Accuracy in Media

Ari Fleischer called out a common identity politics trope used by members of the mainstream media to accuse them of personal animosity against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) when in reality they oppose her socialist policies.

On his show “Reliable Sources,” CNN anchor Brian Stelter hosted guest Laura Bassett, a Pulitzer Center grantee, Netflix consultant and former HuffPost political reporter.

“She’s got a target on her back because she ticks every box that makes conservative men uncomfortable,” Stelter quoted Bassett as saying in a tweet by Stelter.

Fleisher, a former press secretary for former president George W. Bush, tweeted out in response to Stelter:

“The left thinks everything is about identity politics, so they falsely claim Rs don’t like AOC because she is a ‘female, millennial, working-class Latina.’ That’s a terrible analysis. I don’t like her because she’s a liberal, anti-Israel socialist who supports a 70% tax rate.”

Observers have also pointed out the factual discrepancy in the story that many people claim about Ocasio-Cortez’s biography. She didn’t grow up working class in the Bronx-she grew up in a wealthy suburb of New York City.

As journalists with a Gannett paper report, “Ocasio-Cortez was 2 years old when her father, Sergio Ocasio-Roman, bought a modest home in Yorktown for $150,000. The family lived in the Parkchester section of the Bronx at the time and moved to the house in Yorktown a few years later. Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Yorktown High School in 2007 … Westchester County land records show that Ocasio-Cortez was living there with her mother and brother in 2016 when they sold the home for $355,000.”

U.S. Census data show that in Westchester County, median household income is $89,968, the poverty rate is just 8.5 percent. In Yorktown, the median household income is $115,732 and the poverty rate is just 3.3 percent, compared to about 12 percent nationally.

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