Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has attracted nationwide media attention for defeating an entrenched Democratic Party leader in New York’s 14th congressional district primary by running as a socialist.
But her campaign banned media from a townhall event last Sunday that was open to the public.
The local Queens Chronicle reported campaign spokesman Corbin Trent explained that Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was “mobbed” by reporters at a previous event upon her return to the Bronx from campaigning for progressive candidates nationwide with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trent said the unwanted attention led to a press ban both for for her “listening tour” stop in the Bronx and the townhall last Sunday in Corona.
“We wanted to help create a space where community members felt comfortable and open to express themselves without the distraction of cameras and press,” Trent said. “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.”
Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim warned in a tweet that Ocasio-Cortez “is in for a rough time on Capitol Hill – where reporters roam freely at all hours of the day and night – if this is her attitude toward the press.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet Friday, saying: “Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.”
She said the townhall “was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time.”
The Post reporter followed up with: “You cannot ban members of the press from events that are otherwise open to the public. That is not how it works. Period”
FoxNews noted her banning of reporters came the same week more than 300 publications across the country ran coordinated editorials criticizing President Trump’s labeling of establishment media as “the enemy of the people.”
You cannot ban members of the press from events that are otherwise open to the public.
That is not how it works.
— Seung Min Kim ()