As a Twitter pal noted, this is yet another point of commonality between Ocasio-Cortez and that other populist politician from New York who’s good at social media, likes brawling with his political enemies, and whines endlessly about his coverage. They each have surrogates who’ll lie shamelessly for them, right to the camera, often blaming fake news as they do.
I don’t even fault Tucker for being unprepared to fact-check this lie. It’s so brazen that he must have panicked in the moment and wondered if maybe his own researchers had screwed up. Here’s the clip via Media Matters, which purports to be a fact-checking watchdog yet passed along this disinformation without comment for the good of The Cause.
Watch what happens when Tucker Carlson steps out of the conservative bubble and brings on an @AOC policy adviser who debunks all the conservative media lies straight to his face (spoiler: it doesn't go great for Tucker) pic.twitter.com/joDNXBBB7G
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 9, 2019
The document with the line about “economic security” for people “unwilling to work” wasn’t doctored. That’s a straight-up falsehood. It comes from the Green New Deal fact sheet that was posted a few days ago on Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional website and then quietly removed after people started laughing at it. Jeryl Bier provided the link to the archived version this morning. Read it for yourself. Here’s the much-mocked part that Tucker’s interested in:
It’s not a right-wing satire of her plan — although that line is so stupid and self-parodic that you might be forgiven for thinking it is if you didn’t know its provenance. Her advisor surely did. There were *actual* right-wing satires of the GND circulating online this week, which Ocasio-Cortez conveniently seized upon to whine — as usual — and to distract from the earnest idiocy of her own proposal:
When your #GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway https://t.co/BbHIn8cu0f
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 8, 2019
Her team could have told a more plausible lie to explain the inclusion of the “unwilling to work” line in the fact sheet. “A staffer accidentally published his own draft of the fact sheet, which AOC hadn’t authorized,” etc. That would have been embarrassing but not as embarrassing as the probable truth, which is that Democratic leaders jumped on the horn when the document went live on her website and told her to trash it pronto. The rogue-staffer excuse would have required Ocasio-Cortez to admit a mistake, though, which is not what social-media Jedis do. And it would have forced her to say — or at least claim — that she doesn’t believe “economic security” should be provided to those “unwilling to work” even though she probably does and assuredly some of her dopiest left-wing fans do.
Another point, via John Sexton. Why did Ocasio-Cortez retweet this clip from Tucker’s show to her millions of followers, fully knowing that the claim made in it about the “unwilling to work” line was false?
You could argue, however implausibly, that the advisor didn’t see the fact sheet on her website before it was taken down was speaking from ignorance. AOC surely saw it, though. Why is she amplifying a falsehood?
There’s not much else to say. An advisor to the left’s new star lied straight-up on Fox News about one of the most insane planks of her agenda because copping to it would have been too humiliating and she promoted that lie. Whether he was also lying in the clip in denying that she wants to make airplanes unnecessary is more of a judgment call, as that’s a matter of semantics: The overview of the GND endorses “build[ing] out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” You could read that charitably as meaning some, and only some, air travel would become unnecessary as cheaper, faster options to travel by rail proliferated. The whole point of the Green New Deal, though, is that its ambitions aren’t modest; like Cory Booker said yesterday, the left believes climate change is an existential problem and requires a moon-landing-scale response. If they really did get their wish and the country started plowing trillions into an endless series of public-transportation boondoggles in the name of reducing emissions, restricting air travel to the greatest extent feasible would obviously become part of that program. Like “economy security” for the lazy, though, it’s not something they want to address right now. That comes later, after they’ve made real political gains and can admit their agenda forthrightly.
Update: Annnnnd now here comes the belated “unauthorized draft was accidentally published” excuse.
There separately IS a doctored FAQ floating around. And an early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake (idea was to wait for launch, monitor q's, and rewrite that FAQ before publishing).
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) February 9, 2019