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Anatomy of a Deception: How a Conservative Magazine Attempted to Discredit the Occupy Movement

Howley

The Two Faces of Howley

On Saturday October 8, 2011, video was released onto the Internet showing a frenzied group of protesters outside of the National Air and Space Museum dodging a pair of Smithsonian security guards indiscriminately pepper-spraying the crowd. Something inside the Museum, moments before, caused this chaos which led to the Museum being shut down for the rest of the day. The events have since been used, by their portrayal in the media, to tarnish the image of the #Occupy protests emerging across the nation.

What happened inside the Museum to cause the police action has not been reported. Only today, Monday, are reports starting to hit the major media that there is evidence of the involvement of an editor from the Conservative magazine The American Spectator at the center of what took place this weekend in Washington D.C..

Saturday afternoon when I discovered an article published by Patrick Howley on the Spectator’s website entitled “Standoff in D.C.” I immediately began to analyze the evidence in light of the events portrayed in Howley’s piece. I found a photograph taken by the reporters from OpEdNews.com that showed Howley alongside another man in a confrontation with a uniformed security officer in the entranceway to the museum moments before the initial use of pepper-spray. With the exception of Howley’s claim that he stood down a “300-pound guard,” the photo fit perfectly with the scenario described in Howley’s account. (None of the guards present on the scene even remotely fit this description or even his later toned down “heavyset” language.)

Central to the story were the outright confessions of Howley that he was an active participant in the events, rather than an observer, who openly admits his intent to use the action to discredit the nascent movement. Far more problematic are Howley’s boastful statements of openly defying the security-guard’s directives, forcing his way into the then closed Museum, being pepper-sprayed as a result and then pursued by the security forces, together with his subsequent activities in the Museum while actively seeking to evade being caught. [cont’d.]

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Anatomy of a Deception: How a Conservative Magazine Attempted to Discredit the Occupy Movement

Howley

The Two Faces of Howley

On Saturday October 8, 2011, video was released onto the Internet showing a frenzied group of protesters outside of the National Air and Space Museum dodging a pair of Smithsonian security guards indiscriminately pepper-spraying the crowd.  Something inside the Museum, moments before, caused this chaos which led to the Museum being shut down for the rest of the day.  The events have since been used, by their portrayal in the media, to tarnish the image of the #Occupy protests emerging across the nation.

What happened inside the Museum to cause the police action has not been reported.  Only today, Monday, are reports starting to hit the major media that there is evidence of the involvement of an editor from the Conservative magazine The American Spectator at the center of what took place this weekend in Washington D.C..

Saturday afternoon when I discovered an article published by Patrick Howley on the Spectator’s website entitled “Standoff in D.C.” I immediately began to analyze the evidence in light of the events portrayed in Howley’s piece.  I found a photograph taken by the reporters from OpEdNews.com that showed Howley alongside another man in a confrontation with a uniformed security officer in the entranceway to the museum moments before the initial use of pepper-spray.  With the exception of Howley’s claim that he stood down a “300-pound guard,” the photo fit perfectly with the scenario described in Howley’s account.  (None of the guards present on the scene even remotely fit this description or even his later toned down “heavyset” language.)

Central to the story were the outright confessions of Howley that he was an active participant in the events, rather than an observer, who openly admits his intent to use the action to discredit the nascent movement.  Far more problematic are Howley’s boastful statements of openly defying the security-guard’s directives, forcing his way into the then closed Museum, being pepper-sprayed as a result and then pursued by the security forces, together with his subsequent activities in the Museum while actively seeking to evade being caught. (more…)

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