Yesterday, a deeply disturbing story broke when the FBI arrested a U.S. Coast Guardsman for plotting a domestic terror attack. Lt. Christopher Hasson was found to be in possession of a large stockpile of guns, a thousand rounds of ammunition, and a hit list with the names of numerous prominent Democrats on it. On top of that, he had been in contact with white supremacist groups and called for violence to “establish a white homeland.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name was on the list as a possible target of assassination. The rising Democratic star has become a major target of the Republican Party and its right-wing media propaganda machine, who have sought to vilify her as an existential threat to the United States’ prosperity simply because she holds Democratic Socialist views. It’s hardly surprising that one of the more violent, delusional conservatives out there would decide in his sick mind that she needed to be eliminated.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the story late in the evening yesterday. She zeroed in on the fact that the media has some responsibility for events like this and pointed to the unsettling trend of journalists sharing stories about where she lives on the same day that the story of Lieutenant Hasson’s mass murder plot was exposed.
In this age of hate and mass violence, some small degree of privacy is required just to ensure the basic safety of elected officials. Revealing where she lives to potentially unstable and well-armed Republicans is inexcusable.
On top of that, Ocasio-Cortez added that the media has a habit of “amplifying conspiracy theories,” an assertion that one need look no further than the president to confirm. Trump has trafficked in all sorts of dangerous untruths and paranoid narratives, which the media then often repeat without properly fact-checking. The result is that there is a large swath of the population completely untethered from reality who are becoming more and more radicalized.
Ocasio-Cortez called this general trend “reckless” and “irresponsible” and correctly identified that it puts peoples’ lives in danger. She ended the tweet with a sobering statement: “This isn’t a game.”
Hopefully, journalists take heed.
Journalists are sharing stories about where I live the same day it’s shared that myself + others were targeted by a mass shooter.
All this paired w/ amplifying unvetted conspiracy theories. It’s reckless, irresponsible & puts people directly in danger.
This isn’t a game. https://t.co/gcJWcKinxI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019