By GIANNA SANCHEZ
The news media are looked at as the watchdog over our government. They are supposed to hold people accountable for what they say and do–but to what extent? It seems as though sometimes news outlets are reporting on the wrong aspects of the news.
I realized this when scrolling through Twitter. I saw a tweet from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the representative for New York’s 14th Congressional district. The tweet linked an article from the New York Post with the headline “Ocasio-Cortez leaves parade in 17-mpg minivan–blocks from the subway.” Ocasio-Cortez responded with some light humor saying “I will have you know my tía was very upset that the New York Post insulted her minivan…If they saw how many goldfish snacks were in this thing they’d say I was killing the ocean too.”
At first, I thought it was just internet trolls at it again and Ocasio-Cortez getting into trouble. Once opening the article, it really criticized her. The first line was “she’s addicted to Uber.” The article goes on to say how hypocritical Ocasio-Cortez is for advocating for climate change and better use of energy while not using a form of mass transportation.
The writers, Sarah Trefethen and Bruce Golding, did a lot of digging to find out how much gas time and money she was wasting by taking this mini-van ride from her aunt, but they claimed it was Uber. They also revealed statistics from her days campaigning to say how much money she spent on Ubers, taxis and for-hire vehicles. They did not realize, however, that this ride that she was taking was not an Uber.
While it is good to know information about candidates or politicians and what they truly support, when is enough enough? Do we as journalists have to bash Ocasio-Cortez for taking an Uber ride or ride from her aunt and not using the subway for every mode of transportation every day? Does this truly prove a bigger point and say that she does not truly believe in everything she claims to?
As journalists, I feel as though the line that is separating what is necessary to report and what is distracting from the point is blurring more and more each day. We need to figure out whether or not to report on the details of someone’s personal life versus the issues they are discussing.