News

Patrick Howley Has Left Big League Politics

Ralph Northam conducts a very strange press conference in February 2019 following Howley's report about his yearbook page. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Patrick Howley, who broke the news about a blackface photo on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s yearbook page, says on Facebook and Twitter that he has left Big League Politics, the far-right site where he was editor-in-chief and where his scoop ran. He now appears to be reporting for the Epoch Times, a newspaper associated with the Falun Gong movement.

Howley has written on both Facebook and Twitter that Big League Politics’ owners have locked him out of his Twitter account. In an brief phone call with Washingtonian, political consultant and reported Big League Politics co-owner Noel Fritsch said he did not want to get into the circumstances of Howley’s departure, but said several times that he’s “a great reporter.” Howley has not yet responded to an email from Washingtonian, and attempts to find a working phone number have gotten me nowhere. In an email, Epoch Times editor Jasper Fakkert tells Washingtonian Howley is a freelancer for the paper. Howley has accumulated several bylines at the newspaper, which BuzzFeed reported last year has become “one of the staunchest defenders of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

The new gig at Epoch Times marks the latest stop in Howley’s tour of conservative media publications, which includes stops at American Spectator (where he wrote about a bizarre incursion at the Air and Space Museum), the Washington Free Beacon, the Daily Caller (where he got himself into hot water with sexist tweets), and Breitbart News (where he was suspended after casting doubt on a then-colleague’s assault by Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski, was reinstated, and later left). In January 2017 the Atlantic reported he was forming a group “designed to enforce Trump’s agenda, combined with a planned media arm”—Big League Politics. Howley has described himself as a co-owner of the group. The disposition of his ownership stake is not immediately apparent; Washingtonian remains optimistic that Howley might call and shed some light on the situation.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.