The Daily Caller deleted and walked back a tweet on Wednesday teasing the unsubstantiated possibility of a “nude selfie” of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“Here’s The Photo Some People Described As A Nude Selfie Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” the original tweet read, a copy of which has been archived here.
Those who clicked on the post were instead met with a picture of two feet soaking in a bathtub, which apparently belong to ex-congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting partner Sydney Leathers.
“As soon as editors noticed the twitter headline, we rapidly had it deleted and fixed. The story itself is otherwise no different than what HuffPo and Vice published,” the Caller said in a tweet explaining the situation. “We regret the error, as the intent was to inform our audience that a fake image was circulating online.”
It wasn’t just a Twitter headline, but also the headline of the actual article — which still remains live.
“As soon as I noticed it, I had it corrected and updated. I thought that was that, but apparently a screenshot was out there,” Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll told TheWrap. “The gist of the story, if you read it, was actually a defense of her. The URL is literally ‘fake-nude.’”
“But you know how the sausage is made with these things. Bad call on the headline side,” he added.
The story by the Caller’s longtime gossip columnist, Betsy Rothstein, was immediately seized upon online as the latest example of bone-headed criticism of the freshman New York Congresswoman who has developed a cult following among fans and opponents.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has enemies and they’re not shying away from releasing a phony nude picture of the newest, youngest member of Congress,” Rothstein wrote. “But the picture of beautifully painted purple toes and boobs reflected in a bathtub faucet do not belong to the New York Democrat.”
As per usual, Ocasio-Cortez herself led the charge on her latest target.
“For those out of the loop, Republicans began to circulate a fake nude photo of me. The @DailyCaller reposted it (!) and refused to indicate it was fake in the title as well,” she said on Twitter. “Completely disgusting behavior from Conservative outlets. No wonder they defended Kavanaugh so fiercely.”
“I know nothing shocks us anymore but this is truly abhorrent media behavior re: a sitting member of congress,” offered New York Times reporter Astead Herndon.
“The Daily Caller decided to post fake revenge porn because they don’t like AOC’s politics,” added the Atlantic Adam Serwer.
For those out of the loop, Republicans began to circulate a fake nude photo of me. The @DailyCaller reposted it (!) and refused to indicate it was fake in the title as well.
Completely disgusting behavior from Conservative outlets.
No wonder they defended Kavanaugh so fiercely.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 10, 2019
The daily caller decided to post fake revenge porn because they don’t like AOC’s politics pic.twitter.com/oM4dEM41PY
— Adam Serwer ? (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019
i know nothing shocks us anymore but this is truly abhorrent media behavior re: a sitting member of congress. pic.twitter.com/WpYgYci8RQ
— Astead (@AsteadWesley) January 9, 2019