Ex-Petraeus spokesman wears worst outfit ever on TV

It’s the Lee Grenwoodization of America. The notion that you don’t really love America unless you love it in the cheesiest public spectacle way possible, with either a bad song, a hideous article of patriotic clothing, or both.

Retired US Army Col Steve Boylan, an ex-spokesman for former CIA director David Petraeus.

Retired US Army Col Steve Boylan, an ex-spokesman for former CIA director David Petraeus.

There’s a part of me that feels I shouldn’t judge. But another part of me worries about people who wear these kind of clothes, and listen to that kind of music. I worry about whether they’re the ones who keep getting us into wars, and keep blocking my civil rights.  I worry about whether they really understand what this country stands for.  I’m not saying gotten us into wars (though he was Petraeus’ spokesman), or that he’s bad on gay rights, or doesn’t understand “America.” It’s more the generic class of people who wear their patriotism on their very gaudy sleeve.  It just reminds me, a lot, of the movie “Team America,” and that great parody song.  In case you’re not familiar, here it is.

The video with Petraeus’ ex-spokesman is below:

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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56 Responses to “Ex-Petraeus spokesman wears worst outfit ever on TV”

  1. CitizenX says:

    No doubt Nicho. In the early 70’s during my hippie days, I had a shirt that had a flag section and I was call names for wearing it.

    It’s like long hair. Rednecks back in the day would call you names for having long hair but now they all have long hair.

  2. Sweetie says:

    Just drop the l when saying the pledge.

  3. Sweetie says:

    Wikipedia is often “sanitized”. It’s a place, for instance, where a meta-analysis is “relevant” if it is spun as being pro-Stevia. The same analysis, when used to point out potential toxicity, is deemed irrelevant and scrubbed by the big business interests who think Stevia represents big bucks.

  4. Mike Mathiesen says:

    General sends 30,000 emails to his honey while on Active Duty in Afghanistan. No wonder we spend TRILLIONS on DEFENSE and keep LOSING our best GUYS. http://NewNewNews.com Join Today

  5. Mike Mathiesen says:

    Petraeus was appointed by Wrong Way Bush. Bush ran away from Osama Bin Laden and his men are so busy chasing skirts they can’t keep their country safe. http://NewNewNews.com Free Membership Now

  6. MyrddinWilt says:

    Glenn Greenwald and I had a run in with Baghdad Boylan a few years back. Caught him in a rather stupid lie about an idiotic email that Boylan sent to Greenwald then denied sending after I pointed out that in most militaries it would be grounds for a court martial. That was a big mistake.

  7. Randall says:


  8. hmontaigne says:

    With ruffles, no less.

  9. BlueIdaho says:

    Is he from Texas? I lived there for 40 years and this is the native’s outfit de rigueur. I wanted to barf every time I saw someone wearing it. (Yes, it means that that I threw up a lot).

  10. karmanot says:

    I love it when you talk to yourself! :)

  11. karmanot says:


  12. Nothin’ says I love America like a red, white and blue guitar, tailgate, face or clothing.

    Ain’t these ignorant rednecks just the finest our proud, proud nation has to offer?

    Why don’t we have more of these heroes running for congress?

    What’s that ya say… baggers… oops?

  13. hollywoodstein says:

    My bad.

  14. hollywoodstein says:

    Really? b**bs and *sses, was a bridge too far? Sorry that.

  15. hollywoodstein says:

    How come no one complains when chicks wear flag bikinis on their busts and bottoms?

  16. hollywoodstein says:

    So he was dishonorably discharged right?

  17. hollywoodstein says:

    It’s a new army now.

  18. hollywoodstein says:

    Your’e absolutely right.
    The elections best result is that it made gays less icky. Maybe even King Kennedy will decide to be on the right side of history when the time comes for him to decide our fate, ( though on health care he seemed ready to go down with the ship).
    Also too, Sandy hit the home of the media so now the other big takeaway is that climate change is now real. You’d be a denier to deny it now, but not if you denied it before Sandy hit. So there’s that.
    Still funny how little play the extinction of the human race is getting, but I guess nobody wants to admit the hippies were right.
    So aside from the big issues like gays getting equality just before we’re all going to die, there still exists a continuum, and the holier than thou patriotic jingoism of which this buffoon is symbolic is a small part of why we are in the fix we’re in.

  19. I saw this clown by accident this morning – the only things missing were the orange wig & red nose.

  20. hollywoodstein says:

    I knew it. It’s been you all along!

  21. hollywoodstein says:


  22. hollywoodstein says:

    Why does nobody complain when chicks wear flag bikinis on their boobs and asses?

  23. karmanot says:

    Yep, we here-bouts have mopped up a few of them. Ab is not troll friendly.

  24. karmanot says:

    This far left socialist always puts out the American flag to honor those who died for it—-even bastard right wing loons.

  25. AdmNaismith says:

    Hey, it shows off her guns.

  26. hollywoodstein says:

    Boy, Boylan looks like he’s trying to remember his talking points. Okay so they had on a flack, did they balance the hack with a critic of the General?

  27. hollywoodstein says:

    The military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain thousands of people to monitor social media, and some agencies, foreign governments, and corporations maintain hundreds of false personae to influence policy and public opinion. Some of this activity is illegal under laws against propagandizing the populace.
    But that was old America.
    Everything changed.

  28. hollywoodstein says:

    BTW, Patraeus’ er fraternization in the war zone was not uncommon knowledge. No one dared ruin their career by exposing Ozymandias, I mean Patraeus.
    The confirmation of the affair only starting after the good General was a civilian comes from friendly sources pushing that timeline to avoid the serious complications that would arise from the Military Code of Justice. Whistleblowers with the true national interest at heart are hounded to the gates of Hell by this administration. Mistresses of the Director of the CIA in possession of classified documents are given a pass. Generals, and Directors are given a pass.
    Patraeus abetted the Bush administration lying the US into war to further his career. He oversaw war crimes as a matter of standard operating procedure. And so he was worshipped as a paragon of moral rectitude by the war mongering media elite, and a couch potato Sparta.
    All the while he was a lying liar and a cheating cheat while keeping the Nations greatest secrets.
    And Obama thought about keeping him on.

  29. Blogvader says:

    Flag worship, and flag worshipers, are just dumb.

  30. BeccaM says:

    ‘Ape drape’? *SNERK!* No, that’s one I’ve not heard of, but it’s seriously apropos.

  31. BeccaM says:

    Sure, but then there are those of us who see flag worship as a kind of mindless idolatry and a symptom of dangerous hyper-nationalism. Giving patriotism the trappings of religion — even to the point of using the word ‘sacred’ with respect to a sewn rectangle of colored fabric — is a common element to fascist authoritarian regimes.

    After all, the original ‘Bellamy salute’ was an arm outstretched toward the flag, and still used as recently as the 1940s.

    But your point is well taken: Men such as these are among the first to insist there be laws and Constitutional amendments banning flag burning, while at the same time “desecrating” it themselves by wearing it as clothing or including the flag in commercial advertising. If there’s one thing for which I have no patience or tolerance, it’s hypocrisy.

  32. hollywoodstein says:

    Takes the phrase, wearing on your sleeve to eleven. Guess he couldn’t find a flag pin large enough to declare his superiority.

  33. Naja pallida says:

    Hard to tell, they don’t show how big his belt buckle is.

  34. woodroad34 says:

    When I first saw this guy’s picture, I thought it was someone giving a comment outside Oil Can Harry’s on a Friday night.

  35. Indigo says:

    Needs more cowbell.

  36. JamesR says:

    His Wikipedia page is kinda sanitized, and refers only obliquely to Greenwald and E-mails, but it can’t hide the odor indicating there’s much more… The military, it would seem, attracts the best and the worst.

    Thank you for your service, and for your work trying to uphold the best.

  37. JamesR says:

    Whoa that hurt my eyes

  38. JamesR says:

    Public Law 829; Chapter 806, passed / codified December 22, 1942, 36 U.S.C. 173-178 otherwise known as the US Flag Code http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html

    §176. Respect for flag, (d) “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery….”

    Not only tacky but disrespectful, and, dare I say, NOTHING anyone in our armed forces should ever do as they should know better. There are NOT separate rules for Colonels.

    Just because there is no penalty enumerated, it’s still a law and it’s a law that standardizes decency and respect. The Code codifies what is OURS, our commonly held standards and decency and honor and respect. Showing the flag such disrespect denotes ignorance or deliberate intent to offend and to claim the flag and it’s rules for display for one’s self, not for our nation.

    It’s sick, tacky, and disrespectful. And it’s the rest of our country who have to pick up after people who have this type of attitude, not to mention the fighting and dying part. Of regular Joes who obey the law. Just because some yahoos think it’s OK and aren’t offended doesn’t mean it’s not offensive, against the law and borderline behavior. “Wrapping one’s self in the flag” is a metaphor, and NOT a complementary one.

    I can’t believe this guy’s a Colonel in the Army, listed as “retired” but still a Colonel and working for the Army WTF? Doesn’t he know better? He must. Thanks asswipe for doing the same as spitting on the flag, on national TV, on Veteran’s Day. Heckofajob.

  39. caphillprof says:

    You find this clothing “sense” among communities in which all the self respecting homosexuals have left. Now that DADT has been repealed, perhaps this will change in the military community.

  40. JamesR says:


  41. rakkasanmoo says:

    I’m an old Vietnam vet and retired Major (Infantry). At one time during my years in the Army National Guard I served as a Public Affairs Officer, just like Steve Boylan. Boylan came to my attention when, while serving as PAO for GEN Petraeus, he began making snarky, aggressive posts on liberal websites using a variety of pseudonyms. He had a briefly famous run-in with Glenn Greenwald, the liberal writer who at that time was writing for Salon.com. Greenwald exposed Boylan. I was so incensed at Boylan’s duplicity and lack of professionalism (he made Army PAO’s look like partisan idiots) that I wrote to him and he got back to me with a defensive, self-justifying message that also stated he would no longer be making pseudonymous posts on civilian websites. This self-styled super-patriot clearly believed hat waging PSYOPS on the civilian media was part of his job of “selling” GEN Petraeus’ message. Boylan was at one time arguably our country’s highest ranking troll! Here’s his Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_A._Boylan

  42. emjayay says:

    Isn’t he the Herman Cain cigarette smoking guy?

  43. emjayay says:

    Rednecks also beat up hippies for their long girly hair. Then a few years later they all had it too (later often cut back to a mullet, or just in case you haven’t heard the term, “ape drape”.

  44. BeccaM says:

    IOKIYAR, doncha know.

  45. Lee Nader says:

    Um, that’s against flag code.

  46. Naja pallida says:

    Out of curiosity… any particular reason why we’re talking about this guy’s tacky fashion sense and not Petraeus himself, who has seems to have found himself in the news lately? Or maybe the report that recently came out, yet again lambasting the military’s shoddy record keeping and how it is hurting veterans. Or why there are people on Long Island are still without power? Not to be obnoxious, just seems the last few days the stories have been kind of lacking in substance. “Romney is still a jerk.” “Jerk right-wing supporters want to hurt workers.” “Churches still bigots.” etc, etc. :)

  47. devis1 says:

    I dunno–he has to get up in the morning and decide what to wear now. It can be very overwhelming when suddenly your clothing isn’t laid out for you. Maybe it takes awhile to get it right.

  48. karmanot says:

    That human mega flag is giving me a migraine.

  49. l shaver says:

    I lived in Texas for a time and this was a most popular style…

  50. BeccaM says:

    I find it very difficult to take seriously a guy who appears on TV dressed like a hobby-farm cowboy, appearing not only in that ridiculous get-up, but somehow losing sight of the fact that the most common thing found in stables, aside from the horses themselves, is the horse-shit they produce.

    On the other hand, what woman in her right mind would go on TV dressed like this?

  51. JustMe says:

    Not gonna lie– I dressed in an outfit similar to that at a bar on election night while celebrating Obama’s victory. But I wasn’t appearing on TV talking about serious stuff.

  52. nicho says:

    I wouldn’t care, but these were the people who clubbed “hippies” for putting flags on their clothes, claiming it was a “desecration” to wear the flag like that. Now, they’re all doing it.

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