US Politics

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams ‘disgusting’ media that published fake nude photo

  • Congresswoman says attacks were ‘just a matter of time’, adding that women in leadership face more scrutiny
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2019, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2019, 1:03pm

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rapidly rising star of the Democratic Party, has lashed out at conservative media for its treatment of women in leadership positions after the Daily Caller published a fake photo of the politician nude in a bath-tub.

The right-wing website published the image showing a woman’s bare feet in the bath, under the headline: “Here’s the photo some people described as a nude selfie of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”.

In fact, the photograph had been circulating on the internet already for a month and has been shown to have been falsely ascribed to the politician by a user on a Reddit forum.

Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Thursday night that the use of a discredited image by a prominent conservative outlet showed that “women in leadership face more scrutiny. Period”.

She said the actions of the Daily Caller were “just a matter of time” given that Republicans had been “frothing at the mouth all week” – a phrase that she did not explain.

She also criticised the Daily Mail which she accused of sending a reporter “to my boyfriend’s relative’s homes” offering them cash for “stories”.

Ocasio-Cortez became an instant political sensation last June when she ousted in the Democratic primaries a New York congressman who had held the seat for 20 years.

She went on to win the general election in November, propelling herself to a leadership position within the new generation of young up-and-coming Democratic politicians.

Watch: US right-wingers tried to smear Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with this video of her dancing – it backfired when Twitter loved it

Being the youngest US congresswoman ever to be sworn in (she is now 29), combined with her self-identification as a democratic socialist which has riled conservatives, has brought the social media spotlight onto Ocasio-Cortez with some challenging results.

Last week there was a storm of protest on Twitter after a user going under the handle “AnonymousQ” posted an old 30-second video of her dancing on a rooftop while at college.

So far the Democratic representative for New York’s 14th congressional district covering parts of the Bronx and Queens has been effortlessly able to rebuff the onslaught and turn it to her advantage.

Her riposte to the dance video was to post a new, 11-second clip of her dancing outside the congressional office – by Thursday night it had received more than 20 million hits.

In a later tweet on Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez returned to the Daily Caller theme, lamenting the “completely disgusting behaviour from Conservative outlets”.

She added a pointed remark about the confirmation process of US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, who won Republican support despite the sexual assault allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

“No wonder they defended Kavanaugh so fiercely,” she wrote.

Earlier in the evening, she said that if “they” – she didn’t specify whom – “want to make an example out of me, I will gladly be one. Hopefully we can be an example of dedication, courage, and persistence under fire.”