American Spectator in Hot Water Over Reporting on the Assault on the National Air and Space Museum

In case you missed it given how much was going on with the Occupy Wall Street protests over the weekend, and because it was seemingly all over before it began, contingents of the movement, aptly calling themselves Occupy DC, stormed the entrance to the National Air and Space Museum on Saturday before they were pushed back and pepper sprayed by Smithsonian guards, after which the museum closed for the remainder of the day. That’s interesting enough (for instance, wondering why exactly the Air and Space Museum was targeted), but it’s since gotten more curious now that the event has long-since passed. First, writer Patrick Howley from the conservative magazine the American Spectator wrote this snark-filled piece about infiltrating the ranks of the Occupy DC group and was among those who were pepper sprayed, initially claiming that he was in part responsible for the move into trying to occupy the museum. The Washington Post‘s Suzy Khimm picked up on the story, commenting that Howley’s description of how the events transpired didn’t match up with how the media reported the event. In two updates thereafter, Khimm reports that American Spectator removed the story entirely, only to have it pop back up again shortly thereafter, re-written with changes to the narrative, now explaining that Howley had simply been there to “observe” and not to instigate, as he’d originally written, with no explanation from the magazine as to why it had been revised. As the Guardian writes, there are now calls for not only the magazine to be investigated, but for criminal charges be handed down to Howley for inciting an obstructive riot. In general, it’s also being called lousy journalism, embedding a reporter who is there purely to mock and undermine.