Calm Down. AOC’s Bernie Endorsement Was Purely Symbolic and She Fully Supports Biden.

But the misunderstanding, fueled by the media’s lack of context, is already getting weaponized.

In the 60 seconds Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) spoke at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, she stuck to a largely familiar script calling for systemic change in American politics. Even for the incredibly popular and charismatic first-term congresswoman, the appearance wasn’t exactly headline-making stuff.

Until it was. Within moments of her remarks, outrage exploded on social media, with comments like, “Did she really just do this? WTF.” Another tweet chided, “Bad, bad move. She just lost me as a follower and supporter.” At issue was Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders, a purely symbolic move that honors convention rules stating that candidates who meet a threshold of delegates receive a formal “nomination” during the DNC. It most certainly was not, as some on Twitter and several news outlets charged, a rogue move to slight the official nominee, Joe Biden. Ocasio-Cortez clarified as much on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez was right to call out the egregious mischaracterization; it sparked confusion on the left, as well as an entire conservative news cycle relishing supposed discord among Democrats. The swift and unwarranted suspicion underscores how little faith some have in Ocasio-Cortez despite vowing for months that she’d back Biden if he became the party’s nominee. For her commitment to party unity to get derailed by news outlets who failed to do some pretty basic homework, well, that’s just maddening. That is, of course, if you’re Fox News:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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