Nancy Pelosi's husband was bashed in the head with a hammer by MAGA supporter David DePape, who reportedly yelled "where's Nancy?" during the attack. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture. Elon Musk, eager to demonstrate what Twitter will be like now he's bought it, posted a link to a right-wing conspiracy theory–that Paul Pelosi was in a dispute with a male prostitute in his home–by way of response to Hillary Clinton's proforma denunciation of the attack.
A classic "numb gums Elon" moment, the tweet soon disappeared, but not before being retweeted 20,000 times.
Media Bias/Fact Check said the website's article about the attack "appears to be fake and defamatory." Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment. San Francisco police officials shared information with NBC News that directly contradicts the claims in the story Musk linked to.
The "story" he tweeted, "The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was on Drugs And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Friday Morning", was at The Santa Monica Observer, a well-known purveyor of fake news which doesn't pretend that its nonsense is satire. Police, who arrived at the scene while the attack was underway and arrested DePape, said the victim and the attacker do not know one another.
What will become of Twitter, you ask?
The incentives of media and MAGA are in close alignment, a phenomenon which leads (among other things) to all the "NYT pitchbot"-style news coverage of whatever the right wants, while accepting its frames of reference and hyping the mess. A boring secret of journalism is that the media folks who do this work are 1) broadly addicted to Twitter and career-dependent on it, and 2) many of them are barely coping with the aligned incentives they have with the far right and the Twitter entanglement that results. The thing about Elon owning Twitter it that it takes this and upsets the balance of power without radically altering the relationship. Even if Twitter doesn't go to hell in the absolute sense of being totally drowned in racism, antisemitism and abuse, it's definitely going to hell for journalists stuck there.