SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NBC News aired a report on the attack of Paul Pelosi last week that purportedly revealed bizarre new details on the incident, only to almost immediately pull the story amid claims that it was “published in error” and that it “failed to meet their journalistic standards.”
Initial reports indicated that early on the morning of October 28, David DePape, 42, broke into Pelosi’s San Francisco home with zip ties, rope, and tape. He found Paul Pelosi, 82 – husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – asleep in an upstairs bedroom and demanded that he be allowed to speak with his wife, who was not home at the time.
DePape – an illegal immigrant who is alleged to have mental health issues and had intended to take Nancy Pelosi hostage – then reportedly attacked Paul Pelosi on the spot with a hammer. Following the assault, Paul Pelosi was hospitalized with blunt force injuries; he underwent skull surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
However, NBC aired a report on its “Today” show on Friday with updated details on the attack, only to quickly pull it from their website after the network claimed that it did not meet its standards.
“The piece should not have aired because it did not meet NBC News reporting standards,” said an editor’s note that had replaced the story.
In the now-deleted report, correspondent Miguel Almaguer stated that police officers had responded to a “high priority” call from the Pelosi residence on October 28, but were uncertain of the details of the incident until they had arrived, some 30 minutes later.
“After a ‘knock and announce,’ the front door was opened by Mr. Pelosi. The 82-year-old did not immediately declare an emergency or try to leave his home, but instead began walking several feet back into the foyer toward the assailant and away from police,” Almaguer stated. “It’s unclear if the 82 year-old was already injured or what is mental state was, say sources according to court documents, when the officers asked what was going on. The defendant smiled and said ‘everything’s good,’ but instantaneously a struggle ensued as police clearly saw David DePape strike Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer,” the report continued. “After tackling the suspect officers rushed to Mr. Pelosi who was lying in a pool of blood.”
“Why Pelosi didn’t try to flee or tell responding officers he was in distress is unclear,” the now-pulled report continued.
This runs in direct contrast with aforementioned initial reports of the incident; CNN claims that NBC New pulled Friday’s story after their source proved to be unreliable.
“The decision was made to remove the segment after it was determined, shortly after it aired, that the main source for the information was unreliable regarding the question of the circumstances that the police encountered when they arrived at the house, specifically what the police saw and how far the attacker was from the door,” CNN said.
DePepe has been charged by the Department of Justice with federal kidnapping and assault charges; in addition, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has also charged him with attempted murder, elder abuse, and additional crimes.