Guardian. "The changes to the story are designed to eliminate the admission of guilt and to eliminate his role as provocateur."

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