NBC Suspends Journalist Over Paul Pelosi Report, While an NBC Affiliate Seemed to Corroborate Story


For the media, the attack on Paul Pelosi (the spouse of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) in their San Francisco home continues to be frustrating. Pelosi’s claim that he was being attacked by partisans to gain political leverage didn’t work. The story got worse as more details about the night became available. The media quickly found a story that they wanted to end and grew into a nightmare.

It was the conflicting information that emerged from that fateful night that has caused the main problem. This fueled speculation and interest. The press is desperate to blame right-wing conspiracy theories and zealots for speculation. However, the contradictory details in the story were sourced from law enforcement and media. The accusation is that those who repeat the news reports are guilty of conspiracies.

This was the most confusing detail. Miguel Almaguer, NBC News’ field reporter, gave details from a source indicating that Paul Pelosi had answered the door and brought in the police. However, Pelosi wasn’t in any distress. Almaguer said that Pelosi was once able to return to the location of his intruder, and then was attacked by police. The report was removed from the NBC website and social media deleted days later.

It was not up to NBC journalism standards. It is an interesting explanation as the report was not the result of a rogue journalist. The original video was broadcast on The Today Show. As national news segments go, it had to go through several editorial processes before reaching the airwaves. NBC News has now suspended Almaguer’s broadcasting rights in light of this report.

We are again presented with the absurd accusation that “right-wing conspiracy” is in play. This is because the savage people on the right are spreading misinformation; ignore the fact that it was published by the mainstream media. It gets even more complicated and opaque. A second report has been released, which highlights the confusions and contradictions that are familiar to this story.

Bigad Shaban, a reporter for NBC Bay Area, claimed that he had a source inside San Francisco police officers. They saw the footage and confirmed that Pelosi was the one who opened his door after police arrived. This details has been a problem in many of the inaccurate reports about the attack. Local police stated that a third party was present on the scene that evening to greet police. According to the SFDA, Pelosi allowed the officers in. The DOJ report says that the officers were allowed into the premises by the police. These new details indicate that body-cams confirm what was described in the SFDA account that night.

This also sounds in line with the Miguel Almaguer reporting from one week ago, which was later forgotten by the parent network. How can NBC News reconcile the fact that an affiliate of its is reporting events at the Pelosi compound with those reported by their reporter, which it has reprimanded as faulty journalism?

As it has been with this story, more details lead to more questions. Even though Shaban and the anchorwoman try to dismiss this detail, it makes the night more complicated, not clearer. Why did Pelosi allow police to enter and then engage with his attacker again? Why wasn’t the police alerted to the threat on-site before the attack took place? Why wasn’t security engaged on-site? What was the reason the alarm system wasn’t activated after the break in?

Understanding that I ask these questions, it is clear that I am engaging “right-wing conspiracy theories,” even though these questions are being prompted by mainstream news reports. We have again the press as the source of conflicting data. Anyone noting these contradictions, or me, is guilty of conspiratorial dissemination of misinformation. We will see if Miguel Almaguer is exonerated by this report, or if Bidad Shaban, the local reporter, will be charged with conspiratorial delivery of misinformation.