“It was a mistake,” but … was it really? The Fresno Grizzlies, a minor-league baseball club, issued a profuse apology to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and their fans for her inclusion in a video sequence about the “enemies of freedom.” The problem began when their employee found a better YouTube video of a Ronald Reagan speech played by the team as a tradition, but didn’t look too closely at the other changes made:
As the Grizzlies do at many Memorial Day games in their home stadium of Chukchansi Park, it played a video featuring a speech by President Ronald Reagan extolling American values and warning of “enemies of freedom and potential adversaries.”
As Reagan’s words about enemies were heard, images beamed on the scoreboard of Kim Jong Un, Fidel Castro — and Ocasio-Cortez, the outspoken first-term Democratic congresswoman from New York City. …
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” according to a team statement. “We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez … in addition to our fans, community and those we hurt. It was a mistake, and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.”
The foul-up happened after a team employee found that a YouTube producer, whose videos of Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address the Grizzlies had used before, had a new video of the speech in a higher resolution, Grizzlies spokesman Paul Braverman said.
The employee uploaded that newer video, which had been posted on YouTube just six days earlier, without watching all of it — and thus missing the inflammatory shot at Ocasio-Cortez, according to the Grizzlies.
Rule #1 for using YouTube videos for your events: Watch the whole thing first. It saves a lot of embarrassment later, although the more cynical amongst us might point out that hardly anyone would have heard of the Fresno Grizzlies before today. Suddenly, they’re national news. That’s a Mike Veeck-level promotion right there, as long as you believe that all publicity is good publicity. Given that Fresno is in California and AOC’s likely to be a bit more popular in the Golden State than elsewhere, though, bet against the eight-dimensional chess theories.
So yeah, it’s likely a mistake (in execution, anyway), and the apology almost certainly sincere. For the moment, Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t taken note of either. She’s too busy today defining her critics as misogynist again, this time looping in Elizabeth Warren (via Twitchy):
The reason women are critiqued for being too loud or too meek, too big or too small, too smart to be attractive or too attractive to be smart, is to belittle women out of standing up publicly.
The goal is to ‘critique’ into submission. & That applies to anyone challenging power. https://t.co/Ocxtjjdh1e
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 28, 2019
The “former waitress” schtick gets tiresome indeed, but it’s hardly a sexist impulse to belittle one’s opponents on the basis of a previous job. (When you’ve had a Universal Press Syndicate cartoonist make fun of your career in call centers, you tend to sympathize.) Everyone has had a previous entry-level job at some point, so it’s silly to belabor it, especially when the person being critiqued provides an abundance of material in her present position. Ocasio-Cortez may draw a lot of criticism, but it hardly seems to be pushing her into “submission,” or Warren either for that matter.
At least AOC isn’t demanding legal action to silence her critics, because that would make her an “enemy of freedom.” Oh, wait a minute …
Addendum: And let’s all remember to thank the Fresno Grizzlies for making that Reagan speech a tradition. Here it is again, less the enemies-of-freedom slideshow.