By Jon Dougherty, editor-in-chief
We’re quickly learning that not only is socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) buying into all of the media hype about her being the second coming of the American Revolution, she can’t stand it when she’s called out for being egregiously wrong about policy.
Earlier this month, “AOC” as she’s come to be known, claimed that the “vast majority” of Americans cannot earn a “living wage” despite their working more than the equivalent of two full-time jobs.
She also claimed that “corporations” including Amazon and Walmart were siphoning off government funds while refusing to pay their workers even minimum wage.
Specifically, she said, “I think it’s wrong that a vast majority of the country doesn’t make a living wage, I think it’s wrong that you can work 100 hours and not feed your kids. I think it’s wrong that corporations like Walmart and Amazon can get paid by the government, essentially experience a wealth transfer from the public, for paying people less than a minimum wage.”
The Washington Post’s fact checker, Glenn Kessler, praised her for wanting to improve Americans’ lives but noted that she was dead wrong about what she was saying, so he gave her three out of four Pinocchios.
Ocasio-Cortez is the brash congressional newcomer who knows how to spark a national conversation. She’s been focusing on income inequality, a worthwhile discussion at a time when the income gap has widened and as low- and middle-wage workers have experienced little improvement in real wages over the past few decades.
But she is sometimes fast and loose with her facts. There are a torrent of claims in the statement above, worthy of further scrutiny.
Frankly, it isn’t surprising that the Post is attempting to take AOC down a notch or three. The Post is a liberal establishment paper; Ocasio-Cortez is a radical Leftist socialist who has demonstrated already she has no tolerance for “old” Democrats (because she beat one to get to Congress in the first place if you recall) or the Democrat establishment way of doing things in D.C.
In any event, Little Miss Thing didn’t like being fact-checked. Kessler wrote, “Ocasio-Cortez is media-savvy and appears to have tried to preempt this fact-check shortly after we had a tense conversation with her spokesman. She tweeted: ‘Me: ‘I don’t think billionaires should concentrate wealth while employing people who are sleeping in cars working a zillion hours to survive.’ Next day: ‘That will be TEN PINOCCHIOS to Ocasio, ‘zillion’ is not a number and I found someone who sleeps in a tent, not a car.’ ”
After the fact-check was published, Ocasio-Cortez continuing reacting like a spoiled teenager who just got sent to her room:
If the point of fact-checking is to enforce some objective standard, why would
@GlennKesslerWP use a Walmart-funded think tank as reference material for wage fairness? That’s like citing the foxes to fact-check the hens. Here’s 4 Geppettos for your contested Pinocchios
Kessler pushed back:
Check the name of the author: Jason Furman, chairman of Council of Economic Advisers under Obama. He's someone I have known for 20+ years and he is simply citing some basic economics. I included the link only because his discussion of the economics was detailed and thorough.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 24, 2019
He also pushed back on Friday. “Since @AOC accused The Fact Checker of relying on a Walmart-funded think tank paper when we fact-checked her, we need to set the record straight,” Kessler tweeted. “She’s wrong. Don’t always believe what you see on Twitter. The article has been updated with a note explaining the provenance.”
The tiff arose some three weeks after the extreme Left’s new crown princess questioned “the standard of who gets fact-checked” and “how often” by fact-checkers, whining that she’s being singled out for it though she’s a freshman lawmaker who just took office.
“Facts are facts, America. We should care about getting things right. Yet standards of who gets fact-checked, how often [and] why are unclear,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote to her more than 2.1 million followers while sharing an opinion piece from Fair.org that was also published by Salon.
“This is where false equivalency [and] bias creeps in, allowing climate deniers to be put on par w/scientists, for example,” she added.
Yes, facts are facts — and spin is spin and ideology is ideology. Too often in AOC’s world, those three things get mixed in together.
Here’s some advice for one of our newest members of Congress: Policymaking involves a robust discussion and critique of all ideas, not just yours, and that’s as it should be. If you’re going to allow yourself to become a media darling and political focal point, then you’re going to be challenged on your policy objectives. If you don’t want to be, don’t put your ideas out there and stop running to every TV camera you can find.
And in the meantime, grow up. You’re a leader now.
Never miss a story! Sign up for our daily email newsletter — Click here!