Progressive Writer Says Quiet Part Out Loud About AOC's Story, Demands Fact Checkers Start Doing Their Jobs

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

We reported earlier on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram Live chat from last night where she made some pretty astonishing claims about what she says happened to her during the Capitol riots last month.

The second-term Congresswoman otherwise known as AOC went on for some 90 minutes alleging, among other things, that she didn’t have a good feeling about the Capitol police officer who came to her office to urge her and her staff to go to another building further away from the danger.

“It’s that lack of trust that creates so much volatility and fear,” she stated while noting she was fearful that the officer might be there to hurt her because he allegedly looked at her “with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.”

This is the second time in two weeks that the leader of the so-called “Squad” has made such sensational and unsubstantiated allegations against someone in the aftermath of the Capitol riots. Just last week, she told Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Twitter that he “almost had me murdered” on January 6th. As per the norm, she did not provide any evidence to back up her shocking comments.

It was Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s repeated claims that members of Congress and the Capitol Police might have wanted her hurt or worse that spurred progressive writer Zaid Jilani to take to the Twitter machine to say the quiet part out loud – namely, that it was troubling that claims of this nature were being accepted without much scrutiny being given by the mainstream press and among his fellow progressives. “Where’s the fact checkers?” he asked in his first tweet:

Jilani went on to point out that the Capitol Police shed blood and a life was lost in trying to protect lawmakers in the building. He also pointed out that, like AOC, police officers have also suffered trauma in the line of duty, and yet there are so many people willing to take AOC’s claims about them possibly having nefarious motives against her at face value without even bothering to ask questions first:

Jilani also raised the point that the anti-police hatred that has consumed the left for years had all but stripped police officers of their dignity and worth in the rush to paint all of them with one brush:

Later, Jilani made it clear that he had no doubt that AOC was “legitimately frightened”, but said that her fears shouldn’t be used as a substitute for investigating her claims instead of believing them without question:

I don’t often agree with progressives, especially those who’ve written for sites like Think Progress, but when you’re right you’re right, and Jilani is right here.

Rank and file conservatives and liberals and prominent media figures on the right and left have all been guilty in the past to varying degrees of jumping to conclusions about stories before all the facts are known. The “not asking questions first” thing is part confirmation bias and part laziness, in my opinion. We’ve all got to get back to an “ask questions first before forming conclusions” point in this country, the sooner the better – especially when it comes to things said by lawmakers like AOC, who has a proven track record of making highly dubious claims.

That goes double for mainstream media journalists, who’ve gotten especially bad about selectively applying the “without evidence” tag on claims made by public figures, and who are also infamous for jumping to fact-free conclusions when concerning allegations are made – especially against Republicans, as we saw with the Trump/Russia collusion hoax.

Related: CNN’s Daniel Dale Reveals How It’s Gonna Be With ‘Fact-Checking’ Joe Biden, It Doesn’t Go Well