Right-wing media melt down over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Instagram Live about the Capitol insurrection

In a February 1 Instagram Live video, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) detailed her experience during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In the process of telling her story, Ocasio-Cortez also revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault. 

Right-wing media voices took the opportunity to ridicule her, joke about surviving sexual assault, and attempt to discredit her as a partisan liar, among other dismissive responses.

Steven Crowder

Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder called “horse-faced” Ocasio-Cortez “a petulant child who was carried by Satan in the desert in Passion of the Christ,” and suggested that the country should “unify in telling you to go fornicate yourself with a wire brush.” 

Video file

Citation From the February 2, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder

At another time in his February 2 show, Crowder also joked that Ocasio-Cortez had been assaulted by Karl Marx in a leather jacket; someone in his crew added, “Reap what you sow.”

Video file

Citation From the February 2, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder

Crowder and his co-hosts also mocked Ocasio-Cortez’s story of surviving sexual assault by talking in a lispy voice and saying that “she’s just playing this up.” Crowder called Ocasio-Cortez “a barmaid” who “suckled at the taxpayer teat” and said she took no risks compared to former President Donald Trump.

Video file

Citation From the February 2, 2021, edition of Louder with Crowder

Tim Pool

Opportunistic podcaster Tim Pool accused Ocasio-Cortez of distracting from “real issues” like the GameStop “revolution” with her video and displaying the public relations prowess of a “clap-back, snap-back politician that generates attention and donation through emotional plays,” like Trump. 

Video file

Citation From the February 2, 2020 edition of Timcast 

Glenn Greenwald

On The Jimmy Dore Show, Glenn Greenwald complained that Ocasio-Cortez “ruined that movement,” referring to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) agreeing with her desire to know more about trading app Robinhood restricting purchases of certain stocks. Greenwald said that she did this “because all she wants to do is attack Republicans and fortify the Democratic Party. That is what the left has become and they know it. And that’s why all that’s left for them to do is do things like talk about your personality and occasionally mine.”

Video file

Citation From the February 1, 2021, edition of The Jimmy Dore Show

Rush Limbaugh

Radio host Rush Limbaugh ridiculed Ocasio-Cortez’s “amazing acting” in her Instagram Live video. Limbaugh also accused Ocasio-Cortez of “gross manipulation” because he mistakenly thought the sexual assault she referenced happened during the insurrection: “She purposely obfuscates this, I believe, to make it look like she can have it either way. … She wants this both ways. It’s gross manipulation and she should be ashamed.” 

Rush Limbaugh ridicules Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s video about January 6 experience: “It’s amazing acting”

Rush Limbaugh - audio image
Audio file

Citation From the February 2, 2021, edition of Premiere Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show

Fox News

On Fox News, former GOP congressional candidate Kim Klacik speculated that Ocasio-Cortez livestreamed her account of the Capitol riot for money and attention.

Video file

Citation From the February 2, 2021, edition of Fox News' The Faulkner Focus


On social media and message boards, right-wing personalities and others went out of their way to respond with misogynistic abuse, calling Ocasio-Cortez a liar, “hysterical,” “delusional,” and “manipulative,” and in some cases targeting her with sexually violent jokes and death threats