A television reporter reportedly has been suspended after breaking a story — which was retracted hours later — about the Oct. 28 hammer attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul.
NBC News suspended Miguel Almaguer pending an internal investigation, The Daily Beast reported Monday.
Almaguer’s report aired Nov. 4 on NBC’s “Today” show.
In it, the reporter quoted unnamed sources as saying police were told it was a “high-priority call,” but they were not fully aware that Pelosi was in danger when they showed up in response to his 911 call around 2:30 a.m.
“After a ‘knock and announce,’ the front door was opened by Mr. Pelosi,” Almaguer reported. “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. It’s unclear if the 82-year-old was already injured or what his mental state was, say sources.”
It wasn’t until after he had opened the door to police that Pelosi struggled with his alleged assailant, identified as David DePape, and was hit in the head with a hammer, the report said.
NBC on Paul Pelosi:
“The front door was opened by Mr. Pelosi. He did not declare an emergency or try to leave his home, instead began walking several feet back towards the assailant and away from police.” pic.twitter.com/PArqbcPAWB
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) November 4, 2022
Within hours, Almaguer’s report was removed from NBC News platforms, according to Fox News. The network issued an editor’s note on its website that said, “This piece has been removed from publication because it did not meet NBC News reporting standards.”
According to TheBlaze, that statement only raised more questions. “The network … did not explain what about the report failed to meet its editorial standards, nor did the company explain how the story managed to air if the story did not go through proper vetting channels.”
The Daily Beast noted that the report, which appeared to contradict previous claims from officials, caused a stir among “right-wing media figures,” who “immediately took the report and its retraction as proof of a politically motivated cover-up—after a week of grasping at various conspiracy theories to dismiss the assault, which left Pelosi with a cracked skull.”
NBC declined to comment on what it called internal personnel issues, TheBlaze reported, but Almaguer has not appeared on air since the report.
Fox News quoted a former senior NBC News executive who had worked with Almaguer as being critical of the network’s handling of the incident.
“NBC News must be more transparent with its viewers about this error,” the unnamed former executive said. “Who wrote Miguel’s script? Who approved the script? Are he and his producers suspended during an internal investigation? NBC’s silence on this matter speaks volumes. NBC owes it to its audience to be truthful and not cover this up.”
Almaguer did not respond to a voicemail left by Fox News.
Former NBC employee Steve Krakauer wrote in his Fourth Watch newsletter on Nov. 6 that Almaguer’s report might have contained information that was supposed to stay off the record, or he might have been “offering an angle” the San Francisco Police Department “wanted out there.”
It has been 10 days since @Miguelnbc went on NBC and delivered his Paul Pelosi report, that was “expired” hours later.
He hasn’t been seen or heard from since, on TV or social media.
Miguel like this tweet or show some other sign that you’re ok!
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) November 14, 2022
“Whatever the backstory is, we don’t know it — and it’s incumbent on NBC to be more transparent about the process, and say publicly what, if anything, was inaccurate in the report,” Krakauer wrote. “In the meantime, the rest of the media have pretended it didn’t happen.”
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