Steve August 20, 2020
ocasio-cortez-doubles-down-on-nbc-news-‘recklessness’:-‘we-saw-what-happened-in-’16’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is doubling down on her pushback against NBC News after the media outlet misconstrued her role at the Democratic National Convention in a Tuesday night tweet and headline and then took hours to correct the record. 

On Thursday, the congresswoman quote-tweeted a take by New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen that lambasted NBC News as a whole for the misleading information peddled about Ocasio-Cortez. Rosen wrote that while many were blaming NBC’s social media team for the tweet, the “account broadcasting this pathetic error speaks in the name of the entire news division.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded by echoing those sentiments and stressed that the network’s “misleading headline” about her very short nomination speech for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ― suggesting something untoward because it didn’t also endorse Joe Biden ― caused “thousands of people” to be “confused and angry.”

“@NBCNews still hasn’t apologized,” she wrote in her tweet, adding: “This is on their entire news team.” 

Yes. NBC’s misleading headline, which had thousands of people confused and angry, wasn’t a mistake. It was clickbait.

It wasn’t just a tweet, either. It was repeated in other headlines & posts.@NBCNews still hasn’t apologized. As stated here, this is on their entire news team. https://t.co/oV12mFitci

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 20, 2020

The lawmaker continued in another tweet that she’s taking this issue as seriously as she is because it’s reminiscent of the “recklessness before in ’16.”

“We have seen click-hungry media coverage bring voters to a froth for no reason but views,” she wrote, adding that it will happen to Democratic nominees Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, too, and that it “needs to stop now.”

I am taking this seriously because we have seen this recklessness before in ‘16.

We have seen click-hungry media coverage bring voters to a froth for no reason but views.

It was me this week, but they will do it to Kamala, Biden, or anyone else next week. It needs to stop now.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 20, 2020

She emphasized in another tweet that NBC News may be a “legacy brand,” but the “manipulative behavior” displayed in its tweet is still “dangerous & needs to be checked.”

.@NBCNews still hasn’t apologized.

It doesn’t matter how big a “legacy brand” a news division has, this kind of manipulative behavior is dangerous & needs to be checked.

We saw what happened in ‘16. This recklessness will easily extend to the Dem ticket if it doesn’t stop now. https://t.co/zBe7rGGQAh

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 20, 2020

On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez had delivered a symbolic nominating speech for Sanders to honor his campaign and the delegates he won around the country. A tweet and a story headline by NBC News both made it appear that the representative was deliberately snubbing Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee.

NBC News’ tweet remained up for a few hours Tuesday night, causing a frenzy online as readers began lashing out at Ocasio-Cortez for the perceived dis. The news outlet issued a two-part clarification in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Editor’s note and clarification (1/2):

This tweet should have included more detail on the nominating process.

We have deleted the tweet to prevent its further spread, but it can be seen here for the record. pic.twitter.com/txXo4CCMOt

— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 19, 2020

Editor’s note and clarification (2/2):

Ocasio-Cortez was asked by the DNC to second Sanders’ nomination. The nomination is a procedural requirement of the convention.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously endorsed Biden, & her speech was similar in length to other nominating speeches.

— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 19, 2020

However, the damage had already been done.

Long before NBC News’ clarification, the progressive Democrat offered an explainer for those who were perplexed by her DNC speech and the resulting coverage. She gave her “deepest congratulations” to Biden and called the coverage of her own remarks “completely unacceptable, disappointing and appalling.”

In a later tweet, she wrote: “So @NBCNews how are you going to fix the incredible amount of damage and misinformation that you are now responsible for? Because a 1:15am tweet to slip under the radar after blowing up a totally false and divisive narrative across networks isn’t it.”

You waited several hours to correct your obvious and blatantly misleading tweet.

It sparked an enormous amount of hatred and vitriol, & now the misinfo you created is circulating on other networks.

All to generate hate-clicks from a pre-recorded, routine procedural motion. https://t.co/crDlEymgMD

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

This is completely unacceptable, disappointing, and appalling.

The DNC shared the procedural purpose of my remarks to media WELL in advance. @NBC knew what was going to happen & that it was routine.

How does a headline that malicious & misleading happen w/ that prior knowledge?

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

So @NBCNews how are you going to fix the incredible amount of damage and misinformation that you are now responsible for?

Because a 1:15am tweet to slip under the radar after blowing up a totally false and divisive narrative across networks isn’t it. https://t.co/zf6Wqiotvv

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

The youngest woman ever to serve in Congress has been the target of much ire, despite having first run for office only two years ago. A Latina who had famously worked as a bartender, she quickly became one of the most talked-about players in Washington as her powerful, punchy speeches and her proclivity for dunking on people on Twitter often upset conservatives.

She has also been outspoken about the media’s tough coverage on her in the past. As Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2019: “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

NBC News did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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