There have been several stories in the media about how a video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing has caused conservatives to mock or shame her for it.

News sources where this claim is made:

  1. So when an old video of her as a college student emerged, some of them [conservatives] darn near lost their minds.

  2. I love how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has turned American politics into a live action Footloose. People dancing!? Oh the horror! Where will it end?
    New York Times

  3. I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  4. After several conservative Twitter accounts resurfaced clips from the video this week in an attempt to mock Ocasio-Cortez, supporters rushed to her defense.
    USA Today

  5. Conservatives Try to Shame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Dancing Video from College

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez danced around once in college — and conservatives lost it.
    Now This News

  6. Conservatives Mock Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for College Dancing Video, Everyone Else Thinks it's Adorable

However, among all these different stories, there has only been one example cited where she was attacked for the dancing video, a tweet from an anonymous twitter account.

Are there notable examples of any prominent conservatives attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the dance? Any evidence of a public upset among common conservatives? Are all of these news stories only based on this one random tweet (in which case is it fair to say that the news stories are false when they claim that conservatives are "losing their minds" over the video)?

An article from Fox News claims the outrage is fabricated:

An old video of now-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playfully recreating a dance scene from "The Breakfast Club" was resurfaced anonymously on Twitter last week -- resulting in a slew of misleading stories claiming conservatives were outraged over it, despite virtually no supporting evidence.

closed as off-topic by Catija Jan 14 at 14:16

  • This question does not appear to be about scientific skepticism within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Why were comments (except for a diamond mod's and one from the OP) deleted on this question? As best as I can recall, they were addressing whether or not the question is answerable and notable, and at least one comment, saying that the question either was or could be on-topic, was very highly upvoted. – Andrew Grimm Jan 11 at 8:28
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    @Sklivvz While I'd agree that there is subjectivity surrounding what is notable, doesn't this SE have a relatively well-defined meaning for notability (the one used to determine whether a claim should even be evaluated here?) There's still an element of subjectivity, but it seems well-defined enough that it's used as a standard for determining what is on-topic or not. – reirab Jan 11 at 17:04
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    @GendoIkari the other question was closed just like this one, but the other got fixed, removing all badly defined bits. Yours could be fixed in the same way, by finding a single, clear unequivocal claim. For example, number 6: "Conservatives Mock Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for College Dancing Video" could be OK, but you need to remove everything else. In my opinion, it trivializes the question, as I'm pretty sure that some people would make fun of anything and some of them are likely to be conservative, which is why I did not edit the question myself. – Sklivvz Jan 13 at 7:53
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    @Catija your comment is exactly the same as Sklivvz's, if notability is subjective then notable claims are also subjective and any mod can close any question here at whim. It seems like a pretty big push for some conformity of thoughts. – daniel Jan 15 at 6:01

Someone had the foresight to archive the original tweet on archive.is. From that archive, we can see what the original account, and a few of the conservatives following it, actually thought.

@AnonymousQ1776: "Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is..."

Right-wing reply: "I actually find this endearing although she is completely out of her mind politically..." @AnonymousQ1776: "Agreed"

Right-wing reply: "Got to admit she is smokin' hot." @AnonymousQ1776: "First thing my liberal acquaintances say when she comes up in conversations. Bruh...she’s so hot!" Reply: "No brain, too bad."

Right-wing reply: "maybe Sandy from the Bronx was auditioning for a Fame remake.oh well politicians are just actors anyway." @AnonymousQ1776: "Agreed"

Combative reply: "You realize this just makes her look cool as hell right?" @AnonymousQ1776: "Really?"

Combative reply: "It’s a kid dancing, nitwit." @AnonymousQ1776: "No it’s a nitwit dancing, kid."

In summary, the original anonymous account thought the video made her look stupid. Some right-wing users agreed, while others disagreed. If the original account was trolling, they were doing a very good job looking authentic.

The MSNBC/NYT/CNN spin that these Twitter users were "losing their minds" and were representative of "the GOP" is hyperbolic. However, I think the description by USA Today is accurate. There was indeed a funny thread on Twitter which spawned memes.

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    I had upvoted you, but then you added the conlusory paragraph, where you present several opinion statements as factual, including one entirely superfluous about news integrity. You present your opinion of their motivations as factual. When dealing with claims that the news organizations known for decades for their accuracy are acting in bad faith, you need more than just your opinion to back that up. – trlkly Jan 8 at 0:21
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    Thanks for your feedback; I removed the characterizations accordingly – Avery Jan 8 at 0:35
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    It might be relevant to provide some information about the memes you mention, as this may be what the left-leaning news sources are trying to characterize as "losing their minds." – jpmc26 Jan 8 at 1:20
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    @Avery Yeah, my issue is precisely that "they aren't explicitly saying that dancing makes you look stupid" or even implying it. Even in the critical comments, there's no negative commentary on the dancing. It's not surprising that Cortez was criticised by right-wingers in a conversation about her. There's a big difference between Conservatives critical of self-identified socialist despite cute dance video (i.e. the story that the quoted exchange here shows, to my eyes) and Conservatives critical of self-identified socialist because of cute dance video (which is what was claimed). – Mark Amery Jan 8 at 14:37
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    That's a reasonable interpretation as well. While my personal commentary on the news reporting (and discussion of it) was removed, I do agree with you on the larger point that MSNBC, NYT, and CNN spun this single tweet far beyond what I would consider acceptable for major news media. – Avery Jan 8 at 16:36

The original tweet about dancing came from an anonymous account, and indeed could have been done to make conservatives look stupid. However, noted and widely-read conservative pundit Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit) retweeted it favorably. So at least he was outraged.

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    I don't I get outrage from his re-tweet, but good find nonetheless. – fredsbend Jan 8 at 2:14
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    Why does a "favorable retweet" imply outrage? The linked article is talking about Ocasio-Cortez's "affluent" upbringing. Which also has nothing to do with dancing, but with her mischaracterization about her upbringing. – jpmc26 Jan 8 at 8:31
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    Your link doesn’t show a retweet, and the article in question concerns itself with the politician’s nickname. The article is completely inane, but it does not mock her for the dancing. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 9 at 15:09
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    It might be better for the purposes of this website to talk about persistent ad hominem attacks on this particular person, and where this tweet fits in there. This certainly counts as an ad hominem attack. Readers can decide for themselves unprovable things like the emotional state of the attackers. – T.E.D. Jan 9 at 16:33
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    If the emphasis was that she used to be called "Sandy" when she was in college, perhaps they might have been better served going after her for dancing. – PoloHoleSet Jan 10 at 19:48

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