Published 1:58 PM EDT Apr 14, 2019
NEW YORK — Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's name is on the lips of nearly everyone at Fox News.
A study found that the New York City Democrat was mentioned 3,181 times on Fox News Channel and its sister Fox Business Network during the six-week period of Feb. 25 to April 7, or just under 76 times a day. Not a day went by when she wasn't spoken about on Fox.
The liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, which did the research, called it an obsession and said the first term representative has become the network's latest bogeyman, "someone for hosts and guests to demonize, knock down and refer to whenever grievances need to be aired against the Democratic Party."
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Media Matters for America did not analyze other news shows for this report. Its mission is to monitor conservative news in the U.S. media.
Fox has talked about Ocasio-Cortez's advocacy for a Green New Deal, called her a hypocrite for using cars and has fed off her social media pronouncements. Fox's Sean Hannity called her "the real speaker of the House," instead of Nancy Pelosi.
Tucker Carlson has called her an "idiot wind bag," a "pompous little twit," a "fake revolutionary," ''self-involved and dumb," a "moron and nasty and more self-righteous than any televangelist."
Fox personalities like Carlson and Jeanine Pirro have called her "a bartender," in reference to a pre-politics job. There are also derogatory allusions to her youth, like when commentator Brit Hume said that "she's kind of adorable in sort of the way that a 5-year-old child can be adorable," according to the research.
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Asked for comment on Saturday, a Fox spokeswoman noted that Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has received plenty of media attention elsewhere, including prominent features in Time magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and the Hollywood Reporter. Fox's Laura Ingraham — who did a segment during the six-week period questioning whether Ocasio-Cortez would have to go to jail because of an aide's alleged campaign finance violations — has invited her on her show and said she admired her political rise.
The congresswoman tweeted a link to the Media Matters research, adding the comment, "that's how hard they're fighting against dignified health care, wages and justice for all; and turning their fire power on the youngest congressional woman in history to do it.
"Too bad for them, because we don't flinch," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Beyond politics, Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney illustrated another reason that Fox would pay so much attention to Ocasio-Cortez.
"We have an AOC segment every day, almost every single hour," he said. "She's good for our ratings."
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