In 2015, CNN claimed that Donald Trump so aptly deflected media scandal that he ought to be dubbed “Teflon Don.”
In reality, that title more appropriately belongs to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The Bronx borough socialist has perfected the art of wriggling out of well-deserved media accountability, raising blame-dodging to a fine science.
Her shtick can be broken down into three identifiable steps:
First, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that accurate reports of her statements are right-wing media distortions
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched her political career with a rare degree of adulation. Then-Democratic Party co-chair Tom Perez called her “the future of the Democratic Party,” and the media lionized her for her defeat of 10-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley. Her future seemed bright.
Then she started speaking.
Whenever the media accurately quote her extreme words, she begins the first step of her three-part blame-shifting strategy: She claims her own words were the product of a conservative media disinformation campaign designed to make her or the far-Left members of her “Squad” look radical, anti-American, or outlandishly stupid.
In other words, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gaslights America.
She recently employed this tactic on behalf of her fellow radical, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), when the Minnesota congresswoman equated the United States and Israel, on one hand, with Hamas and the Taliban, on the other.
“Her comments were absolutely mischaracterized,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday. “This whole hubbub started with right-wing news outlets taking what she said out of context.”
Ocasio-Cortez began her tenure in office by using this strategy. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019, she told a receptive audience that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” She added that lawmakers don’t have the luxury of being concerned about the cost of the remedy, because “this is our World War II.”
The internet’s echo of her words sounded very much like the whole world laughing at her. So, five months later, she decided to make her statement retroactively sarcastic.
“This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and ‘fact check’ it. Like the ‘world ending in 12 years’ thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal,” she tweeted. “But the GOP is basically Dwight from The Office so who knows.”
This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and “fact check” it.
Like the “world ending in 12 years” thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal.
But the GOP is basically Dwight from The Office so who knows. https://t.co/pmkwrdeAnq
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2019
Unfortunately for her, video of the incident shows that she made her statement in humorless earnest. She even added that she wished she “didn’t have to be doing every post” on social media, but until others step up their online criticism of the congresswoman’s enemies, “I’m just going to let them have it.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 22, 2019
Having succeeded once, Ocasio-Cortez did the same thing following the disastrous rollout of her Green New Deal a few weeks later. The official FAQ produced by her office said that her plan would provide a guaranteed income to anyone “unwilling to work,” claimed every building in America could be revamped easily, and foresaw all air travel being replaced by technologies that don’t exist yet. When that inspired titters of laughter, she again claimed that conservatives “doctored documents” … and somehow convinced her office to release them to NPR, presumably?
When she can’t blame the right-wing noise machine for distorting her words, she blames conservatives for believing them. “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right,” she said. In other words, take her seriously, not literally.
Second, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insists media coverage of her statements puts her life ‘in danger’
In tandem with her kneejerk reflex of lying, she simultaneously blames the victim, claiming that any media criticism could get her killed in cold blood.
She tested the tactic in April 2019, when Ilhan Omar trivialized 9/11 by describing it as merely a day when “some people did something.” President Donald Trump tweeted out her remarks, bringing harsh commentary on Omar. “Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted without evidence.
Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress.
We must speak out.
“First they came…” pic.twitter.com/ygOX1vhE9j
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 12, 2019
Omar likely receives death threats, because everybody in public life receives death threats. That doesn’t place her above accountability, except in the Squad’s media playbook.
In July 2019, Ocasio-Cortez escalated the bloodlust by claiming none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been “singling out four individuals,” while “knowing the media environment that we’re operating in, knowing the amount of death threats that we get.”
This winter, she was at it again, finding yet another would-be assassin in Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). When Cruz dared to say he agreed with one of her positions, she replied, “you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago” and mentioned “the still-raging aftermath of the attacks you had a role in.”
I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out.
Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed.
In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign. https://t.co/4mVREbaqqm
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 28, 2021
Rather than question what proof she had that Ted Cruz was, in fact, trying to have her murdered, the media did virtually nothing to clear the conservative senator. NBC News reported that Cruz “insisted” that he “did not incite any violence” — as though there were any question about it. CNN hedged that, while Sen. Cruz wasn’t “trying” to get her killed, “Ocasio-Cortez can mount a reasonable argument that the Texas Republican’s actions had the effect of fueling the violent insurrection.”
Ocasio-Cortez used the tactic again last week on Omar’s behalf, blaming a group of Jewish Democrats for engaging in “vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting” of Omar, since they “have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations.”
Third, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez waits for the media to drop the issue (and they always do)
How exactly did Ted Cruz try to arrange a hit inside the U.S. Capitol? Who was the mysterious staffer who supposedly leaked a doctored Republican version of the Green New Deal FAQ? Why did everyone, including Ocasio-Cortez’s face, think she was serious when she said the world would end in a dozen years?
And how exactly do “right-wing media” so consistently put the words of a tragically uninformed, wild-eyed radical into her mouth? The media never ask; they simply let the congresswoman skate with her latest equivocation.
Like Ralph Northam, Andrew Cuomo, or Bill Clinton, she just waits out the outrage and survives to slander another day. Now you know exactly how she manages it.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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