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How Ocasio-Cortez Branded Herself Into A Weaponized Media Darling

<p>Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may not be the most seasoned politician on the hill, and she may have a few <a href="https://nypost.com/2019/03/23/ocasio-cortez-still-hasnt-paid-tax-bill-from-failed-business-venture/">tax issues</a> and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/payments-to-corporation-owned-by-ocasio-cortez-aide-come-under-scrutiny/2019/03/05/ae5045ee-3f61-11e9-9361-301ffb5bd5e6_story.html?utm_term=.a42735f93529">transparency issues</a> to address, but the 29-year-old media darling from New York has captured the hearts and minds of progressive Democrats - in no small part because of her effective use of branding and social media. </p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=T8hBVR6G" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=T8hBVR6G"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=5pmK4GFq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=5pmK4GFq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=5pmK4GFq 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-...k=5pmK4GFq 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=5pmK4GFq 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg?itok=T8hBVR6G 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a2981d1f-e901-499a-982b-7f856b32c7ff" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="267" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/D2Zl-5rWkAAiNEg.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p>

<p>The freshman Congresswoman has teamed up with a subsidiary of <em>Discovery</em>, <em>Inc.,</em> digital-media firm NowThis - which carefully curates footage of AOC at her best, then shoots it over for her to amplify over her large and growing social media footprint, according to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-creates-trump-bump-of-her-own"><em>Bloomberg</em></a>. </p>

<blockquote>
<p>Shortly after U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez schooled witnesses in a Congressional hearing on campaign-finance laws, the editors at NowThis sprang into action.</p>

<p>The digital-media company, which makes short videos for social networks, <strong>took her remarks, added captions and its logo, and posted them on Twitter</strong>. Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the video twice to her 3 million-plus followers, <strong>and with more than 40 million views, it’s the most popular Twitter clip ever for NowThis</strong>. -<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-creates-trump-bump-of-her-own"><em>Bloomberg</em></a></p>
</blockquote>

<p>AOC's rise has also been a godsend to establishment media outlets, who have been in desperate need of a new Democratic hero ever since Hillary Clinton was exposed as a mercenary and dethroned. As <em>Bloomberg</em> notes, "Young, charismatic and armed with provocative ideas, <strong>she’s garnered widespread coverage — on podcasts, magazine covers, including the latest Time magazine, late-night talk shows and Twitch streams.</strong>"</p>

<p>And it isn't just the left - Fox News brings up AOC almost nightly, far more than rivals MSNBC and CNN, suggesting that "she's a ratings magnet for the opposition media, too." </p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=_PRS32Wg" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=_PRS32Wg"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=YASlKrYj 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=YASlKrYj 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=YASlKrYj 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-...k=YASlKrYj 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=YASlKrYj 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/jpeg"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg?itok=_PRS32Wg 1x" type="image/jpeg"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a9ab168b-abc8-43a5-9220-281583975e62" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="292" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/aoc%20face.jpg" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p>

<p>"Media brands court her. They want her to retweet them," said Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. "She has become a platform for some media brands rather than the other way around."</p>

<blockquote>
<p>One company that has benefited is CBS Corp., owner of the CBS and Showtime networks. Her February interview on Showtime’s “Desus & Mero,” the program’s debut after its move from Viceland, drew about 40 percent more viewers than average. Her January appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” produced one of its biggest Mondays ever.</p>

<p>The number of articles about Ocasio-Cortez has surged in recent months, according to Chartbeat, a publishing analytics company. The average article about her gets 1,300 page views, or roughly double what typical political articles generate, the firm found. -<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-creates-trump-bump-of-her-own"><em>Bloomberg</em></a></p>
</blockquote>

<p>When Time Magazine did a cover story on AOC, <b>it generated 270,000 unique visitors in 24 hours to their website, around 55% more than the average cover story</b>. </p>

<blockquote>
<p>NowThis, which is partly owned by cable programmer Discovery Inc., covers Ocasio-Cortez <strong>because she speaks about issues its audience cares about, like climate change and income inequality, not simply because she’s popular</strong>, Stephanopoulos said. Still, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest-ever congresswoman, and videos and articles about her tend to get more views because her fans are also young and engaged with social media. -<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-creates-trump-bump-of-her-own"><em>Bloomberg</em></a></p>
</blockquote>

<p> <a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/s3/files/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=ofMKa1GL" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=ofMKa1GL"><picture><!--[if IE 9]><video style="display: none;"><![endif]--><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=w8SCnrDx 1x" media="all and (min-width: 1280px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=w8SCnrDx 1x" media="all and (min-width: 480px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=w8SCnrDx 1x, https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-...k=w8SCnrDx 2x" media="all and (min-width: 1024px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=w8SCnrDx 1x" media="all and (min-width: 768px)" type="image/png"></source><source srcset="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/styles/inline_image_mobile/public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png?itok=ofMKa1GL 1x" type="image/png"></source><!--[if IE 9]></video><![endif]--><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d0978f4a-39ed-4915-8876-6b8993a56ed4" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="367" width="500" src="https://zh-prod-1cc738ca-7d3b-4a72-b792-20bd8d8fa069.storage.googleapis.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/aoc%20appeal.png" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></picture></a></p>

<p>"With some of these young elected officials who are more socially savvy, when you cover them it gets more traction," says NowThis president Athan Stephanopoulos. "A lot of their followers are sharing it, and it gets into the digital-media ecosystem faster."</p>

<p>According to Huffington Post's head of audience, Mike Barry, "We do see a strong interest from our readers regarding Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," adding "Her background and path to becoming a candidate is fascinating, relevant and newsworthy for HuffPost’s audience."</p>

<p>HuffPo, a subsidiary of Verizon, has published at least 68 articles with AOC's name in the headline this year. The media outlet uses audience data to see what's resonating with readers, "and often commissions work that reflects those insights," according to Barry. "There is a big segment of the overall population interested in her." </p>

<blockquote>
<p>And not just among fans who share her politics. Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as a “democratic socialist,” which can be a hot-button term for Republicans.</p>

<p><strong>Ocasio-Cortez has received extensive coverage in parts of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, which includes News Corp. and Fox Corp.</strong> As Vanity Fair noted, <strong>Murdoch’s New York Post recently published 24 articles about her on its website over a six-day period</strong>. Fox News discusses her so often that Ocasio-Cortez has complained the channel “has turned into ‘AOC TMZ,’” referring to the celebrity-news website that traffics in gossip.</p>

<p>On Feb. 14, for instance, <strong>Amazon scrapped plans to open a new headquarters in New York City, a project that Ocasio-Cortez had opposed</strong>. The next day, her name was mentioned 38 times on Fox News and 29 times on the Fox Business Network, compared with seven times on CNN and six on MSNBC, according to TVEyes, a media-monitoring firm. -<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-creates-trump-bump-of-her-own"><em>Bloomberg</em></a></p>
</blockquote>

<p>In short, AOC is a bona fide media darling - drawing positive attention from both liberals and the likes of Sean Hannity, who described her as "the new leader of the Democratic party," adding that the Green New Deal she introduced "will destroy the lifeblood of our economy." </p>

<p>A representative of <em>Fox News</em> noted that some hosts on the network have had positive things to say about AOC, with Laura Ingraham, for example, calling her "impressive." </p>

<p>"At Fox, she plays into their need for a villain now that Hillary Clinton is no longer relevant," said Bell.</p>

<p>"<strong>A Kardashian who speaks likes Bernie Sanders is an incredible combination</strong>." </p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/2W0sW_l0Cg4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>


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