The security video of Paul Pelosi's attacker being released this weekend should end the ridiculous conspiracy theories, but as Vanity Fair's Bess Levin reminds us, we all know that the Right-Wing Noise Machine will just move the goalposts.
In the immediate wake of a man breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s San Fransisco home and viciously attacking her husband, the right-wing media, Republicans, and their conservative followers got into formation to do what they do best: spread baseless rumors about the assault and mock the victim.
Tucker Carlson fueled conspiracy theories that Paul Pelosi and his attacker, David DePape, were lovers. Elon Musk, who’d become the owner of Twitter just three days prior, shared a story with his 112 million followers from a website known to traffic in false information, that the man was a prostitute with whom Pelosi had gotten into a dispute. (He later deleted the tweet but not before writing, “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.”) Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a “Paul Pelosi” Halloween costume made up of simply underwear and hammer, writing: “The internet remains undefeated.” Representative Claudia Tenney commented “LOL” on a photo of a group of men holding hammers beside a gay pride flag, before deleting the tweet. Charlie Kirk, the conservative YouTube host, said on his podcast he hoped an “amazing patriot” would go bail out DePape, “ask him some questions,” and become a “midterm hero.”
On Thursday, Fox News host Sean Hannity had a guest on his show who speculated that set-to-be-released footage of the attack would “not help the prosecution” and raise “more questions than it answers.”
On Friday, footage of the attack was released. In addition to being deeply difficult to watch—viewers can see the moment when DePape beats the 82-year-old Pelosi with a hammer—it also makes the gang at Fox News and beyond not only look very stupid but like the depraved ghouls they are. Will they see it that way and apologize to the victim and his family? We’re going to go out on a limb and assume the answer starts with an “h” and ends with a “—ell f--king no.” Are you familiar at all with how these people operate? They’re about to double down, if they haven’t already.
Yep. This is going to be an enduring conspiracy theory, and your Fox-watching uncle will go to his grave believing it.