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Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra gets Twitter-blocked by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Reporter Ryan Saavedra of The Daily Wire appears to have made a new enemy on Twitter in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). In fact, the freshman representative blocked him from seeing her posts on the social media site altogether.

Saavedra, who Tweets as @RealSaavedra, often holds Ocasio-Cortez accountable for her statements.

But the tipping point for the Congresswoman seemed to be last Friday, when Saavedra called her out for lying about her speaking patterns during a recent speech to the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The New York City native and Boston University grad, whose words are normally crisp and articulated, seemed to be taking on African-American vernacular English accent.

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“I’m proud to be a bartender — ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she said, drawing out the last word.

Saavedra told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that he found the accent demeaning and culturally-appropriating, especially since the speech was made to a predominantly African-American audience.

He also found the content of her speech to be condescending. Ocasio-Cortez had gone on to say that there was nothing wrong with folding clothes in a shop, cooking food, or driving buses. Was she suggesting, Saavedra asked, that just because someone is African-American, they likely work in the service industry?

“There’s nothing wrong with those professions either,” he said. “But the fact that she picked three lowly professions, and the fact that she’s saying it to a profoundly African-American accent, and the fact that she’s saying it in an accent that she never, ever, ever uses” was offensive, he said.

Saavedra said that changing one’s speech that much goes beyond just picking up an occasional “y’all,” as a person might accidentally do after spending a few days in the South.

“It was planned, this was not just something that she accidentally did,” he said.

The Daily Wire reporter, along with other journalists and news commentators, called Ocasio-Cortez out on Twitter. In response, she claimed that she used similar speech patterns in previous speeches, and that the accent was a result of growing up in the Bronx.

Saavedra found videos of the speeches she was referring to and posted them.

“I just called her out on it and I included links to both her speeches and said, ‘You’re lying, you didn’t use an accent at the time,'” he said. “That obviously got under her skin, let’s put it that way.”

In response, Saavedra discovered that he was blocked from seeing the representative’s Twitter page.

“She doesn’t deal well with criticism,” he said wryly.

Law firms have reached out to Saavedra offering to sue Ocasio-Cortez for him pro bono, but Saavedra does not plan to take legal action. Because the Twitter account is Ocasio-Cortez’s personal account and not her government account, he said, “She has every right to block me.”

Besides, he added, he still has plenty of ways to see what she is Tweeting.

The part of the incident that Saavedra finds the most bizarre is the way that media outlets such as The Atlantic rushed to Ocasio-Cortez’s defense after the speech, claiming that she had been using a practice called “code-switching,” in which a person uses two forms of a language in a single discussion. Saavedra can’t help but think that there is a double-standard at play.

“I’ve talked to dozens of people in the media who have never heard of that term, but apparently for her it’s code-switching,” he said. “If it were anybody else, it would be deemed pandering and racist.”

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