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Conservative media's Ocasio-Cortez obsession

Cenk Uygur and Olivia Nuzzi join Brian Stelter to discuss how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses Twitter and Instagram to disarm her conservative media critics. Uygur, who championed Ocasio-Cortez's candidacy, says "she uses social media as a jiu-jitsu to turn their attacks against them." Nuzzi points out that tweets are no substitute for interviews with reporters, however.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 1:29 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 1:42 PM

Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has done it. No, I don't just mean becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. I'm talking something potentially even more remarkable.

She's become the key topic of conversation for Fox News commentators.

In fact, President Trump's favorite network has what I'd like to refer to as "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome." They can't stop talking everything Ocasio-Cortez, from her choice of footwear to the type of apartment she can afford to the alleged impending doom she presents for America.

Could it be that a young, brown Latina woman is the new "villain" Fox News needs to keep viewers tuned in?

What makes this even more incredible is that Ocasio-Cortez has not been sworn in to Congress yet. In fact she only really gained national media attention in June, when she won her primary, defeating longtime Democratic Representative Joe Crowley.

Look at the way Ocasio-Cortez has triggered Fox News in just the last week alone. On Saturday, in yet another discussion of the rising Democratic star, one Fox News guest described her as "[Fidel] Castro's granddaughter, Ocasio-Cortez," claiming her values would bring a dangerous form of politics to America.

On Wednesday, Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy declared that Ocasio-Cortez should be person of the year because she had mainstreamed socialism, paving the way for other Democrats to reveal that they, too, are socialists.

Come Thanksgiving Day -- apparently there's no holiday break for Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome on Fox News -- host Charles Payne warned that Ocasio-Cortez was going to destroy everything. Payne told Fox News viewers in between their bites of turkey that "the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes of the world" are "like bulls in a china shop," adding ominously, "they just want to create havoc."

Then on Friday night, Fox News took its Ocasio-Cortez fetish to new heights, discussing her shoes in prime time. The segment opened with Fox News host Ed Henry first admitting the network's obsession with the soon to be member of Congress, stating, "we talk about her a lot on Fox & Friends Weekend." And then Henry led a discussion about the worn-out shoes Ocasio-Cortez used on the campaign trail that will soon become part of Cornell University's new exhibit on women in politics: "Women Empowered: Fashions from the Front Line."

In that conversation, Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy reiterated her fears of socialism and told viewers that Ocasio-Cortez wants to turn America into Venezuela, where people "don't have shoes on their feet because of what socialism has done to their country."

Fox News really needs to find another subject to discuss. In fact, after this segment on Friday, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to respond with the words, "No, no es amor/ Lo que tú sientes, se llama obsession." These lines are lyrics are from the song Obsesión, by Aventura, which translates into English as: "No, it's not love, what you feel is called obsession."

Ocasio-Cortez is right on the money. Fox News is obsessed with her. And it appears others in the right-wing media have also caught some of the Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome, as they also seemingly cover her every comment.

So what's driving all of this? Could it be that Fox News is realizing its longtime bogeywomen, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, are losing their luster for their viewers? (I actually enjoy flipping on Fox News on occasion because on that network it appears that Hillary Clinton is president.) Given that the Democrats won the most House seats this past election than in any year since 1974, using Pelosi to scare Fox News viewers into action doesn't seem to work anymore.

Or, does Fox News's Ocasio-Cortez obsession come from a darker place? Some call it "white anxiety," while others, like myself, call it white supremacy. Fox News has a history of stoking racial divisions. Just take a look at Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who have used their shows to warn viewers about the "browning" of America.

Has Fox News decided that Ocasio-Cortez is the manifestation of that? In addition to being a Latina woman, she's calling for bold, progressive initiatives for America that Fox News has deemed socialism. (In reality, Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialist and is championing issues like Medicare for all and raising the minimum wage to $15 -- not the government taking control of all means of production, as we would see in traditional socialist governments.)

Though we cannot know Fox News's motivations with any degree of certainty, one thing is clear: The more viewers keep tuning into segments in which they obsess over Ocasio-Cortez, the more the network will keep producing them.

So expect to see more of Fox News' Ocasio-Cortez derangement syndrome on display until the network can find a new "villain" who plays better for their audience.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 710607

Reported Deaths: 13248
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion968581722
Lake51908949
Allen39337672
Hamilton34643406
St. Joseph34306543
Elkhart27477432
Vanderburgh22099394
Tippecanoe21927213
Porter17987301
Johnson17571374
Hendricks16854310
Clark12715190
Madison12367337
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Monroe11510166
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Warrick7702155
Floyd7568176
Wayne6917198
Grant6855171
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Morgan6414138
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Marshall5801109
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Henry5588101
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Scott261553
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Jay186429
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Ohio56011
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1058395

Reported Deaths: 19033
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1229981360
Cuyahoga1080042072
Hamilton785031170
Montgomery50326998
Summit45710915
Lucas40568768
Butler37858572
Stark31586896
Lorain24333473
Warren23964293
Mahoning21029584
Lake20143365
Clermont19480229
Delaware18162130
Licking16185207
Fairfield15796197
Trumbull15666461
Medina14961259
Greene14765236
Clark13697293
Wood12828185
Portage12481196
Allen11374229
Richland11102198
Miami10568214
Muskingum8729127
Wayne8619209
Columbiana8589226
Pickaway8454121
Marion8409135
Tuscarawas8393240
Erie7644154
Hancock6746124
Ross6727146
Ashtabula6563166
Geauga6563146
Scioto6314101
Belmont5657159
Union560247
Lawrence5483102
Jefferson5372149
Huron5333114
Darke5285121
Sandusky5208120
Seneca5163120
Washington5095108
Athens509256
Auglaize477683
Mercer473785
Shelby458092
Knox4418108
Madison426559
Putnam423199
Ashland414488
Fulton411667
Defiance405596
Crawford3894102
Brown387755
Logan375176
Preble372498
Clinton364060
Ottawa359578
Highland348460
Williams330074
Champaign322357
Jackson309351
Guernsey308749
Perry290949
Fayette278448
Morrow277239
Hardin265964
Henry265066
Coshocton261058
Holmes255199
Van Wert239863
Pike234231
Gallia233346
Adams230252
Wyandot228354
Hocking210759
Carroll189747
Paulding169239
Meigs141738
Noble133037
Monroe129041
Morgan107723
Harrison105936
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
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