“Media routinely post menacing photos of people-of-color victims.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the media for supposed racism Sunday after The New York Times published a “glamour shot” of former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
In a series of tweets, Ocasio-Cortez bitterly compared The Times’ photo of Hicks with coverage of crimes involving non-white people. She claimed that the “media routinely post menacing photos of people-of-color victims + dredge up any questionable thing they’d ever done.”
“But when Hope Hicks considers not complying w a subpoena, it’s glamour shot time,” she said.
Yup. Where’s the “no angel” take now?
In the immediate aftermath of shootings, media routinely post menacing photos of people-of-color victims + dredge up any questionable thing they’d ever done.
But when Hope Hicks considers not complying w a subpoena, it’s glamour shot time. https://t.co/ACnvXlKF7Q
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 26, 2019
The congresswoman’s commentary came in a retweet of a post by former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, a race-conscious media critic, who had made a similar point.
In a follow-up tweet, Ocasio-Cortez shared a link to an essay about “toxic white feminism,” which she she said explains “how this behavior (& its defensiveness) should change.”
Then, she continued her rant about Hicks, President Donald Trump’s former communications chief.
She accused The Times of trying to make the ex-model’s dilemma about “participating in a coverup” for Trump into “some Lifetime drama called ‘Hope’s Choice.'”
“Treat her equally,” Ocasio-Cortez demanded.
What gets me is news breaks that this woman is weighing committing a crime before Congress &it’s getting framed by the NYT as some Lifetime drama called “Hope’s Choice.”
This is a fmr admin official considering participating in a coverup led by the President.
Treat her equally. https://t.co/XcNbSuU4QB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 26, 2019
According to The Times report by White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, Hicks is “facing an existential question” regarding the subpoena. The House Judiciary Committee has ordered her to turn over documents by June 4 and to appear in person on June 19.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team already interviewed Hicks during its nearly two-year investigation of Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. However, after cooperating with Mueller – who found no collusion and offered no verdict on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice – the White House has stonewalled efforts by House Democrats to keep probing.
Neither Hicks nor the White House commented to The Times about whether Trump had given her instructions regarding the subpoena.
An Ocasio-Cortez-Hicks beauty contest?
Per usual, a debate erupted in the replies to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet. Critics disputed her claim that the press is especially hard on ethnic minorities.
Right-wing pundit Mike Cernovich cited the counterexample of Rolling Stone’s infamous 2013 cover featuring Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The convicted terrorist was a Kyrgyzstani Muslim immigrant to the United States.
You were saying? pic.twitter.com/EnLz1mQ3l3
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 26, 2019
Raheem Kassam, the editor-in-chief of conservative news website Human Events, accused Ocasio-Cortez of wanting more-flattering photos of “black or brown” murderers. He added that the media is simply biased toward “pretty/famous people” for the sake of “selling newspapers.”
It’s just called selling newspapers. People like interesting pictures of pretty/famous people. They don’t like the same sorts of pictures of murderers. You are weird.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) May 26, 2019
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez’s defenders accused Kassam and others of missing the point. They said the Democrat was criticizing the media’s allegedly racist attempts to minimize certain crimes.
Actually she was referring to black and brown victims who are then treated by the media as criminals who deserved what happened to them
— Samantha Roberts (@Sasmit5) May 26, 2019
However, drawing a parallel between the victim of a shooting and Hicks would seem like a stretch. And regardless of exactly what Ocasio-Cortez meant, Kassam’s point about the media’s financial incentives would be hard to dispute.
Indeed, as a pretty and famous person herself, Ocasio-Cortez has received plenty of positive press coverage despite identifying as a “person of color.”
Yet by invoking “white feminism” to criticize The Times, Ocasio-Cortez seemed to signal that she sees herself as a victim of her race even more than her gender, at least until the next social injustice.