STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 12:15 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 12:42 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 40°
Columbus
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 35°
Starkville
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather