Are you sharper than an American journalist?


The question we haven't seen asked: Briefly, we were elated.

At New York Magazine, Prater and Danner were apparently offering updates under this promising headline:

Pelosi Attacker Allegedly Planned to Kidnap and Torture Speaker: Updates

As we scrolled down their list of topics, we quickly came upon a promising sub-headline:

"Where was security?" the journalists were asking. Briefly, we were elated. Sadly, though, all they had was this:

Where Was Security?

The home was apparently not under guard at the time of the attack. Paul Pelosi does not receive protection from the U.S. Capitol Police when unaccompanied by the Speaker, according to the Washington Post, and Nancy Pelosi and her security detail were in D.C. at the time. Capitol Police said agents from its California field office “quickly arrived on scene” following the attack.

Concerns about security for members of Congress have significantly increased over the years...

Sad! In this "update," the journalists simply repeated the things everyone else has said:

The home was not under guard at the time. Also, Paul Pelosi doesn't receive a security detail when Nancy Pelosi's not there.

Everyone had already established those points! Here's the fairly obvious question which, to this very day, we've seen no journalist ask:

Is the Pelosi house equipped with a security system? Why did Paul Pelosi have to sneak a call to 911 to alert the outside world?

According to official reports, David DePape smashed a glass door at roughly 2:25 A.M. to gain entry into the house. Shouldn't that have activated the house's security system? Is the very large, very expensive house so equipped?

To us, that seems like the world's most obvious question. Four days later, providing an "update," Prater and Danner still didn't wonder or ask!

Did Paul Pelosi neglect to activate the house's security system that night? Uninquiring journalistic minds don't seem inclined to wonder or to ask!


  1. "To us, that seems like the world's most obvious question. Four days later, providing an "update," Prater and Danner still didn't wonder or ask!"

    Yeah. And when the official dembot explanation doesn't make sense, you know it's a cover-up.

    ...well, not you, dear Bob: you're a good decent person; one of 'em adorables. We deplorables do.

    1. Oh noes! Don't look now, but it looks like the break-in was caught on security cameras. But don't worry your fevered, conspiratorial head, Dimbot. I'm sure Tucker will explain it away somehow.

    2. Matthew Gertz:
      1. By week’s end, a sizable percentage of the GOP base will believe an absurd conspiracy theory positing that Paul Pelosi was assaulted by his leftist gay lover.
      Allow me to explain.
      2. Over decades, the right built a parallel media ecosystem featuring:
      A) Numerous outlets that generate conspiracy theories
      B) Food-chain mechanisms for their distribution
      C) An audience that demands them
      D) Minimal internal guardrails
      E) Barriers against outside media.
      3. Police say the guy who broke into the Pelosi home and assaulted Paul Pelosi was targeting Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The assailant’s recent online footprint is a hodgepodge of recent right-wing conspiracy theories. [His blog] reads like a standard case of right-wing online radicalization. QAnon, Great Reset, Pizzagate, Gamergate are all there, along with MRA/misogyny, hatred of Blacks/Jews/trans people/"groomers," and anti-vax conspiracy theories.
      This is very bad for the right because those conspiracy theories are either trumpeted or excused at the highest levels of the right-wing media and GOP. They needed to come up with something else, fast.
      5. The right’s conspiracy theorists went to work. They operate by putting existing facts – particularly ones from early in a story, when initial reports are often wrong – in new dubious contexts through wild logical jumps. In this case, they draw on two pieces of info.
      6. A) An initial, subsequently retracted local news report that the assailant was in his underwear when police arrived.
      7. And B) Pelosi was able to trick the invader, call 911 from the bathroom, and, while speaking to the dispatcher “in code” to avoid suspicion, the dispatcher said he referred to the home invader at one point in that call as a “friend.”
      8. The right’s conspiracy theorists put those two pieces together, threw in some wild and baseless speculation, and came up with the theory that Pelosi was the victim of a gay lover’s quarrel.
      9. That filtered up through low-level right-wing influencers to...[Elon Musk, who tweeted a link to the story from the Santa Monica Observer]...
      10. The site Musk pushed out is not remotely credible, but it reaches a conclusion that is extremely convenient for the right, and that's good enough. [The Santa Monica Observer is notorious for publishing fake stories, such as that Hillary Clinton died in 2016 and was replaced with a body double, and that Trump had appointed Kanye West to a high-level position in the Interior Department.]
      11. Meanwhile, the right has come up with nonsensical explanations for why the assailant’s internet footprint was a forgery and he’s actually a leftist. They cannot accept the reality without taking on responsibility. So they find an alternate explanation. [Dinesh D'Sousa for example tweeted that the content ascribed to the assailant was forged on Friday, but The Wayback Machine shows it was online as early as August.]
      12. The right-wing press has spent decades building a huge audience for these sorts of convenient conspiracy theories. And their regular denunciations of the mainstream press built a bubble to keep out reality – only the right’s commentators can be trusted.
      13. As for those trusted commentators – there are no powerful actors within that bubble who knock down those conspiracy theories. That’s how you end up with Fox hosts pushing QAnon talking points and scoffing at its extremism.
      14. So what happens next? I’d expect to see GOP lawmakers and prominent Fox hosts at least winking at the Pelosi conspiracy theory. Someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Tucker Carlson might even go all-in, probably with a “why don’t they want us asking questions” frame.
      15. Credible news outlets will point out that this is all nonsense. But thanks to the right-wing media bubble, their facts won’t make it to the people inclined to believe it. And so this will become the explanation for the Pelosi attack for a sizable chunk of the GOP.
      16. There's not much that can be done for the people who will buy into this.

    3. Thanks Mike L - you make the case well.

  2. Is Somerby really trying to imply that it is OK to attack Paul Pelosi because he lacked strong security? Or is he hinting, like the conservatives, that this was a false flag operation?

    Why on earth is this the least bit relevant to what happened? Does anyone believe he would have been the target of an attempted kidnapping if he were not married to Nancy Pelosi, who has been relentlessly targeted by violent ads and statements by the political right wing?

    This is beneath Somerby but consistent with the behavior of the entire right wing in these days following the attack. Kevin Drum sums up the various responses by Republicans and Somerby today is right in line with them.

    1. "This is beneath Somerby..."

    2. Yes, trying to define what is beneath Bob may now be tunneling to the earth’s core.

    3. yes we do already know Somerby is garbage these days, but this one did surprise me, it is pretty much a bald faced nod to q anon level nonsense.

  3. You don't ask such a question because it doesn't matter.

  4. Does Somerby himself have a beefed up security system? Does he turn it on when he is at home? Inquiring minds want to know.

    This is "blame the victim" and it stinks. This is how criminals think. If you didn't want to be robbed you shouldn't have owned anything worth taking. If you don't want your car stolen, don't park it where I can take it. If you don't want to be attacked by Republican extremists, don't marry Nancy Pelosi.

    Republicans are pretending that Pelosi brought this on himself by having a DUI last month. He must have been drunk and invited a crackpot with a hammer into his house in the wee hours. Yeah, right, that's the story.

    And Somerby is part of the Republican narrative generation effort, telling us it is suspicious that no newspaper reporter has followed up on the security in their house.

    Does Somerby sleep in the nude? Many old guys do. Would that prove that he was engaged in gay sex gone wrong and that his perverted prostitution caused the attack on him -- or was it a false flag after all?

    Can Somerby be a bigger asshole? It is hard to see how.


    Poltico passes along that Pelosi’s assailant was so clueless as to allow him to go use the bathroom, but doesn’t ask how this might tie in to the mentality of the assailant?

    Then Politico says that Pelosi made a secret cell phone call from the bathroom to the police.

    Politico reports this without wandering why, in that context, Pelosi had to placate his assailant by describing him to the police as “my friend”.

    The entire media is straight out of a clown car.

    1. Cecelia,
      Used to be you could ask "Who's the President?", and the answer would tell you of the person's mental state.
      We had to stop doing that, because it made all Republicans seem like they just woke up from a coma.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Flying Monkey 12:05pm, actually, that phenomenon traces back to the declaration of “Not my president.”

    4. Placating a crazy person seems like a good way to survive an encounter with a hammer-wielding extremist upset because your politician wife wasn't home so he could break her knees as an example to all other Democrats. Doncha think?

    5. Anonymouse 12:44pm, if an intruder had let me go to a bathroom and given me enough privacy to pull out my cell and dial 911, I would have stayed in there and have locked the door. You?

      Thanks, for the report Politico. You’re geniuses!

    6. Yes, Anonymouse2:15pm, why would a stranger breaking through your door at 2am seem imminently dangerous?

      How did not “overreacting” by coming out of the bathroom and into the man’s presence, work out for Mr. Pelosi?

      (You couldn’t make anonymices up!)

    7. Cecelia is not a woman, and does not handle losing an argument very well - they lost yesterday, they are losing today, they will lose tomorrow.

    8. Anonymouse 6:0”pm, right.

      “It worked out fine” except for that grappling for the hammer stuff which ended with Pelosi’s skull and arm fractures.


  6. Why do the questions about this incident revolve more about security and less about the crazies that dominate the Republican Party these days?

    1. Because DePope is just another
      poor misused soul to Bob, poorly
      informed by the liberal tribe.

  7. "According to official reports, David DePape smashed a glass door at roughly 2:25 A.M. to gain entry into the house. Shouldn't that have activated the house's security system?"

    Obviously, Pelosi woke up and was able to call 911. What beyond that would a security system have done? Does Somerby imagine it makes glass unbreakable in kitchens?

    1. That Pelosi’s woke up and immediately called 911 is not at all obvious.

      There’s been conflicting versions in the media as to how that went down, but when did nonsense ever motivate reporters to shut up and get some facts?

    2. Someone elsewhere said that he went into the bathroom to call 911, after explaining to the intruder that Nancy wasn't home (and he said he would wait). The hammer attack occurred when the cops showed up, apparently. There was no gay male prostitution involved.

      Do you not understand that the reporters were not witnesses to anything and had to get their facts from the police, when they saw fit to release them? The reporters' job is also complicated by the disinformation being spread by the right.

      If you think they should wait a few days after the attack before reporting on it, you are a truly stupid person. The story will be out and there will be even more disinformation in the absence of reporting. That's why the police usually make a preliminary statement as soon as possible after a high profile crime.

      Again, what would a security system have added to this situation? It wouldn't have prevented the break in or the attack and Pelosi did call 911. Perhaps the cops should have treated it as a hostage situation and taken more care that the guy had a hammer and might use it as a weapon. Or maybe that would have been worse, since they wouldn't have been close enough to disarm him.

      You are a stupid piece of shit and people are upset enough about this crime without you rubbing things in this way.

    3. No, a stupid person is one who thinks the media is supposed to unquestioningly relay conflicting or nonsensical information.

      A truly stupid person is someone who thinks it’s moot to question why a multimillionaire national powerhouse family wouldn’t turn on an alarm system in their mansion at night or not wonder if it had been turned off.

      A particularly stupid person reflexively argues that an alarm screeching thru the neighborhood would not deter a break-in or give the target an opportunity to hide.

      But it takes an utterly disingenuous person to say that none of this matters, in a criminal case, because what happened- happened “so shut the hell up.”

    4. This kind of crime is ordinary in America, especially in Democrat run cities. It's not more serious just because it happened to someone who is high profile and rich. It's a problem and violent crime is the reason the GOP is dominating in the election.

    5. Anonymouse 7:34pm, it truly ridiculous the way the media is so useless.

      Why would they not address obvious questions.

      Why would ANYONE automatically dismiss the possibility that this man had someone in league with him and that there is an alarm system and that it had been turned off?

      Is there a disgruntled employee. A right wing disgruntled employee conspirator? An employee of an outside business contracted by Mr and Mrs Pelosi?

      We no longer have journalists . They’re extinct.

    6. Anything can happen in two years, but the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination is DePape's, if he wants it.

    7. Cecelia, you are just making shit up. It isn’t true just because you find it plausible. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Try to be patient and let everyone do their jobs.

    8. Anonymouse 11:12pm, this is an investigation. It’s the media’s job to look at the particulars and the peculiarities of the case and to ask questions.

      It’s not your job to that. Your job is to insult Bob and to be obtuse and moronically oppositional.

      The media have a different job from you.

      Try to keep that in mind.

    9. I see as many kids died from fentanyl-laced Halloween candy as are being taught CRT in elementary schools.
      Great job, Cecelia.