Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accuses NBC of spreading misinformation after DNC speech

Congresswoman says NBC tweet about her endorsement of Bernie Sanders ‘sparked an enormous amount of hatred’

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused NBC News of spreading an “incredible amount of damage and misinformation” overnight on Tuesday after the network construed a routine procedural speech by her as a snub of the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.

Speaking on the second night of the Democratic national convention (DNC), Ocasio-Cortez was assigned to second the nomination of Senator Bernie Sanders as president. Sanders ended his presidential bid and endorsed Biden last spring, but he was in line for a formal nomination as part of the process of transferring his delegates to Biden.

Ocasio-Cortez had originally endorsed Sanders for president during the primary season before switching her support to Biden.

“In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment and lack of healthcare,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a short speech on Tuesday, “en ​espíritu del pueblo​ and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America.”

Soon after, NBC News sent a tweet that seemed to impute some intrigue to the fact that Ocasio-Cortez had not endorsed Biden for president. Such endorsements are not typically conferred in the convention setting and there was no reason or expectation for Ocasio-Cortez to do so.

But an NBC News account tweeted: “In one of the shortest speeches of the DNC, Rep Ocasio-Cortez did not endorse Joe Biden: ‘I hereby second the nomination of Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America.’”

Hours later, the tweet was deleted and an editor’s note was appended reading, “This tweet should have included more detail on the nominating process.”

But Ocasio-Cortez and others were dissatisfied, accusing the news outlet of stoking false controversy at a time when the Democratic party faces a generational divide between leaders like Ocasio-Cortez, a 30-year-old progressive, and Biden, a 77-year-old who won his first Senate race 17 years before she was born.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted three times at NBC, starting after midnight:

You waited several hours to correct your obvious and blatantly misleading tweet.

It sparked an enormous amount of hatred and vitriol, & now the misinfo you created is circulating on other networks.

All to generate hate-clicks from a pre-recorded, routine procedural motion.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

This is completely unacceptable, disappointing, and appalling.

The DNC shared the procedural purpose of my remarks to media WELL in advance. @NBC knew what was going to happen & that it was routine.

How does a headline that malicious & misleading happen w/ that prior knowledge?

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

So @NBCNews how are you going to fix the incredible amount of damage and misinformation that you are now responsible for?

Because a 1:15am tweet to slip under the radar after blowing up a totally false and divisive narrative across networks isn’t it.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020

As of this writing NBC News had not released further comment.

Sanders was also nominated for president at the 2016 Democratic national convention, before his delegates were passed to Hillary Clinton. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard nominated Sanders, and the nomination was seconded by a state campaign director and a spokeswoman for an election watchdog group.


Tom McCarthy in New York

The GuardianTramp

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