Tag: nancy pelosi
Nancy Pelosi and ​Paul Pelosi

Violent Pelosi Attacker Was An Avid Consumer Of Far-Right Media

The man who bludgeoned Paul Pelosi, husband of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer last October admitted at trial that he consumed right-wing media produced by Tim Pool, Glenn Beck, anti-LGBTQ activist James Lindsay, and others.

On Thursday, David DePape was found guilty of “one count of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official, and a second count of attempted kidnapping of a federal official,” according to CNN. He had pleaded not guilty to both charges, and now could face decades in prison.

DePape took the stand on Tuesday to explain his transformation from liberal to conspiracy theory-minded conservative who embraced beliefs similar to the QAnon movement. According to SFist, “It was Lindsay who convinced him that there are academics out there trying to poisong the nation's children and indoctrinate them into some sex cult.” The QAnon conspiracy theory holds that a cabal of elite liberals are engaged in a global conspiracy to kidnap, traffick, and sexually abuse children.

Lindsay has a long record of promoting anti-LGBTQ bigotry. He has repeatedly violated the terms of service of X (formerly Twitter) by spreading the “groomer” myth, which alleges that gay, trans, and nonbinary adults are a threat to children. In one instance, Proud Boys showed up at a public library hosting a drag event three days after Lindsay posted “ok groomer” in response to the library’s promotional tweet. Last December, he claimed that drag queens were attempting to provoke conservatives to murder them in order to spark a national uprising similar to the summer of 2020. “You guys remember George Floyd?” Lindsay said, “The goal is to have Drag Floyd.”

DePape was also apparently a fan of prominent YouTube streamer Tim Pool, making him at least the second person who has recently committed political violence to have specifically mentioned Pool’s show. In May, a man in Allen, Texas, shot and killed eight people and injured seven in an outlet mall. As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, the shooter had posted several screenshots of Pool’s show, Timcast IRL, to X. Pool has a history of platforming racists, antisemites, and other extremists, and apparently found it funny that the Texas shooter liked his show. Like Lindsay, Pool has baselessly accused people of being pedophiles.

Just months before DePape attacked Pelosi, he might also have heard The Blaze’s Glenn Beck fantasize about the good old days when “a kid could go in and buy a handgun” and a “box of bullets” without so much as a note from their parents. What changed, according to Beck, was the emergence of “wokeness,” critical race theory, and “bathrooms that anybody can use.” Beck’s attack on “wokeness” and CRT are clear examples of anti-Black racism, and his panic about bathrooms is explicitly anti-trans.

Although there’s no evidence to suggest DePape watched Fox News, the network has consistently exploited his actions to push conspiracy theories and insinuate that the police or the Pelosis were involved in a cover-up. Just days after DePape attacked Paul Pelosi, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth declared that it didn’t “add up” and that “something doesn’t make sense” about the event. Fox News host Jesse Watters went further, spreading the baseless claim that there was a third person involved in the attack. “If we’ve learned anything about the Pelosis, you just got to keep asking questions.”

Former Fox News star Tucker Carlson added more fuel to the fire, repeating the theory about a third person being involved and suggesting that DePape and Pelosi were friends, or potentially secret lovers — a false claim embraced by many in right-wing media. After referencing a retracted claim that DePape had been found “in his underwear,” Carlson said, “You can't blame people watching all of this at home for thinking that maybe there's something weird going on here.”

The following morning, Fox’s so-called “news side” was spreading misinformation as well. “There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the case, like who opened the door for police, and why did Paul Pelosi allegedly describe DePape at one point in a conversation with authorities as ‘a friend’?” Fox correspondent Kevin Corke asked during a segment on Fox & Friends.

Even after authorities released body cam footage, Watters continued to push conspiracy theories. “We still don’t know who opened the door. Was it Paul? Was it the cops?” he asked, “Did they not play that part of the footage in the courtroom? Why is this, such a simple detail, so hard to pin down?"

Now, with DePape at trial and the facts beyond dispute, Watters is using the attack to demonize immigrants and fearmonger about social disorder. “Just a reminder: this DePape maniac shouldn't have been in the country,” Watters said. “He was an illegal alien from Canada using San Francisco as a sanctuary, where he descended into a mentally ill, drug-addicted, bizarre alternative lifestyle — living in a bus and fantasizing about fairies.”

DePape has apologized for his attack on Paul Pelosi. Don’t expect the same from the right-wing media stars whose content DePape consumed, and who have opportunistically taken advantage of his violence.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Why Isn't The Press Focused On Trump's increasingly Violent Rhetoric?

Why Isn't The Press Focused On Trump's increasingly Violent Rhetoric?

After Target announced that it was closing nine stores because of crime, plenty of journalists and politicians — both liberal and conservative — argued that shoplifting in major cities was out of control and that police needed to crack down aggressively on shoplifters in order for retailers to stay in business.

They didn't advocate violence, but they called for shoplifting laws to be aggressively enforced. Former President Donald Trump, however, called for shoplifters to be shot and killed during a speech in California — where he also joked about a violent attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi.

In an article published on October 5, Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi stresses that Trump's rhetoric has grown increasingly violent — and argues that major media outlets are underreporting this problem.

Farhi observes, "Trump's advocacy of extrajudicial killings was widely covered by newspapers and TV stations in California but generally ignored by the national press. No mainstream TV network carried his speech live or excerpted it later that night. CNN and MSNBC mentioned it during panel discussions over the next few days. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR and PBS didn't report it at all. The New York Times wrote about it four days later, playing the story on Page 14 of its print edition."

The Post media reporter notes that Trump also recently suggested that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley should be executed, adding that political journalist/author Brian Klaas has used the term "banality of crazy" to describe responses to the former president's violent rhetoric. In other words, Trump says so many outrageous things that, according to Klaas, people become desensitized to it.

The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes, a Never Trump conservative, told the Post, "If the former president of the United States endorses extrajudicial killings of shoplifters, and we have to ask 'Is that newsworthy?' we need to reevaluate what we regard as important.'"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Kevin McCarthy

Pushing Impeachment, McCarthy Tramples His Own Rule On Full House Vote

On Tuesday morning, Barely House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shambled in front of the cameras to publicly extract the last crumbling vertebrae from his spinal region. McCarthy announced an evidence-free start to impeaching President Joe Biden by moving to begin an “impeachment inquiry”—without the trouble of actually holding a House vote.

The whole announcement was patently ridiculous, and is gathering exactly the level of ridicule and disdain it deserves.

In effect, McCarthy’s announcement does absolutely nothing. It takes the pointless investigations already being conducted by three House committees and simply gives them a new name, though it doesn’t give them a mote of authority or a scintilla of validity. The only thing that McCarthy’s statement really does is confirm, again, that the Republican leader of the House will readily fold to the slightest pressure from the most radical elements of his party—no matter the cost.

Less than two weeks ago, McCarthy went on Breitbart to tell them he would not start an impeachment inquiry without a vote. “To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter,” McCarthy said in the ancient times of Friday before last, “and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives. That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”

In the past, McCarthy was even more insistent that a full House vote before initiating impeachment wasn’t just something that was owed to the American people, but was required by law. He said as much in 2019 while attacking Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “Speaker Pelosi can't decide on impeachment unilaterally. It requires a full vote of the House of Representatives,” McCarthy said.

But McCarthy dropped this requirement like a hot potato on Tuesday because … someone looked at him mean. That someone was Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who threatened to go out there and say bad things about McCarthy.

Understand that Gaetz didn’t say he was going to push for McCarthy’s removal from his big office; he simply threatened to go out there and make a speech in which he outlined things he thought McCarthy was doing wrong. This was a threat delivered by a guy who, according to Rep. Eric Swalwell, makes “more empty threats—day in/day out” than anyone he’s ever worked with.

But Gaetz looking at McCarthy cross-eyed was enough to trigger a complete collapse, showing again that McCarthy will fold to the slightest bit of pressure. Puppets everywhere look at McCarthy with pity. At least they wait until someone actually pulls their strings.

Oh, and Gaetz said mean things to him anyway. So there.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Joe Biden

Biden Mocks McCarthy Seeking Credit For Investments He Opposed

President Joe Biden called it back at the State of the Union address in February: Republicans who voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would soon be claiming credit when the funding arrived. As he said then, “I promised I’d be a president for all Americans. We’ll fund these projects. And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.” He’s had cause to use that line more than once since, taunting the Republicans who did just as he predicted—most recently, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy is from California, but he toured a Syracuse factory while in town to raise money for Rep. Brandon Williams. Syracuse.com’s Glenn Coin did a stellar job covering McCarthy’s visit, from the headline—“House Speaker McCarthy tours Syracuse factory benefiting from legislation he voted against”—to a write-up that included pertinent information like the specific “Buy American” provision of the infrastructure law that JMA Wireless is benefitting from. The article additionally noted that “McCarthy also opposed the CHIPS and Science Act, which Micron Technology said is essential to its plan to invest up to $100 billion in a semiconductor plant in the town of Clay.”

McCarthy weakly tried to explain his presence. “I don’t want government controlling and picking the winners and losers,” he said. “I actually like the private sector, exactly what JMA is doing. It’s their investment of $50 million that created something, and now government can be a partner.” He still voted against the law that created ways for the government to be “a partner” in boosting U.S. manufacturing, including at the very plant he was visiting.

McCarthy’s not alone in what former Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to as “vote no and take the dough.”

Sen. Tommy Tuberville recently touted investments in broadband technology in Alabama (a state he represents even if he doesn’t live there), without mentioning that he’d voted against the funding. Biden responded not just with a tweet but in live comments in Chicago, saying, “It's not a surprise it's bringing along some converts … Well there's a guy named Tuberville—senator from Alabama—Tuberville, who announced he strongly opposed the legislation. Now he's hailing its passage.”

Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and Tom Cotton and John Boozman of Arkansas similarly played up federal money coming to their states despite having voted against the funding. And Sen. John Cornyn made a visit to a Texas Tesla factory after having whined about the Inflation Reduction Act offering “handouts for rich folks who want to buy electric vehicles.” Tesla is expanding U.S. manufacturing due to the IRA’s clean energy tax credits.

Trying to take credit for funding they voted against is the Republican way. This time, they’re dealing with a president who told the country ahead of time what was going to happen and is calling it out, one incident after another.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.