Incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took a spin at media criticism on Tuesday, by calling out Politico over its reporting on her and targeting the site’s use of anonymous sources.
“One disappointment about DC is the gossip that masquerades as ‘reporting.’ This story has: Not a SINGLE named or verifiable source. Only ONE on-the-record comment, which is a denial. My dad had a name for junk articles like this: ‘Birdcage lining,'” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.
“For the record,” she continued in a follow-up tweet. “This is the second @politico article about me in a short period of time with *0* named sources to back claims containing false information. Their articles are printed + distributed to **Congressional offices** – w/ no named sources. It’s really unfortunate.”
The newly elected Democratic representative from New York took exception to this Politico piece by Laura Barrón-López suggesting that Ocasio-Cortez was planning to help a primary challenge to one of her Democratic colleagues, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. As Ocasio-Cortez noted, the nut of the piece relied on a single anonymous voice.
“A person who has discussed the project with Ocasio-Cortez and her team said the congresswoman-elect has recruited an African-American woman to challenge Jeffries, who was just elected to replace Crowley as caucus chairman — the No. 5 House Democratic leadership position,” wrote Barrón-López.
In a statement to TheWrap, Politico said they remained confident with their story.
“Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not specify in her tweet what she believes is incorrect with the piece, nor has she or anyone from her staff reached out to our team for a correction,” the company told TheWrap. “We stand by our reporting.”
Many in the comments section of Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet noted how similar her complaint was to those made against the media by President Trump, who has also railed against anonymously sourced articles from various publications. It’s also not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has taken aim at the press.
In August, before her upset primary victory over veteran Rep. Joseph Crowley, she took heat after a decision to bar the media from two town hall meetings — a move she later said was “designed to protect” members of her district.
Even allied journalists like The Intercept’s Ryan Grim said they would have also employed anonymity in this case, in order to protect the source.
“In the case of the woman at the top of @lbarronlopez’s story, I’d have also granted her anonymity if I firmly believed she was telling the truth,” he said on Twitter.