A funny thing happened on the way to the accountability forum for the New York Times. In attempting to explain why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez broke out in tears after changing her vote on Iron Dome funding from nay to present, the NYT reported that a great deal of pressure had been brought to bear on House Democrats. Who applied that pressure? It depends on which version of the New York Times report you read.
This was the first take:
Caught between their principles and their…rabbis? Are the rabbis being mean to the Squad? Did AOC switch her vote because she was afraid she'd get in trouble and miss Shabbos Party? She was supposed to be the ima this week! pic.twitter.com/5KfAiQyyH9
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) September 24, 2021
It was the “influential … rabbis” that made AOC cry and forced her to vote present on bill that passed with, er, 420 votes? Why not just say “the Jooooos made her do it”?
Apparently someone else at the NYT figured out that this made the paper sound like an anti-Semitic conspiracy-theory tabloid. At some point, that passage morphed into this:
Minutes before the vote closed, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tearfully huddled with her allies before switching her vote to “present.” The tableau underscored how wrenching the vote was for even outspoken progressives, who have been caught between their principles and the still powerful pro-Israel voices in their party. (A spokesman for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez declined to comment on her change of position.)
Notice what’s missing? All of those “influential … rabbis” stalking the floors of Congress, that’s what. And for that matter, “influential lobbyists” too. Where did they go? At least the Paper of Record included a correction at the end:
An earlier version of this article misstated the final tally for the funding vote. It was 420 to 9, not 490 to 9.
D’oh! Thus far, there has been no explanation at all for the excision of the borderline-smear passage from the original report. Nor, I suspect, will we ever see one.
Besides, how absurd is it to posit that AOC caved to threats by rabbis or lobbyists under these conditions? The bill got 420 out of 435 possible votes, so there wasn’t any need for arm-twisting or even horse-trading. In fact, the idea that those lobbyists would waste their time on Ocasio-Cortez or any member of the Squad with this much support already on Iron Dome funding is pretty farcical. The point of this vote — or at least its obvious impact — was marginalizing them and making them look like fringe anti-Semites. Which is, of course, what they are.
If anything, that’s likely what had AOC in tears, and why she might have decided at the last minute to protect herself. John wrote last night that she may have been advised that a nay vote on Iron Dome funding would destroy any chance she has at challenging Chuck Schumer for his Senate seat, but the “present” vote isn’t much better for those purposes. Either the entire vote embarrassed her to tears — which it should have — or the tears were unrelated to this vote.
Anyway, the New York Times should revise its motto to “All the News That’s Fit to Excise.” Apparently they have learned nothing about the Internet after thirty years, but … that’s not exactly news either.