The report above was mysteriously pulled and denied by NBC last week, not generally known to be a Republican mouthpiece. But the New York Times front page today includes as its primary “news” story, an accusatory piece headlined, “How Republicans Fed a Misinformation Loop About the Pelosi Attack.”
Oddly, the story doesn’t mention the recanted NBC story at all. I guess New York Times readers don’t need to know about that when they are assessing, right before the November 8 election, whether to vote for those evil Republicans.
Nor does the story, by undoubtedly good registered Democrats Annie Karni, Malika Khurana and Stuart A. Thompson, note that all of the theories, speculation and “misinformation” has flourished because of the strange absence of crucial information that police have but so far refuse to release: Pelosi’s 911 call, and security footage of the break-in. A reader will also search in vain for any mention of the details in the original report that caused such speculation, like the statement that there was a “third person” involved. There is no explanation of why Pelosi referred to his attacker as “a friend.” I guess I don’t understand this complex, crucial profession of “journalism,” but it would seem to me, tyro that I am, that an article about the GOP pushing “misinformation” might begin by clarifying the gaping holes in the story that have made people who don’t just swallow biased media narratives whole a teeny bit suspicious.
One thing the story is clear about, however, is that it is cold, hard, irrefutable information that Pelosi’s attacker, a mentally ill, rainbow flag embracing, Black Lives Matter-admiring illegal alien, was motivated to attack Paul Pelosi because Republicans have been saying mean things about Nancy Pelosi for some unknown reason. After all, “Mr. Pelosi’s attacker is said to have believed “Mr. Trump’s lie of a stolen election,” among other falsehoods. Said by whom? Oh, that’s not important; what’s important is that Republicans are circulating misinformation about the attack.
In a pattern that has become commonplace, a parade of Republicans — helped along by right-wing media personalities including the Fox New host Tucker Carlson, and prominent people including the newly installed Twitter owner Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man — had already abetted the viral spread of lies about the attack, distorting the account of what happened before facts could get in the way. Finding life on far-right websites and the so-called dark web, conspiracy theories and falsehoods leaped from the fringes to the mainstream.
Is that the pattern on display here? The pattern I see is the most acclaimed mainstream media journalism source rushing to bolster a desperate partisan narrative exploiting a still unexplained criminal incident as a campaign issue right before a national election. The reason the Times’ story is deemed worthy of front page trumpeting is that the Democrats…well, let’s bring in the Old Crusader for a cameo…
…chose to weaponize an episode that can’t sustain the burden, and that points up the party’s over-the-moon hypocrisy. Republicans have been attacked by deranged progressives repeatedly and recently. One doesn’t have to go back to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, or the many documented episodes of MAGA cap wearers being harassed and assaulted (just as Rep. Maxine Waters said they should be), or even the mobs that attmpted to intimidate conservative Supreme Court justices after the Dobbs decision, carrying out the 2020 threat from Chuck Schumer that SCOTUS members “wouldn’t know what hit” them and would “unleash[ed] a whirlwind,” and “will pay the price” if they dared to foil progressive agendas.
- Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, was attacked at a campaign event in July by a man “with a pointed weapon” who dragged him to the ground.
- In September, a North Dakota man admitted to fatally hitting a teenager with his car after the two had a “political argument” because the victim was part of a Republican extremist group. He was released on bond after ja few days; after all, such extremists are clear and present dangers to the nation. President Biden says so.
- A Florida Republican canvasser wearing a Marco Rubio T-shirt and a Ron DeSantis hat was brutally attacked in a Florida neighborhood by Democratic residents, This occurred in late October.
Let’s sum up, shall we?
1. Democrats, including the President, chose to try to fill the void left by the party’s policy failures with a hypocritical accusation that GOP political rhetoric was causing attacks on Democrats, pretending that Republicans, including a candidate for governor, had not been the victim of more and recent attacks.
2. The incident they chose was bizarre in many ways, and confusingly reported by the mainstream news media.
3. Republicans and conservatives, being blamed for the attack—as the Times would say if they didn’t assume the worst about Republicans and conservatives , “baselessly”—pointed out that the story didn’t make sense, that the absence of such evidence as the 911 call was suspicious, and refused calls to “condemn” the attack as a “gotcha!’ contrivance to force Republicans to take responsibility for it.
4. Various pundits and others offered theories that could explain the story’s weirdness, as people wiill, can and should when the news media can’t or won’t engage in competent reporting.
5. The Times, in an alleged news story on the front page two days before an election,, pronounces those opinions and speculation as “misinformation” sinisterly promoted by Republicans, while stating as “fact” that the attack was probably sparked by GOP political criticism of Nancy Pelosi, as well as the “fact” that conservative skeptics aren’t interested in the truth and will hold to “conspiracy theories” regardless of what is revealed:
Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation expert, said no amount of evidence — be it police body camera footage or anything else — could get in the way of such falsehoods in the eyes of those who do not want to believe facts. “It doesn’t matter when there are documents or sworn testimony claiming something is, in fact, not the case,” Ms. Jankowicz said. “There will be an elaborate reframing effort. If the footage was released, people would claim it was fabricated. There’s no bottom.”
See, that’s an expert talking, so it isn’t “misinformation.” Come on, it’s so clear: speculation and theories that support Democratic Party interests are facts, and speculation and theories that don’t support Democratic Party interests “feed misinformation loops.”
Oh! I nearly forgot!
6. The Times, while condemning “misinformation” about the Pelosi attack, made no attempt in its story to explain the missing evidence or the now memory-holed NBC report.
Ethics verdict: The Times story is pure pre-election, anti-Republican, Democratic narrative-bolstering propaganda, and neither legitimate reporting nor ethical journalism.
Not even close.