NBC's Mystery of the Week: Where in the world is Miguel Almaguer after Pelosi-report retraction?

Update, 1/28/23: Well, well, well. It turns out that Miguel Almaguer’s report was inaccurate in one key detail — Paul Pelosi didn’t “walk away” from police after opening the door. John has more on that development after police finally — after more than two months — released the bodycam video. One has to wonder whether police misled the NBC reporter to distract from the oddly passive response of the two officers before DePape starting battering Pelosi with the hammer. That might explain why NBC took Almaguer off the air, too. (Crossposted on my original post on the report from 11/4.)



Original post:

Have you seen this reporter, ladies and gentleman? NBC News’ Miguel Almaguer was last seen on the Today show nearly a month ago, giving an update on the Paul Pelosi assault story. At the time, Almaguer’s sources within San Francisco law enforcement told him that body-cam records showed Pelosi opening the door when police arrived, and then walking back toward his assailant:

NBC News later retracted the story, but didn’t explain what Almaguer got wrong. Almost two weeks later, the local NBC affiliate confirmed Almaguer’s initial reporting:

Police body camera video that captured the attack on Paul Pelosi, and the moments leading up to it, contradict one of the details included in the Department of Justice’s account of what happened that evening, according to a source familiar with the Pelosi investigation who personally viewed the body camera footage and spoke to the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit.

Note how SF DA Brooke Jenkins responds to the question that Almaguer’s report provoked: why didn’t Pelosi walk out the door rather than walk back to assailant David DePape? Jenkins doesn’t contradict the question in the slightest; instead, she tells NBC reporter Bigad Shaban that she doesn’t want to “speculate” about the reasons Pelosi reacted the way he did.


“All we have is what happened,” Jenkins says, “everybody reacts to situations differently, and he will one day need to explain — right, to potentially a jury — why he did what he did, and what thought process was going on in his mind.” Jenkins then says “it’s not fair” for others to engage in “Monday morning quarterbacking” about Pelosi’s reaction.

That more or less settles the question about Almaguer’s report, however. Had Pelosi not walked back to DePape after opening the door himself to police, Jenkins wouldn’t be bothering with this argument. Shaban and the NBC anchor express puzzlement over why people have latched onto this, but it’s because Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have attempted to make this into a politically motivated assault, and to some good effect in the run-up to the midterms. The fact that Pelosi himself didn’t appear to perceive a threat necessitating a walk out the door to escape it tends to negate that argument, even if it doesn’t flat-out contradict it entirely.

The feds don’t want to correct the record in their indictment for a reason. They don’t want to have to raise that question in court, or in the court of public opinion either. Why? We certainly can speculate on that point.

Apparently, NBC News felt the same way after Almaguer’s report. They retracted it within hours, even though it turned out to be entirely accurate, and Almaguer hasn’t been seen on air since. Fox News wondered why yesterday:


NBC News correspondent Miguel Almaguer still has not appeared on air since his Nov. 4 report was retracted without explanation after it suggested Paul Pelosi may not have been in immediate danger when police arrived the night he was assaulted in the San Francisco home he shares with his wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Almaguer, a Los Angeles-based correspondent, is typically a fixture on NBC’s “Today” and “NBC Nightly News,” but was reportedly suspended when his stunning report was mysteriously retracted without explanation. …

Almaguer’s report seemed to coincide with theories that key details are being withheld from the public. For nearly a month, NBC News has refused to explain what was wrong about Almaguer’s report aside from a vague line that it didn’t meet company standards. NBC News hasn’t even admitted Almaguer is suspended with an on-the-record statement.

As of Monday morning, Almaguer had not tweeted since Nov. 3, either.

This retweet is still the most recent activity in Almaguer’s account:

One has to wonder whether NBC News is stuck in a position where they have to keep Almaguer sidelined indefinitely. They clearly don’t want to explain themselves or their actions. NBC suspended him for reporting what turned out to be true, but which NBC mysteriously claimed didn’t meet their “standards.” Presumably, truth isn’t a standard at NBC News. If it was, they (a) would have reinstated Almaguer at least at the time their Bay Area affiliate confirmed Almaguer’s initial report, and (b) would have retracted their retraction and explained their actions. They have done neither, and Almaguer remains on a media milk carton instead.


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