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AOC used her minute and a half to uplift the progressive movement. Photo by DNCC via Getty Images
AOC used her minute and a half to uplift the progressive movement. Photo by DNCC via Getty Images

Major news outlets mis-report Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ DNC speech at her expense

What was a procedural motion was made to appear as a jab at Joe Biden. AOC’s speech was anything but, and much more.

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It turned out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s speech at the DNC was part of a procedural requirement. The congresswoman was asked to nominate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), the only other Democratic Candidate in the running for the presidential nomination.

AOC used her 97-second pre-recorded speech to do so, but she also used the time to advocate for the progressive movement, denouncing xenophobia and violence in an optimistic speech that looked toward the future.

But immediately after her speech, major news outlets like NBC mis-reported AOC’s contribution to the DNC by omitting vital background as to why she would speak on behalf of Sanders when the whole point of this year’s DNC is to solidify Biden and Kamala Harris’ bid for office.

Major news outlets disregarded the background, jumping at the chance to spread misinformation about AOC for clicks.

“In one of the shortest speeches of the DNC, Rep. Ocasio Cortez did not endorse Joe Biden,” wrote NBC in a Tweet, making it sound like AOC was taking a jab at Biden and remaining steadfast with Sanders. 

This was not the case, and with the massive platform NBC has, other, smaller news outlets followed suit.

For instance, the New York Post’s headline reads: “AOC Nominates Bernie Sanders, snubs Joe Biden in DNC address.”

It wasn’t until hours later, after AOC clarified her symbolic, nominating speech on social media, that NBC went back to the tweet and clarified, adding an editor’s note about the confusion. 

But the damage and misinformation, had already run rampant online.

“You waited several hours to correct your obvious and blatantly misleading tweet,” wrote AOC on Twitter, addressing NBC.

“It sparked an enormous amount of hatred and vitriol, & now the misinfo you created is circulating on other networks. All to generate hate-clicks from a pre-recorded, routine procedural motion,” she continued.

 

In a subsequent tweet, AOC questioned how such a damaging tweet, when NBC possessed the full knowledge of AOC's remarks, came to be.  

“The DNC shared the procedural purpose of my remarks to media WELL in advance. @NBC knew what was going to happen & that it was routine. How does a headline that malicious & misleading happen w/ that prior knowledge?” she wrote.

Intentional or not, for a major news outlet like NBC to instigate such a divisive, misleading caption for a story is damaging to all. Not just to AOC, but journalists who must constantly fight attacks on their integrity in the era of “fake news” and when the true message of the speech is overshadowed.

AOC brought up many poignant topics in the short time she was allotted. As The Washington Post wrote, her concise yet poetic calls to action are her superpower. 

She emphasized the power and energy of people’s movement seeking to “repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny and homophobia,” and warned of the economic repercussions of a broken system.

 Let’s not let that be overshadowed by click-bait.

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