Democratic candidate for U.S. House in New York’s 14th district and self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez barred members of the media from being present at one of her town halls (a “listening tour”) in Queens this past week.
The Queens Chronicle reports that Ocasio-Cortez’s “campaign banned members of the media from attending the event, which was otherwise open to the public” on Sunday.
“According to the Democratic nominee in the 14th Congressional District, she and the dozens of area residents who attended the event ‘talked about race, immigration, healthcare, disability rights and housing.'”
“But unless you were in the room on Sunday, you won’t know what specific community problems were mentioned or how Ocasio-Cortez planned to address them once she is sworn in.”
The Chronicle’s report highlights the fact that Ocasio-Cortez has lately been on a national media blitz, campaigning for other Democrats running for office as far away as Hawaii and Kansas, but has been pointedly unwilling to oblige media scrutiny in her own backyard:
“[W]hen Ocasio-Cortez returned to the district for a Bronx community meeting with prominent healthcare activist Ady Barkan last Tuesday, her campaign manager, Vigie Ramos Rios, later told the Chronicle, she was ‘mobbed’ by reporters, ‘even though we said no Q&A and no one-on-one [interviews].'”
Hostile refusals to engage with media such as this might be falling into a pattern for the twenty-eight-year-old politician (and after previous humiliations, it’s not hard to understand why): earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez refused to engage in a debate with conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro—and likened the invitation to catcalling.