And today in completely insane news regarding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she’s now opining on the racial makeup of the journalists who cover elections.
The New York City Democrat singled out CBS News in a tweet on Saturday in which she lambasted the network for not assigning a black reporter to cover the 2020 campaign.
“This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“Unacceptable in 2019. Try again,” she concluded.
This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.
Unacceptable in 2019. Try again. https://t.co/h7tmiBr9Fi
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 13, 2019
What I love about Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets is the summary dismissal at the end, usually appended to arguments that aren’t very strong. I can only imagine the smirk that passed across her face as her thumbs tapped out, “Try again.” She realized she was owning … well, the same people who give her fawning coverage.
The tweet, according to The Hill, was in response to another tweet from CBS News associate producer Ben Mitchell announcing the team that would be covering the election.
The thing about biting the hand that feeds you is that the hand usually notices. Take National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar:
Another thing AOC has in common with Trump: media scold. https://t.co/Xj9AAccWMP
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) January 13, 2019
Of course, the hand reacting to the bite, at least to AOC, is an opportunity to get more bites in.
“Or: maybe having powerful editorial positions awash in people from one race, class, or gender isn’t a good idea; since we get 1000% more takes on ‘brown lady says a curse word’ than an actual white supremacist in Congress,” she responded.
“If you won’t look the mirror, people will do it for you.”
Or: maybe having powerful editorial positions awash in people from one race, class, or gender isn’t a good idea; since we get 1000% more takes on “brown lady says a curse word” than an actual white supremacist in Congress.
If you won’t look the mirror, people will do it for you. https://t.co/P0PVfsTE4t
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 13, 2019
The tweet seemed to be in reference to a Media Matters for America study (always a sound augury) claiming that Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf—–!” got five times more coverage on cable news than recent, questionable comments about “white supremacy” by Republican Rep. Steve King.
This could alternatively be explained by the fact that Tlaib is a high-profile member of the incoming Democrat class who was defended for her outburst by key members of her own party (including Ocasio-Cortez) while King was an already-marginalized member of the GOP caucus who was permanently banished to political Siberia by virtually everyone in the party within hours after his comments hit the press.
Also, you can’t look in the mirror for someone else. But I digress.
This brand of aggressive identity politics works for a certain segment of the Democratic Party, a segment that argues life in the United States is a constant intersectional struggle and no issue can be looked at through any lens but this one.
While this viewpoint has seen greater success in certain pockets of the party, it hasn’t exactly translated to wider acceptance with the American people as a whole. This could at least be part of the reason why the Democrats are reportedly trying to “rein in” Ocasio-Cortez, although it certainly doesn’t seem to be working yet.
And then there’s also the fact that the CBS News team she’s attacking wasn’t “awash in people from one race, class, or gender.”
There are five women and seven men on it. One of them is Musadiq Bidar, who, according to media reports about him before he went off to college, escaped the Taliban in Afghanistan for the United States and “never saw the inside of a classroom until middle school.”
Additionally, there are several other people in that lineup above that don’t appear to be rich, entitled white men.
But no, there isn’t a black reporter who will be in front of the camera. And this is where we are in 2019, at least according to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: We’re so racially balkanized the only people who can effectively report on a certain segment of a population, even if it’s just being a talking head in front of a camera, is a member of that segment of the population.
“The Daily Show” used to parody this mentality with cast members who had titles like “senior black reporter” or “senior Asian reporter,” but that’s now apparently a serious reality to some people. Whatever individual talents these reporters might possess is wholly irrelevant. The primary question seems to be whether or not they represent a certain identity group.
There may be more jaundiced ways to look at the world, but I can’t think of many.
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