Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the next U.S. representative from New York’s 14th District, landed in some warm water last week when she kept the press out of two events.
The worthies of the Fourth Estate were none to happy, and Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to apologize and pose some rhetorical questions about public vs. private events, and when, indeed, locking out the media is appropriate.
But given one of Ocasio-Cortez’s inflammatory comments at one of the meetings, maybe the media were best left out.
The time has come, said she, to stop being “polite” to “racists.”
No Media Allowed
Ocasio-Cortez blocked the media from attending two town hall meetings, the Queens Chronicle divulged. The candidate tweeted that her “listening tour” through the district was “intended for lively, compassionate discourse with a diversity of viewpoints.”
But alas, the paper complained, the “compassionate discourse” did not included permitting the media to hear it:
According to the Democratic nominee in the 14th Congressional District, she and the dozens of area residents who attended the event “talked about race, immigration, healthcare, disability rights and housing.”
But unless you were in the room on Sunday, you won’t know what specific community problems were mentioned or how Ocasio-Cortez planned to address them once she is sworn in.
That’s because her campaign banned members of the media from attending the event, which was otherwise open to the public.
The New York Times noted that “decision had become a flash point for arguments over politics and press freedom. Some journalists pushed back on Twitter and advocated open access to public events — one scoffed that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a political newcomer, would be in for a rough time on Capitol Hill, where reporters roam freely.”
Biggest critique is it should‘ve been labeled “private,” even though we’d said prior it was closed to press.
Genuine Q?: how should we label a free campaign event, open to all, that’s a sanctuary space? Still private?
“Sanctuary space” is something of an odd locution for a candidate who has suggested “occupying airports” until Immigration and Customs Enforcement is abolished and the borders are open. Or maybe not. In any event, Ocasio-Cortez kept searching for an answer:
Not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but we are genuinely trying to create environments of where our constituents feel comfortable expressing honestly & engaging in discourse.
Usually people pay $5k/plate for that, but we were trying to make that enviro for all....
To be honest, the event was very successful.
People were much more comfortable sharing their personal issues with healthcare, housing, and immigration. It was a safe + powerful environment for change.
My apologies if the situation upset or alarmed journalists or constituents.
What Was Discussed
As Ocasio-Cortez noted, among the topics discussed in the “sanctuary” of her town halls were race and immigration.
According to the Chronicle, the meeting sounded like yet another excuse for the leftist to join the media’s bashing of certain types of people.
“We’ve been polite with racist people for far too long,” she said according to the Twitter feed of Nick Gulotta, an aide to Mayor de Blasio who was in attendance. “There’s a cultural idea that talking about race is divisive ... but I don’t think it’s divisive unless you’re a racist.”
Ocasio-Cortez also discussed the issue on Twitter on Monday.
“At yesterday’s town hall, someone asked how I, as just a human, am dealing with the hate, subconscious bias and criticism,” she wrote. “I’ve been told my whole life I’m not up to snuff. Folks always doubt my worthiness until I get it done.”
The Chronicle did not report whether Ocasio-Cortez explained how she divines that someone is a “racist” and can be trusted to talk about race without being “divisive,” although given the district she represents and the bias of her adoring media, an explanation was probably unnecessary.
No Obama Endorsement
Ocasio-Cortez, will, of course, win the election in November, barring a miracle. Yet for all the adulation the mathematically-challenged former bartender has received, the candidates she endorsed through the summer primaries, as The New American reported, haven’t fared all that well.
Even in Hawaii, a fellow Democratic-Socialist, Kaniela Ing, lost badly. Such was his vote count that the New York Times listed him under “other” in its report.
And oddly enough, everyone’s favorite leftist, former President Barack Hussein Obama, has not endorsed the young socialist even as she and candidates like her are driving the Democratic Party farther left than it already was.
Photo: AP Images