Deconstructing the New York Times anti-GOP coverage of the attack on Paul Pelosi

Media reports on the incident at the Pelosi home in San Francisco in the early hours of Friday, October 28, exemplified by the coverage of the New York Times, seem to be attempting to fan the flames of an asymmetric application of justice.  The party line issuing from the anti-Trump mob asserts that David DePape, the alleged attacker of Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker Pelosi, was motivated by constant demonization of the Speaker by former president Trump and his supporters.

This narrative carefully ignores the incessant demonizing of the former president and his supporters by Ms. Pelosi and the anti-Trump media.   And how quickly the media forgets President Biden’s attack on Trump and MAGA in Philadelphia just two months ago.  Obviously, for the left, denouncing Trump and MAGA people as threats to democracy accurately characterizes conservatives, and scarcely amounts to demonizing. 

(And don't forget the David Plouffe tweet, June 2016, reported by New York Times reporter Amy Chozik, early August 2016, demanding the thorough destruction of Donald J. Trump and "his kind."   The title of that Chozik report said that Democrats were looking beyond winning the presidency, to ending the Trump movement.   Political zealots regard adversaries as pests, vermin,  demons as targets for destruction --  hardly reflecting the open spirit of democracy, n'est-ce pas?)

Given the totalitarian leaning of the current administration, one doubts that the facts of the Pelosi home break-in (or enter-in?) will be disclosed, fully.  Victoria Taft has written at PJ Media that the transcript of Paul Pelosi's 911 phone call to the police should be made public.  Ms. Taft also wonders: who opened the door to let the police into the Pelosi home? 

The Washington Post, Saturday, October 29, led the media in linking the attack on Paul Pelosi to  "years of GOP  demonizing" of the speaker, his wife of 59 years. But the New York Times picked up the ball and ran with it, after seeing the Post signal the party line.

The initial New York Times report on the Palosi home incident carried a (below-the-fold) neutral headline:

"Pelosi's Husband Is Badly-Injured

In Hammer Attack by an Intruder"

The second paragraph stated that the intruder struck Mr. Pelosi with the hammer "in front of the officers. said William Scott, San Francisco's chief of police."  This Times account of the incident linked the attack on Mr.Pelosi to "the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol...."  The story, by Kellen Browning, Tim Arango, Luke Broadwater and Holly Second  (with a San Francisco dateline -- for all these reporters?), included this observation: "The speaker has been demonized for years by people on the right, and with increasing ferocity."  (Here echoing The Washington Post?)

The Times on October 30 carried a story by Catie Edmonson with this neutral headline (on page 14):  Pelosi Attack Highlights  Increasing Fears of Violence Incited by Politics" -- but by the third paragraph, Ms. Edmondson wrote of  the Speaker being "demonized by Republicans," ignoring her many years of demonizing Donald J. Trump.  The rest of this half page, six column article gave passing notice to Democrat attacks on Republicans, including the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise by a leftist, but leaned more forcefully against Republicans.  This heavy-handed example of Times' anti-GOP propaganda appeared as the headline for an October 31 front-page (below-the-fold) story by Annie Karni, Catie Edmondson and Carl Hulse:  "Years of Efforts to Vilify Pelosi/Preceded Brutal Attack in Home."  

Here is the fifth paragraph of the Karni/Edmondson/Hulse of the October 31 Times contribution to the media's use of the Pelosi incident for anti-Republican propaganda purposes:

"The attack on Ms. Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, on Friday [Oct. 28], which left him with a fractured skull and appeared to be part of a planned attack on the speaker herself, came after a yearslong campaign by Republicans to demonize and dehumanize Ms.Pelosi in increasingly ugly ways."    This Times  attack on Republicans continued:  "For the better part of two decades, Republicans have targeted  Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American politics, as the most sinister Democratic villain of all, making her the evil star of their advertising and fund-raising appeals in hopes of animating their core supporters."   David DePape, identified as "[t]he suspect," was said "to have been obsessed with right-wing conspiracy theories...."     

Below the Karni/Edmondson/Hulse October 31 piece on the Pelosi incident, an article by Kellen Browning, Alan Feuer, Charlie Savage and Eliza Fawcett -- "" -- included a report " that DePape had given a statement" to the San Francisco police.  But the October 31 article did not give the name of counsel for DePape.

The print edition front page  November 1 Times article on the Pelosi incident, by Ms.  Browning, joined by Glenn Thrush and Tim Arango -- "Charges Depict/ A Chilling Plan/ Against Pelosi" -- carried  this subhead: "Threat to Take Speaker / and Break Her Knees."  

The cyber headline stated:  "Intruder Wanted to Break Speaker Pelosi's Kneecaps, Federal Complaint Says?"

This account indicated that information of the "plan against Pelosi" came from an interview by the police with suspect DePape.

On page A15 of the print edition of the November 1 Times, the second paragraph, quoted in full, states:  "It was not immediately clear who was representing Mr. DePape in the cases."  The following questions immediately come to mind:

Was David DePape questioned without an attorney present representing him?   Was this suspect informed of his right to be silent? Was he told that he had a right to be represented by an attorney, and that if he could not afford an attorney he could still be represented by counsel.  In short, was David DePape Miranda-ized?

It must be noted that six paragraphs from the end of the November 1 Times story on Pelosi, trhis media attack on "Republicans and other conservative voices" appeared:

"In the aftermath of the attack [on Paul Pelosi], Republicans and other conservative voices spread lies, misinformation and baseless conspiracy theories about the assault. ominously suggesting that the media was withholding sordid facts about the case.

The November 1 TImes story, on the curious case of the October 28 encounter between David DePape and Paul Pelosi, whereby Mr. Pelosi was seriously injured, allegedly by Mr. DePape in the presence of two San Francisco policemen, concluded with these paragraphs:

Ms. [Brooke] Jenkins, the San Francisco district attorney, said that the widespread misinformation circulating on the case had made it all the more important for prosecutors to present all the facts to the public.

"We of course do not want distorted facts floating around, certainy not in a manner that is further traumatizing a family that's already been traumatized enough,” she said.

Does that mean the transcript of Mr. Pelosi's 911 phone call will not be released because it may be traumatizing?

The New York Times has not published editorial comment on the incident at the Pelosi home.   Given the editorializing in its "news" reports on the matter, it doesn't have to, 

The November 1 print edition did publisht five letters to the editor on the subject.

  • The first letter cast stones at the Republican Party without naming it. 
  • The second letter objected to below the fold treatment of the front-page article, October 30 -- and proceeded to vilify Trump, Rep. Taylor-Greene, and hoped "the speaker stays safe from this MAGA contingent led by the former president and his ilk."
  • The third letter prayed that Mr.Pelosi has a speedy recovery, that the attacker gets sentenced to no less than twenty years in prison -- and wondered why the Pelosi home lacked security measures.
  • The fourth letter urged "all responsible Americans to vote for Democratic candidates to block the Republican Party from completing its destructive agenda." 
  • The fifth letter speculated that Speaker Pelosi has been "viciously demonized by MAGA zealots because she tore up her copy of President Trump's final State of the Union address, and suggested that "armed vigilantes" will bully poll workers with "good people [driven from] public life."     

Of course, for the Times base, "good people" cannot possibly be Republicans, conservatives, or MAGA suppoters.  For The New York Times and "its ilk" anyone who does not march in lockstep with the left is, of course, a threat to democracy.

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