Video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) needling experts during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing last Wednesday went insanely viral last week, generating more than 30 million views on Twitter alone, thanks to the help of James Corden, who called the video "sensational."
But the video, compiled by left-wing news outlet NowThis News, only included part of an exchange that positively frames Ocasio-Cortez — and excludes a follow-up response that deflated Ocasio-Cortez's soapbox.
What does the video show?
The 5-minute video clip shows Ocasio-Cortez playing a "lightning round" with hearing witnesses to highlight the role of "dark money" in politics and how easy politicians become "a pretty bad guy" once they learn the potential personal benefits of their political power.
Establishing her hypothetical situation, Ocasio-Cortez said: "I'm going to be the bad guy, which, I'm sure, half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, ideally to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people. I have enlisted all of as my co-conspirators, so you're going to help me legally get away with all of this."
Then, one-by-one, Ocasio-Cortez grilled the witnesses with loaded questions about campaign finance laws, almost directing them to provide the answer she sought.
NowThis News described the exchanges as Ocasio-Cortez "explaining just how f***ed campaign finance laws really are."
And of course, she even took a swipe at President Donald Trump. "It's already super legal, as we've seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy. So it's even easier for the president of the United States to be one, I would assume," she said.
What did the video leave out?
NowThis News conveniently cut a response from Brad Smith, chairman for the Institute for Free Speech, where he was asked by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) to correct Ocasio-Cortez's "misleading questioning."
There are a couple things for example that would not be, she asked if there is anything that could apply here? There are things that do not apply here.
For example, the whole point of the article she held up that I wrote was that you cannot use your campaign funds to make those payments that would be illegal personal use. Campaign funds are not dark money. They are totally disclosed so they are not dark money. It's worth noting be the way that dark money constituted by $1.7 billion, I believe that figure is incorrect by factor of about 500 percent.
Dark money constitutes 2 percent to 4 percent of total spending in U.S. elections and has always been involved in U.S. elections. Those are just a couple of points.
I did kind of chuckle at the question is it possible, asked of us, that these influences are, this money is influencing the questioning here. To that, I'd say that is something you have to ask yourselves, if you are being influenced, then see what you think. If you are then you might question yourselves, if you're not you might question this hearing.
IFS Chairman Brad Smith Corrects AOC on Campaign Finance Law youtu.be