Politics & Policy

AOC Suggests the Media Unfairly Target Her Personal Life

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with reporters as she arrives for a class photo with incoming newly elected members of the House on Capitol Hill, Nov. 14, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
And I can’t stop laughing.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired off a tweet suggesting that the media unfairly target her family and love life in their reporting — and I can’t stop laughing.

Here’s the tweet:

First of all, the article she is referencing about her mom’s view of her relationship includes an interview with her mom. So, if she didn’t want the media reporting on her family life, maybe she should tell her family to stop talking to the media. Seems a little simpler than having to put all that effort into playing the victim, right?

Second of all, she’s wrong. She’s not the only one — far from it. In fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw this tweet was “Okay, then why do I know that the president loves Diet Coke more than he loves condoms?” I mean, seriously. The media doesn’t just also sometimes report on President Trump’s personal life; it is actually completely obsessed with President Trump’s personal life!

Don’t believe me? Here are some actual headlines from President Trump’s time in office: “Trump’s alleged failure to use condoms with Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal raises questions, concerns” (The Mercury News). “What Melania & Trump’s Hand-Holding Struggles Say About Their Marriage, According To Body Language Experts” (Bustle). “Every time Donald and Melania Trump have faked holding hands with each other” (The Independent). “This absurdly uncomfortable video of Donald Trump trying to hold Melania’s hand is going viral — here’s what a body language expert has to say about it” (Insider). “Reporter asks Melania Trump: Do you love your husband?” (ABC). “Trump doesn’t want Barron to play football” (CNN). “Inside Melania Trump and Barron Trump’s Relationship” (The Cheat Sheet). I could go on, but I unfortunately have dinner plans in about five hours, and finding all of the headlines about the Trumps’ personal lives would probably not allow me to eat until approximately 2037.

Now, I do realize that she referred specifically to “members,” but that doesn’t make her tweet any less stupid. Other members of Congress have to deal with speculation about their personal lives, too. In 2018, Sen. Lindsey Graham felt the need to come out to the media and say that he’s not gay. Here’s a McClatchy article that gets into the legal troubles of Senator Ted Cruz’s half-sister, who died in 2011. In 2016, The Daily Mail ran a piece titled “EXCLUSIVE: Bernie Sanders’ very 1960s love life revealed — his first wife, the woman who had his son, and the sugar shack home where he lived as a ‘revolutionary.’” Senator Kamala Harris’s affair with Willie Brown dominated almost an entire news cycle.

In other words: If someone really did tell her that politicians’ personal lives are off-limits for the media, then they were, quite clearly, wrong. Politicians, particularly famous stars like Ocasio-Cortez, are always going to face that kind of scrutiny because, well, they’re famous. I’m not saying it’s good; I’m not saying it’s bad; I’m saying it’s life — and pretending to be some kind of unique victim in a situation where you’re not one doesn’t accomplish anything except make you look foolish.

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