Historically, when have socialists ever been enemies of press freedom?
Get excited for “Reliable Sources” this weekend on CNN, when stalwart media defender Brian Stelter will respond to this troubling precedent from a left-wing Democrat by ignoring it.
[W]hen Ocasio-Cortez returned to the district for a Bronx community meeting with prominent healthcare activist Ady Barkan last Tuesday, her campaign manager, Vigie Ramos Rios, later told the Chronicle, she was “mobbed” by reporters, “even though we said no Q&A and no one-on-one [interviews].”
According to Ramos Rios and campaign spokesman Corbin Trent, that unwanted attention led to a press ban both for last Wednesday’s listening tour stop in the Bronx and Sunday’s in Corona.
“We wanted to help create a space where community members felt comfortable and open to express themselves without the distraction of cameras and press. These were the first set of events where the press has been excluded,” Trent said. “This is an outlier and will not be the norm. We’re still adjusting our logistics to fit Alexandria’s national profile.”
They kicked the press out because she didn’t want to be “mobbed” by reporters? She’s spent the past month on a de facto national media tour, occasionally with socialist-in-chief Bernie Sanders by her side.
The bit about wanting the media out supposedly for the sake of making participants comfortable reminds me of the leftist protests a few years ago at Mizzou. That was the excuse given at the time for “muscling” the press out of a public space: “We ask for no media in the parameters so the place where people live, fellowship, & sleep can be protected from twisted insincere narratives.” Eventually Trump’s going to kick Jim Acosta out of one of his rallies and claim tongue-in-cheek that CNN’s presence was making the MAGA fans in the arena “uncomfortable.” We all need a safe space.
A WaPo reporter noticed today’s news, even if Stelter is unlikely to do so:
.@Ocasio2018 is in for a rough time on Capitol Hill — where reporters roam freely at all hours of the day and night — if this is her attitude toward the press https://t.co/3RyBHVQEdq
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) August 17, 2018
In fairness to AOC, it’s likely not hostility to the press that led to her barring them, it’s the fact that at times she sounds … less than “well-versed” on the issues, let us say. And in fairness to Stelter, he probably will mention this — very briefly, in passing, notwithstanding the fact that Ocasio-Cortez is unquestionably the biggest new star in politics and normally he can’t get enough of stories about political hostility to the media. Don’t forget, he devoted a full sentence in his newsletter to Fox anchor Shannon Bream being physically intimidated by a lefty mob outside the Supreme Court the night Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. (“Concerning.”)
Update: She really is doubling down on a “safe space” justification here.
Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.
This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time.
We indicated previously that it would be closed to press.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 17, 2018