Paul and Nancy Pelosi smile at an event for Time 100

Fox News’ Coverage of the Attack on Paul Pelosi Is Extremely Gross

Around 2:30 Friday morning, Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in the couple’s San Francisco home. According to reports, intruders “violently attacked” 82-year-old Pelosi in front of police, using a hammer they pulled from him. (Nancy Pelosi was in Washington D.C. at the time.)

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The New York Times writes that “The intruder was in search of Speaker Pelosi, according to a person briefed on the attack, and confronted Mr. Pelosi in the couple’s home shouting: ‘Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?'”

That’s disturbingly reminiscent of the January 6 rioters who roamed the Capitol hallways, calling out like horror movie villains: “Where are you Nancy? We’re looking for you.”

Even so, the right-wing coverage of the attack is choosing to ignore the obvious (though still unconfirmed) signs that this was a targeted political attack and are instead working to fit the assault into their pre-existing talking points.

The Republican propaganda machine has been frustratingly effective in creating a perception that there’s an epidemic of violent crime on the rise. That’s not backed by actual statistics, but conservative politicians and media have been so successful in pushing that narrative that even more mainstream media outlets have apparently felt compelled to help out.

Literally every time a Republican figure is the victim of any crime, Fox News and GOP politicians will run an entire news cycle claiming targeted violence is happening against members of the Republican party and accusing Democrats of tolerating or even fueling that violence. In fact, they’re doing it right now, after a known white supremacist—whom they’re depicting as a low-level political “canvasser”—was hospitalized in Florida.

But when Paul Pelosi was attacked in his home by intruders searching for his wife, suddenly it’s “random” and just another reason to vote Republican.

We haven’t even gotten into how the weekend shows are going to twist this narrative. I’m sure they’ll come up with some incredibly creative framing that manages to blame Nancy Pelosi or even Joe Biden for this attack by the time the weekend is up.

Oh, wait! They’ve already gotten there:

Boy, that was fast.

(image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.