By Raheem Kassam | Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute
Newsweek ran a story to coincide with the swearing in (or “inauguration”) of new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) this week. They suggested “conservatives” were outraged by a video of AOC dancing while in college. They lied.
There’s little to no evidence that any conservatives, in the real world or on Twitter, were affected by the video that came out this week in any way other than thinking “Ha, that’s kind of cute.”
Believe it or not, all of us were college students, or of college age, at some point in time. Most of us, in fact, danced at some point. Some of us still dance. We even post videos (and/or pictures) of us doing such things to our own social media profiles.
This must come as a big revelation to Newsweek writer Jason Le Miere, who, prior to running public relations pieces for the incoming congresswoman, spent a noteworthy amount of time on his Twitter page disparaging Israel.
The U.S. resupplying mortars and grenades to Israel is anything but surprising, yet still shocking. Despicable.
— Jason Le Miere (@JasonLeMiere) July 30, 2014
On the oppression Palestinian footballers suffer at hands of Israel. Of course, little chance of FIFA taking action. http://t.co/48hsuQC10r
— Jason Le Miere (@JasonLeMiere) May 22, 2015
— Jason Le Miere (@JasonLeMiere) August 6, 2016
We have more examples of Le Miere’s anti-Israel bias than he provided in his “news story” about conservatives being upset about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Le Miere used a single (now deleted) tweet from some anonymous account which (apparently) stated: “Here is “America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is…High School video of “Sandy” Ocasio-Cortez.”
In his defense, Le Miere claimed that other conservative accounts had retweeted the post. But what happened to the old Twitter adage, “RT ≠ endorsement”? Even so, he has cited none, and appears to have screen-grabbed none. which seems quite amateurish for a Twitter story.
In truth, Le Miere was just providing AOC some “look how cool she is!” coverage on the day of her swearing in, and she was able to use that to attack the political right. In other words, Newsweek and Le Miere laundered a fake news story on behalf of a political figure. She should declare it a campaign contribution.
Right-wing tweeters were quick to try and set Newsweek straight about their lack of seething over the video, but no corrections or amendments have been made to La Miere’s campaign briefing note story.
PR stunt. I’ve not seen a single conservative attack or mock Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for dancing in college. Most agree the video is adorable and fun. https://t.co/X5udnV4Gsm
— Shireen Qudosi (@ShireenQudosi) January 5, 2019
Lol and by “conservatives” this writer means.
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) January 5, 2019
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 5, 2019
You could find more conservatives who were not bothered by AOC’s performance than Le Miere found who were bothered. I suppose by Newsweek’s low standards we could even call this “data journalism.”
And to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez: If you’re reading this, remember, you complained constantly about unfair news coverage during your campaign. You have pledged to be “transparent” and honest during your time in office. You claim to be different. So show us.
I’m telling you that conservatives thought your video was fun and charming. Now retract your claims that you were somehow “attacked” by the GOP or conservatives for it. Be the change you seek.
Reproduced with permission from the author. Original can be viewed here.