Interested in getting next week’s story and other AllSides newsletters in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to the AllSides Story of the Week Newsletter.
Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was hospitalized after being attacked at his San Francisco home Friday.
An intruder, who was reportedly looking for Nancy, broke into the home and confronted Pelosi in his bedroom while Pelosi was sleeping, according to his confession provided by police. The suspect then beat Pelosi with a hammer before being apprehended by responding officers. The suspect, David DePape, has been charged with assault, attempted murder, and attempted kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Early theories circulating about details, including what the two were wearing when officers arrived and whether a third person was present, have largely been cleared up by police statements. Theories that the suspect was sex worker hired by Pelosi remain unfounded. Before the police report came out, new Twitter head Elon Musk tweeted and then deleted an opinion article positing multiple unfounded hypotheses about the attack.
Voices across the political spectrum condemned the violence. Many sources, especially left-rated ones but also some on the right, focused closely on debunking misinformation about the attack. Left-rated outlets tended to focus more on the sources of misleading claims and unfounded theories.
Some voices said the attack was a result of DePape reportedly believing right-wing theories like QAnon and a stolen election, a stance that others pushed back on, pointing out left-wing flags and signage in front of the school bus he reportedly lived in and reports he was a nudist activist.
More from AllSides:
- Follow our balanced news updates on the 2022 midterm elections, and see our new interactive map with projections for races in all 50 states.
- MEDIA BIAS ALERT: Here's the bias we caught following the debate between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.
- OPINION: "One side or the other will ultimately have to win the majority, but not without going to great lengths to avoid it."
Snippets from the Left
New York Times
"The suspect, identified by the police as David DePape, slammed his body through a glass door and entered the residence around 2 a.m., awakening Mr. Pelosi, who was in bed, prosecutors said. The suspect told Mr. Pelosi that he wanted to talk to 'Nancy' and learned she was not there."
The attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband is the culmination of longtime GOP hate-mongering
"Police haven’t gone into further detail about the attacker’s motivations, but his Facebook posts on conspiracy theories around Covid-19 vaccines, the 2020 election, and the January 6 attack provide a window into his radicalization."
Snippets from the Center
"In increasingly stark language, Biden has been ratcheting up his warnings about the threat of political extremism. Wednesday’s speech was an updated version of his early September address when he cast the election as a 'battle for the soul of this nation.'"
Conservative Figures Spread Baseless Claims About Attack on Paul Pelosi
"Any suggestion that Pelosi hired DePape as a prostitute or that Pelosi knew him in any capacity is false. Robert Rueca, spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, told us in an email that officers found no 'evidence that shows that the victim and the suspect knew each other.'"
Snippets from the Right
New York Post
"The 42-year-old suspect was born in Canada in 1980 and was in the US as early as 2001, sources said, citing his valid Social Security number, which can only be obtained with a job. The Social Security number was obtained in Hawaii, sources said. It’s unclear how long DePape stayed in the country past the legal threshold."
Media Rush to Assign Blame after Attack on Paul Pelosi
National Review Fact Check
"While it seems unlikely that a nudist who lived in a house festooned with the markers of modern progressivism would identify with the MAGA movement, Democrats and members of the media have worked to connect the attack to the January 6 Capitol riot."