Comics, Reporters Rally to Protect Ocasio-Cortez

Entertainment writers need a 12-step program to cure their addiction to late night TV.

In the Age of Trump outlets like Deadline.com, TheWrap.com and even the Associated Press feverishly churn out stories based on what late night comics say.

Just jokes? Not to these smitten journalists.

More specifically, it’s every slam uttered against President Trump and the GOP. Although said outlets are so addicted to late night fare now they regurgitate apolitical bits. 

Mostly, the reporters pounce on anything that puts Trump in a negative light. It’s “dog bites man” in a perpetual loop. That doesn’t stop these outlets from reporting on each barb, be they toothless or biting.

Here are just a few examples:

The list, if completed, would go on for quite some time. And there’s little sign the trend will slow anytime soon.

Derek Hunter’s new book, Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood explains why. The reporters, who mostly lean to the left, would love to write those comments themselves. They can’t. They haven’t given up entirely on journalistic protocol.

Yet.

So how can they get around that? By quoting comedians saying what they wish they could say. Yet something curious happened last week in late night land.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic Socialist who shocked incumbent Joseph Crowley last month, made her The Daily Show debut July 26. The conversation with host Trevor Noah veered toward her agenda, which includes free health care and education for all.

Lofty goals. So how does she plan to pay for that? It’s exactly what Noah asked, showing more grit than real journalists in recent weeks.

Here’s her response.

“If people pay their fair share, if corporations and the ultra wealthy, for example as Warren Buffet likes to say, if he paid as much as his secretary pays, if he paid a fifteen percent tax rate,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “If we reversed the tax bill but raised our corporate rate to 28 percent. If we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes that’s $2 trillion right there.”

Conservatives shredded her answers for their naivete and shoddy math.

Still, you’d expect the usual media subjects to repeat her answers. Or, at the very least, trumpet her appearance on a major late night outlet. Not exactly.

Here’s a partial list of news outlets which ignored her late night appearance with Noah.

TheWrap.com

Deadline.com

The Hollywood Reporter 

Variety

HuffPo shared her Daily Show interview, to be fair.

How could reporters ignore “a rising star of the Democratic party,” as Colbert cooed last week?

Could it be that she came off poorly, and editors weren’t eager to share her clumsy appearance? It isn’t the first time media outlets rushed to her defense in a way only they can: by ignoring a liberal who steps on a rhetorical rake.

Late night nation did their part for Ocasio-Cortez when she committed several gaffes right out of the gate. How many late night comics mocked her for that disastrous PBS Firing Line interview where she admitted she knew little about the Israeli-Palestinian debate?

How about the time she vowed to “flip this seat red,” a color associated with the GOP, not Democrats? Or when she credited the low unemployment rate to Americans having two jobs?

 

 

More recently, Ocasio-Cortez compared strict border enforcement to “ethnic cleansing.” Think that will make it into Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue any time soon? The Las Vegas odds against that happening are steep.

Both reporters and late night comedians are invested in Ocasio-Cortez’s success. Showing her flubs, or magnifying them through satire, simply won’t do. It’s the same reason mainstream reporters pounced on an obviously satirical interview meant to mock Ocasio Cortez. She must be protected at all costs.

At least for now.

[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.] 

 


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Column Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Christian Toto's picture