Tweet About Ocasio-Cortez's Clothes Sets Off a Ruckus

Conservative reporter takes flak after posting image and questioning if she 'struggles'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2018 8:09 AM CST
Tweet About Ocasio-Cortez's Clothes Sets Off a Ruckus
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., joined at left by Rep.-elect Joe Neguse, D-Colo., exits a Democratic Caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was expected to draw a lot of attention this week during orientation for incoming congressional freshmen, and draw attention she has. It began on day one, when the 29-year-old from the Bronx joined young climate activists in a protest at the office of Nancy Pelosi. The latest flare-up involves a since-deleted tweet about her clothes from a conservative reporter, reports USA Today. Details:

  • The tweet: Washington Examiner reporter Eddie Scarry tweeted an image of the lawmaker Thursday. "Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now," he wrote. "I'll tell you something: that jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles." (Ocasio-Cortez had recently talked about the difficulty of affording rent in DC.) You can see a screenshot of the post in this tweet from Soledad O'Brien, one of many who came to Ocasio-Cortez's defense.
  • The backlash: It came quickly, with critics accusing Scarry of sexism and worse, and not just from the left. "Don't like how some bitter obsessed Republican fashion policemen are stalking @Ocasio2018," wrote Geraldo Rivera of Fox News. "It's creepy." To Scarry (unnamed), he added: "The embattled GOP needs you like a toothache." needled Scarry for his reference to the lawmaker as a "girl" and provided the proper definition of the term.

  • Ocasio-Cortez: She responded with humor (tweeting an image of a decked-out Kramer from Seinfeld), along with a barb: "Oh, does @eScarry think he can delete his misogyny without an apology? I don't think so. You’re a journalist - readers should know your bias."
  • Elaborating: "If I walked into Congress wearing a sack, they would laugh & take a picture of my backside," she wrote. "If I walk in with my best sale-rack clothes, they laugh & take a picture of my backside. Dark hates light—that's why you tune it out. Shine bright & keep it pushing."
  • Scarry responds: After deleting the tweet, the reporter wrote: "ATTN! I posted a tweet earlier suggesting the incoming congresswoman looked well put together -- ELEGANT even -- despite suggestions she’s struggled. The tweet was taken as something else, so I’ve deleted it!"
  • The context: The Washington Post recounts how Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist, has been pilloried on the right since emerging on the scene. Critics have picked apart her personal life, mocking her "expensive taste" after a magazine shoot that saw her clad in a $3,000 outfit. "You don’t get to keep the clothes, duh," she responded after one such roasting on Fox. A conservative radio host posted an image of her childhood home, suggesting it was nicer than "the Bronx hood upbringing she's selling."
  • Another headline: Politico reported that Ocasio-Cortez "fought" with veteran Rep. Frank Pallone over climate change (and whether to create a special panel) at a closed-door meeting. Ocasio-Cortez responded that the story was "completely false" and that the only interaction she had with the "kind" Pallone was to say hello. "When did Politico turn into TMZ?"
  • Mistaken ID: Ocasio-Cortez says people also keep mistaking her for an intern or a congressional spouse, notes Jezebel. "Next time try believing women + people of color when they talk about their experiences being a woman or person of color," she wrote.
(Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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