I almost started this article with a warning that it was going to get very weird very quickly, but it has AOC right in the title so I’m guessing you already assumed that. And for once, it’s not about any new crazy theories of how to pay for Medicare for All or anything along those lines.
This week the freshman New York Congresswoman finds herself in a spat with the president of Barstool Sports, David Portnoy, over a question of unionization. Or at least that’s what’s being described by Free Beacon reporter Bill McMorris. In any event, a union activist with the Writers Guild East apparently sent out an open invitation to the writers at Barstool Sports if any of them wanted some information on how to unionize. This brought a swift and seemingly brutal response from their president, David Portnoy.
Rafi Letzter, a staff writer for Live Science and union activist with the Writers Guild East, invited Stoolies, as the site’s fans and writers are called, to contact him via Twitter.
“If you work for Barstool and want to have a private chat about the unionization process, how little power your boss has to stop you, and how you can leverage that power to make your life better: my DMs are open,” Letzter said.
Portnoy responded rapidly.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 13, 2019
And that’s where AOC gets dragged into the discussion, seemingly informing Portnoy that he can be sued for saying something like that.
If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law &can be sued,in your words, “on the spot.”
ALL workers in the US have the protected freedom to organize for better conditions.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 13, 2019
It goes downhill from there, and you can read all of the details at McMorris’ article linked above. Portnoy challenges AOC to a debate. She doesn’t respond. It’s kind of crazy.
The icing on the cake comes when McMorris finishes his report on a personal note, stating that the Free Beacon has been approached in the past about unionizing, but it never happened because of, “aggressive countermeasures and intimidation tactics by Free Beacon senior management.” He then goes on to quote Free Beacon co-founder and president Aaron Harison as threatening to kill any of his writers who tried to unionize. Thankfully, that part was just a joke.
But the rest of it was real. So let’s examine the public/private statements being tossed around here. First of all, Portnoy supposedly tweeted (in all seriousness) that he would fire anyone who sent a DM to a union rep. If that wasn’t a joke, he’s just opened himself up to a fresh hell of his own making and lawsuits as far as the eye can see. (Mark this date. I’m going to publicly state that AOC was right about something.) And the champion riding to the rescue of his employees is AOC?
It’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s real from what’s fantasy in American politics these days. Welcome to 2019 I suppose.