Despite the effort to kill off the Pelosi attack news, the continued fumbles in the press keep the story alive.
The attack on Paul Pelosi, the spouse of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the San Francisco home owned by the couple, continues to be vexing for the press. The attempt to use the claim of a partisan attacker on Pelosi for political leverage ended up blowing up the story, and as more details of that night emerged, the more problems it caused. Soon, the media had a story they built up becoming one they desperately wanted to go away.
The main problem has been the series of conflicting details to come out of that fateful evening, which fueled interest and theorizing. You sense the desperation in the press as journalists attempt to lay the blame for the speculation on right-wing zealots and conspiracy theories, despite the fact the contradictions in the story have come from law enforcement and the media. The blame has been placed on those repeating the news reports; conspiracies are when you quote news outlets, goes the accusation.
The perplexing detail in this was when a report emerged from NBC News, as field reporter Miguel Almaguer gave details from a source that suggested Paul Pelosi had been the one to answer the door and bring in the police that evening, and that Pelosi was not in a state of observable distress. Almaguer also said that Pelosi, at one point, went back to where his intruder was located, only then being attacked in front of police. Days later, the report was taken down from the NBC website, as well as being scrubbed from social media.
The explanation was that the report did not live up to NBC journalism standards. This is a curious explanation, as it was not the work of a rogue reporter. The initial video was shown on The Today Show, and as national news segments go this had to pass through a number of editorial hands before making it to the airwaves. Now, however, we learn that Almaguer has been suspended by NBC News over this report.
Once again, we are treated to the farcical charge that “right-wing conspiracies” are in play, all because those dastardly folks on the right are spreading “misinformation”; just ignore that it was provided by the mainstream press. But now, it gets more interesting – and more opaque. Another report has emerged, and it highlights the confusion and contradictions familiar to this story.
The affiliate NBC Bay Area had a special segment where reporter Bigad Shaban claimed to have a source from inside the San Francisco police offices, who saw the police body-cam footage from that night, and they confirmed that Pelosi is seen on camera as the one who opened the door to his home after police arrived. This detail has been a sticking point in many of the flawed reports on the attack. At one point, local police announced that a third party was on site that evening greeting police. The SFDA report has said Pelosi let the officers inside, and the DOJ report states that police let themselves into the premises that night. This new information indicates that the body-cams show what was detailed in the SFDA account from that night.
It also sounds right in line with the Miguel Almaguer report from one week earlier, the one that has since been memory-holed by the parent network. How will NBC News reconcile that one of its affiliates is now stating events at the Pelosi compound match those given by their reporter-which it has reprimanded for faulty journalism?
As has been the case all along with this story, as more details come out, those only lead to more questions to be asked. Even as Shaban and the anchorwoman attempt to dismiss this detail as an innocuous triviality, it causes the events from that night to be more clouded, not more clear. Why would Pelosi let police in and then reengage with his attacker? Why were the police not alerted initially to a threat while on site, allowing the attack to take place in front of them? How was security not engaged on-site? Why was the alarm system not triggered after the break-in?
Understand that my asking these questions means I am engaging in “right-wing conspiracy theories,” even as these are questions provoked by mainstream news reports. Again, we have the press being the source of conflicting information; myself or anyone else noting these contradictions is guilty of conspiratorial delivery of misinformation. It remains to be seen if this latest report will exonerate Miguel Almaguer, or if now the local reporter Bidad Shaban will find himself in the crosshairs for detailing nearly the same events that saw his fellow reporter strung up for doing his job.