Rising Dem Star to the Media: You're Banned

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bars reporters from 2 events
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2018 3:15 PM CDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a winner of a Democratic Congressional primary in New York, addresses supporters at a fundraiser Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – Seems President Trump isn't the only one with media issues. Now rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has entirely banned reporters from two town-hall-style events, CNN reports. The congressional candidate hosted the "listening tour" community meetings last week—one in the Bronx on Wednesday and one in Queens on Sunday—where reporters were apparently kept away so residents would feel comfortable. "Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues," she tweeted Friday. "This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time."

The idea arose after the 28-year-old returned from a national media tour and was "mobbed" by journalists "even though we said no Q&A and no one-on-one interviews," her campaign manager tells the Queens Chronicle. As for the events, Sunday's allowed residents to bring up issues as Ocasio-Cortez sat in the front row. "We've been polite with racist people for far too long," she said at one point, according to the Twitter feed of a Mayor de Blasio aide. "There's a cultural idea that talking about race is divisive ... but I don't think it's divisive unless you’re a racist." A Washington Examiner correspondent criticized the press ban, saying "anyone could have walked in as long as they claimed to be a future constituent," but the Bronx progressive called it a "non story" and said future events "are open." (Read more town hall meeting stories.)

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