After an attack at a California home of the Pelosis in which the assailant, who was identified as David DePape, was apparently looking for the House Speaker, ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman joined those expressing concern about the role of Fox News in inciting violence.
Nancy Pelosi has, of course, been incessantly targeted by figures on the Right, who have made her some kind of scapegoat for all of their only increasingly reality-disconnected complaints. Donald Trump has also specifically singled out her husband, Paul, in some of his own public rhetoric. Paul was home when DePape broke into the residence, and he was injured with a hammer, according to publicly available indications. DePape, who has a long history of posting about far-right conspiracy theories — including lies about the 2020 election — online, was arrested for suspicion of attempted murder, local authorities said.
“Let there be no mistake, @FoxNews bears responsibility for the attempted assault on @SpeakerPelosi,” Vindman said on Twitter. “They generate and perpetuate an environment of permissive violence and hate against swathes of Americans.” Vindman was replying to a clip of Fox coverage of the incident in which the co-hosts raised the prospect the attack was simply random — which would obviously always sound dubious but which further reporting additionally undercuts. It’s Nancy Pelosi! She was personally targeted during the Capitol riot, and even without any additional information, these Fox personalities wanted people to suspect there at least potentially wasn’t any political motivation behind what took place?
Now, there are additional details. “But law enforcement sources said the assailant shouted, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” before confronting Paul Pelosi, and San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott called the attack “intentional,”” as reported in the Los Angeles Times. Paul Pelosi is expected to recover, although he went into surgery after suffering injuries to his head. DePape was also arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary, and destroying a cellphone to prevent someone from seeking help, according to available details, although the status of his case isn’t immediately clear Saturday.
Also among those whose conspiracy theories DePape spread online prior to the assault is Mike Lindell, the pillow slinger-turned-election liar who is also aligned with the Arizona Republican candidates for governor and Secretary of State. Lindell supported a lawsuit with the pair onboard in which they sought to force a hand count of Arizona ballots, instead of using tabulation machines. Besides the obvious example of the Capitol riot, there are also other examples of those engaged with far-right conspiracy theories perpetrating deadly or potentially deadly violence. This year’s infamous mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo was carried out by someone adhering to racist conspiracy theories, and a Michigan man who shot his wife (who died from her injuries) and one of his daughters was also an avowed conspiracy theorist.
Let there be no mistake, @FoxNews bears responsibility for the attempted assault on @SpeakerPelosi . They generate and perpetuate an environment of permissive violence and hate against swathes of Americans. https://t.co/wVJKE5x7iu
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) October 28, 2022