Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made quite a splash since she upset 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district.
The 29-year-old from the New York area has built a 2.8 million-strong Twitter following, pushed for a 70 percent tax rate, a Green New Deal, abolishing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a federal jobs guarantee and free college, and Netflix is said to be on the verge of paying $10 million to do a documentary on her life story.
She has vowed to recruit primary opponents for insufficiently progressive Democrats, rankled the Speaker of the House by joining protesters in a sit-in in the Speaker’s office and raised the profile of Justice Democrats, a socialist group with designs on control of the party.
As such, Ocasio-Cortez, who was largely ignored by the press before her upset of Crowley, has become a media darling with fawning features and appearances on news programs and late-night TV. But as the media has begun to pay more attention to her, they have raised a variety of questions about her proposals.
And her answers to those questions, according to a piece by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post, bear some similarity to another novice pol from New York who has taken Washington by storm – President Trump.
“Their backgrounds, gender and – especially – their politics are different, but the Republican president and the outspoken freshman Democratic congresswoman from New York share at least one similarity: Neither has been shy about using social media to pummel the press,” Farhi wrote in “When it comes to calling out the news media, Ocasio-Cortez has some things in common with Trump.”
“And like Trump, Ocasio-Cortez has been cheered on by millions of followers when she does so.”
Like Trump, Ocasio-Cortez has “squared off on Twitter against such varied media outlets as the New York Post, the Washington Post, Politico, the Hill newspaper, CBS News, Fox News and Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV for statements she deemed offensive, inaccurate or just tone deaf,” Farhi wrote.
“But there is a big difference: Ocasio-Cortez seems to respect the role of the news media, even as she criticizes it. Her jeremiads tend to be surgical rather than the blunt attacks that Trump has aimed at the mainstream media. To date, she hasn’t described journalists as ‘the enemy of the people.’”
Among her blunt, rather than surgical, comments was a tweet last month that read: “Public radio is great! As is @ProPublica, @frontlinepbs & a great deal of other incredible outlets worth our support.”
Then, after journalists were laid off at BuzzFreed, HuffPost and other left-leaning news sources, she tweeted “The biggest threats to journalism right now are tech monopolies & concentration of ownership. Health democracy requires high-quality journalism.”
Such praise, the Post noted, is “nearly unthinkable with Trump.” Yet, on Wednesday, Trump praised MSNBC for its reporting on the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman saying the Senate “has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
She does have a pugnacious side, the Post admitted. She has banned reporters from covering her – like Trump. Actually, Trump has banned only one reporter from covering him – Jim Acosta of CNN, and then only because Acosta struck down the arm of an intern who was attempting to take the microphone away from him after he had asked several questions at a press event – and Acosta has long-since been reinstated.
Another example of her surgical strikes came when her staff learned she was about to be awarded three (of a possible four) Pinocchios by the Washington Post’s fact-checker because it had assessed her claim that Walmart and Amazon were “paying people less than the minimum wage” to be mostly false.
“Me: I don’t think billionaires should concentrate wealth while employing people who are sleeping in cars working a zillion hours to survive. Next day: That will be TEN PINOCCHIOS to Ocasio, ‘zillion’ is not a number and I found someone who sleeps in a tent, not a car.”