New York’s Democratic Socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has certainly been making the most of her newfound popularity in the media, appearing on multiple major networks and cable news shows. But when it came to a few local town hall meetings with her prospective constituents — meetings that were otherwise open to the public — the press was given the boot.
Queens Chronicle: Ocasio-Cortez bans press from town hall https://t.co/BuCtp6L9zY
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 17, 2018
The move seemed odd considering Ocasio-Cortez’s earlier comments on the importance of protecting a free press.
Yup. One of the reasons I warn against gossipy Trump news is because I fear it clouds the gravity of developments like this one.
Either way, this news is notable. As citizens our responsibility is to protect the free press and the independence of the FBI.
Things are heating up. https://t.co/5LA9vJQ7OJ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) February 1, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign manager Vigie Ramos Rios explained to the Queens Chronicle that the decision stemmed from a recent appearance where she was “mobbed” by reporters in spite of telling them ahead of time that there would be no interviews or Q&A opportunities.
Effectively blaming Ocasio-Cortez’s national popularity, campaign spokesman Corbin Trent told the Chronicle that press would likely be welcome at future events, provided the logistics could be worked out.
He explained, “We wanted to help create a space where community members felt comfortable and open to express themselves without the distraction of cameras and press. These were the first set of events where the press has been excluded. This is an outlier and will not be the norm. We’re still adjusting our logistics to fit Alexandria’s national profile.”
Conservative commentator Evan Siegfried offered another possible theory explaining the move, however, suggesting that perhaps the press was banned for “making her look bad.”
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) August 17, 2018
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