Accuracy in Media

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for a worker boycott after coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted across the United States. Vice News shared her pro-boycott comments on social media as a preview of an upcoming program.

“When we talk about this idea of reopening society, you know, only in America does the president — when the president tweets about liberation — does he mean go back to work. When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot people should just say ‘no’ — we’re not going back to that,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez added, “We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

With over 22 million Americans filing for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic, Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks come across as insensitive and lacking common sense. Many low-wage workers have lost their jobs in retail, hospitality, and other service industries. As a result, they filed for unemployment benefits and struggled to find ways to pay the bills to sustain themselves and their families. It would be difficult for these low-wage workers to continue to boycott their employers or potential employers with unpaid bills and expenses to account for.

CNN and the New York Times did not cover nor fact-check Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a worker boycott. Ocasio-Cortez’s district is in New York City, where the New York Times is headquartered. For the New York Times to ignore Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a boycott was an example of dishonest and lazy journalism.

However, the New York Post and right-leaning media outlets Fox News and Washington Times covered her comments. The New York Post and Fox News operate out of New York City, similar to the New York Times.

Ocasio-Cortez’s salary is $174,000 a year, which is above the U.S. median income of $61,937.

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