Paul Pelosi in front of red background

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Pelosi 911 call becomes new rallying cry for conspiracists obsessed with ‘lover’s spat’ theory

Conspiracy theorists are personally thanking Musk.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Posted on Oct 31, 2022   Updated on Dec 16, 2022, 10:42 am CST

It’s only been a few days since Elon Musk took control of Twitter, but he’s already using it to create chaos and fuel right-wing conspiracy theories.

Over the weekend, Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was allegedly assaulted by a man with a hammer inside his home. Many believe the attack was politically motivated, as the alleged assailant, David DePape, has a history of sharing far-right views and conspiracy theories.

On Sunday, Musk shared a link to an article that pushed an alternative theory: Paul Pelosi was assaulted during a dispute with a male prostitute. The Washington Post reports that the link Musk tweeted is a “low credibility” website that favors the “extreme right.”

Musk later deleted the tweet. But it was too late. The disinformation fire he stoked is now raging online.

The baseless claim about Pelosi and DePape that Musk shared is all over the web. Many of the people pushing it appear intent on undermining the presumption that the alleged assault was motivated by politics.

A tweet with nearly a million views as of this writing misstates the contents of the incident’s 911 call. It falsely asserts that Pelosi “confessed” that he knew DePape and accuses the Pelosis of “not being honest.”

People piled on in comments, claiming there was a “cover up,” and that the incident was actually the result of a “lover’s quarrel.”

“Wow don’t think this would have been out if Elon hadn’t removed the kill switch,” wrote one.

Pelosi managed to call for help by telling DePape he needed to use the restroom. Then he surreptitiously called 911 and left his cell phone on and reportedly spoke in code to alert the dispatcher that he needed help. Multiple outlets report that Pelosi said, “What’s going on? Why are you here? What are you going to do to me?”

According to a recording circulating online, the dispatcher who called the police said that Pelosi told them “he doesn’t know who the male is,” but that the man had identified himself as “David” and was waiting for “Nancy.” Pelosi also reportedly referred to DePape as his “friend,” which many have suggested was his way of trying to keep DePape calm by obfuscating the true nature of the call.

Conspiracy theorists have jumped on the call as proof that Pelosi and DePape actually knew one another and that there’s some kind of cover-up going on.

https://twitter.com/rhowardbrowne/status/1587095217030582272?s=20&t=iJXpVF5xMLwNpgr_lWSuig

Some have pushed back against such rumors and misinterpretations.

“Paul is saying that the attacker told him that his name is David and that he is a friend. Paul is not saying that David is a friend,” @myself4_a pointed out.

Baseless accusations about DePape being a prostitute who was intimate with Pelosi continue spreading across the web.

As of Monday, tweets with #Pelosigaylover and #PelosiSmollett have thousands of likes and comments.

Many who believe the conspiracy theories about Pelosi and the man who allegedly assaulted him are personally thanking Musk.

“Now that @elonmusk owns Twitter, the globalist elite are having a hard time controlling the narrative… Seems like the truth can no longer be buried,” tweeted one.

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2022, 11:56 am CDT