Paul Pelosi and the disgrace that is American media

I know I'm wishing for something well beyond the capacity of our sick society, but it sure would be nice if average people had the wherewithal and disposition to respond to bizarre, shocking news stories like the one that recently emerged from the Pelosi mansion, with compassion, level headedness, and prudent deliberation. It's remarkable how healthy our society could be if our first impulse wasn't rushing to judgment, making any and all sweeping assumptions necessary to confirm our prior prejudices and cast contempt upon those with whom we disagree.

But rash and reckless is the measure of our culture these days, and so when reports first emerged that the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was attacked in their palatial Berkeley estate by someone allegedly shouting, "Where's Nancy?" the conclusions were ready-made.

The Washington Post ran a headline excoriating the Republican Party as being culpable for the crime.

Reporter Ashley Parker, who moonlights as an analyst on MSNBC, went a step further, suggesting the attack was related to Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy's joke about whacking Nancy Pelosi with the Speaker's gavel should he assume that role after the midterm elections.

But it wasn't just the Democrat Party's propaganda officers in media whipping up the hyperbolic nonsense; elected officials joined in as well. While I know that democratic socialist representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is becoming an increasingly marginalized, fringe voice in American politics, she found it appropriate to retweet notorious leftwing conspiracy theorist Elie Mystal's accusation that violence is the GOP's "endgame."

It was all a galling throwback to the days when media attempted to blame former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin for the shooting attack that maimed Rep. Gabby Giffords. Given that the intervening years have seen a litany of violence against the political right by unhinged leftists – from the near assassination of Rep. Steve Scalise and a number of his colleagues, to the attempted mass shooting at the Family Research Council, to the violent attack on Senator Rand Paul, to the most recent attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh – you'd think these leftist voices would exercise a little more caution.

After all, the man who attempted to shoot up the FRC admitted being inspired to do so by the leftwing hate group, the "Southern Poverty Law Center." And the planned violence against Justice Kavanaugh came after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this:

But the hypocrisy of the progressive left rolls on unabated, as evidenced by this jarring juxtaposition from former Politico journalist Sam Youngman:

This is why even if you purge the two major political parties of their most polarizing, angry, divisive voices, things will not markedly improve until something is done to redesign, restructure, and recreate an American media that has pitifully sacrificed their sworn and significant responsibility to doggedly pursue truth. They are willful propagandists, utterly incapable of reporting earnestly and honestly, instead dedicating their energies to shaping narratives and defining the conversation.

Take this Pelosi attack, and consider how a responsible media would be handling it.

To this point there is little evidence that has emerged that the attack was tied to politics. The attacker, David DePape, had apparently made public posts that involved QAnon material, but barring the emergence of further corroboration, that appears no more germane to the assault than the fact that he lived in a home boasting a Black Lives Matter banner and LGBT flag emblazoned with a marijuana symbol.

Doing work the media should be doing, author and researcher Michael Shellenberger has accumulated a number of quotes from DePape's neighbors that seem to point to a far more plausible explanation for this violent encounter:

What I know about the family is that they're very radical activists. They seem very left. They are all about the Black Lives Matter movement. Gay pride. But they're very detached from reality.

Those last six words are everything. DePape's neighbors have said, among other things:

  • He was a homeless drug addict
  • He was clearly paranoid and psychotic
  • He lived with a local nudist in Berkeley
  • He had moved out into a broken-down camper van
  • He had lived in a yellow school bus on the street filled with refuse similar to homeless encampments

A former coworker of DePape claims that he "used hard drugs" and believed that he "talked to angels." These facts and more led Shellenberger to conclude:

David DePape is not a microcosm of the political psychosis gripping America in general. Rather, he's a microcosm of the drug-induced psychosis gripping the West Coast in particular.

And that's the angle that a responsible and professional media would be pursuing.

But they aren't. With the evidence bearing down heavily on the side of some drug-induced paranoid psychosis being the real story of this attack, our politically compromised media is busy pretending Kevin McCarthy's boilerplate "retire Nancy Pelosi" rhetoric is inciting a violent West Coast crime wave against Democrats.

It's half funny and half pathetic that so many of these professional journalists are simultaneously lamenting Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter because of the conspiracy theories they claim will now spread unabated.

But rumors and conspiracies only thrive in the absence of evidence. They can be undone by a responsible media providing such information credibly and believably. Instead, we have propaganda artists posing as journalists who are dutifully withholding evidence in order to help fuel a political narrative that they hope will help Democrats stem some of the coming midterm bloodbath.

There's your real problem, America.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Not the Bee or any of its affiliates.

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