IMPORTANT CORRECTION: AOC Was Weeping Over an Empty Road, Not an Empty Parking Lot
We've all seen the harrowing, heartbreaking pictures: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez standing next to a chain-link fence, weeping in anguish over what she saw on the other side.
I’ll never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them.
More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable.
We need to save these kids. https://t.co/HhdMqc5zML
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2019
To look at those pictures, you'd think AOC was gazing helplessly at women and children being tortured in one of those facilities lining the border with Mexico, which we now know are literal concentration camps. Perhaps she was witnessing an execution. An innocent child in front of a firing squad, or maybe a young mother being led to a guillotine. AOC must've seen something to make her so upset, right?
Here's what she was looking at:
So AOC was really just trying to get some stock border crisis images for Getty. The “crying at the border” pics were just crying at cars behind a fence 🤷🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/AHGd7B7Jx2
— Paige Sullivan (@PaigeSully88) June 26, 2019
— Paige Sullivan (@PaigeSully88) June 26, 2019
Searched Grabien’s PhotoBank and found these alternate angle pics of @AOC where her sad-face pics were shot. Apparently she was crying about the lack of migrant children for her photo op. pic.twitter.com/8FMB8OQR6K
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 26, 2019
But if you think AOC was weeping over an empty parking lot, as some irresponsible right-wing bloggers claimed, you couldn't be more wrong. Thank goodness, PolitiFact is here to save the day!
Was @AOC crying over a parking lot while protesting family separation? False, she was standing on a road to a migrant facility, which was in her line of gaze, and was just beyond the port of entry. https://t.co/iDpcPCzcwh
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) July 22, 2019
No, this isn’t a photo of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez crying over a parking lot
On June 24, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted images that an El Paso photographer took of her at a Texas town on the U.S.-Mexico border last year...
Critics pounced, posting to social media that the congresswoman was crying over nothing more than a parking lot. Among the stories echoing that sentiment were two shared on Facebook. One was from RT, the Russian government-backed news organization, and another was from conservative news outlet PJ Media, which ran a story with this headline: "AOC weeps over empty parking lot."
Both Facebook posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
And why is it "false news and misinformation" that "critics pounced" upon? You're gonna love this one, Dear Reader:
"It isn’t a parking lot," [photographer Ivan Pierre] Aguirre said. "It’s the road leading to the camp..."
Daniel Borunda, a reporter for the El Paso Times who was at the rally on the same day, told PolitiFact that the tent complex was "visible in the distance several hundred yards away" from the fence...
But was there a parking lot nearby? Krantz said she remembers a small parking lot that was near the port of entry that wasn’t fenced in, but many people parked under the port of entry shelter for shade or alongside the road that led to the port...
We rate this claim False.
That's right. AOC wasn't weeping over an empty parking lot. She was weeping over an empty road. She could actually see some tents, hundreds of yards away. That's why she threw a crying, screaming fit in front of the cameras.
Therefore, if you think AOC's stunningly photogenic display of emotion was staged, you're wrong. The claim is false. It's been flagged by Facebook, and thank goodness for that. The public, and the Democratic politicians who are preferred by the media to lead us, must be protected from this dangerous misinformation.
There are facts, and then there are PolitiFacts.
On behalf of everyone at PJ Media, I regret the error.
(Hat tip: Tim Graham at Newsbusters)
Our #factcheck does not describe the scene as just "an empty road." The road is part of a larger site that our fact-check fully documents. You can see an arial photograph of the site that shows way more than the 'empty parking lot' posts.
— Angie Drobnic Holan (@AngieHolan) July 23, 2019
Are you familiar with the expression "Missing the forest for the trees"? Did you know that the person who came up with it wasn't anywhere near a forest?
— [shrug emoji] (@jtLOL) July 23, 2019
In my defense:
“There's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” @AOC says in response to criticism that she’s made factual errors. https://t.co/sKf3sHl9F6 pic.twitter.com/xKc2eB7GEk
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 7, 2019