Right-wing media claimed Nancy Pelosi was buying a $25 million mansion near Mar-a-Lago. The story was totally debunked
Right-wing media outlets failed miserably when they published the false story that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has purchased a $25 million mansion in South Florida — which, the argument goes, makes her a hypocrite in light of how vehemently Democrats have criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Florida's COVID-19 policy. Although the Pelosi/Florida mansion story has been totally debunked, that hasn’t stopped MAGA media from mindlessly repeating it. And in an article published by The Bulwark on November 29, Never Trump conservative Jim Swift slams those outlets for failing to do their research.
“Watching how the fake news blew through the conservative ecosystem is illuminating,” Swift explains. “The lib-owning idea went something like this: Nancy Pelosi and her ilk have overreacted to COVID-19 at every turn. Ron DeSantis is a freedom-loving governor of the greatest state in America. And now, Pelosi was all but admitting that DeSantis was right by spending $25 million on Florida real estate. What an elitist hypocrite!”
Founded by Charlie Sykes and Bill Kristol after the Weekly Standard’s demise, The Bulwark itself is a conservative website. But it has been vehemently critical of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement, and in 2020, many of its writers supported now-President Joe Biden.
The false story, Swift notes, originated on a far-right website called Big League Politics on November 24 — and it didn’t take other right-wing outlets long to repeat it as though it were fact.
“The Big League Politics story was then picked up by Fox News contributor and ‘investigative Reporter’ Sara Carter’s site, though the story on Carter’s site carries the byline of ‘staff writer,’” Swift observes. “As is usually the case, after these fringe outlets write vague, unsourced stories, slightly more respectable conservative sites aggregated them under the guise of ‘according to’ various ‘reports’ without noting how disreputable the sources of the reports are, or making any attempt to confirm them. These aggregations exist solely to farm clicks.”
One of the journalists who repeated the false story was the Washington Examiner’s Haisten Willis, whose article was republished by the Gazette.
Willis wrote, “An internet rumor that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is purchasing a $25 million mansion on Florida’s Atlantic coast, just 25 miles from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, may just be too juicy to be true.” But at least the Examiner interviewed Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, who told the publication, “This is completely false. There’s no such pending sale; nor is the family looking or interested.”
Right-wing media figures who tweeted the false Pelosi/mansion story included Dinesh D’Souza and Fox News’ Sean Hannity,
Fancy Nancy Bought $25 Million, 11,000 sq ft Beachside Mansion\u2026in @GovRonDeSantis State of Florida!https://saraacarter.com/pelosi-bought-25-million-11000sq-ft-beachside-mansionin-desantis-state-of-florida/\u00a0\u2026— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity) 1637765496
“The good news is that someone was willing to do actual journalism,” Swift observes. “The bad news is that the someone was Realtor.com, where a writer named Claudine Zap — who does not appear to be an ‘investigative reporter’ at Fox News — actually made some calls, got to the truth, and wrote a responsible piece headlined ‘No, Nancy Pelosi Did Not Buy a $25M Mansion in Jupiter Island, FL’…. I’m sure the corrections and apologies will be flooding in now that Realtor.com has done the shoeleather journalism to debunk this wildly false claim.”
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