Michael Tracey Blasts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Emotional Manipulation,' Faces Backlash

Journalist Michael Tracey has come under fire for his response to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Instagram video detailing her experience of the Capitol riots.

Tracey wrote on Twitter: "Good to know that any loopy delusion expounded by a politician must now be respected and 'believed' under the aegis of 'trauma'"

Good to know that any loopy delusion expounded by a politician must now be respected and "believed" under the aegis of "trauma"

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 2, 2021

In response to a tweet about Ocasio-Cortez revealing in the same video that she is a survivor of sexual assault, Tracey said: "This is a masterclass in emotional manipulation—a genuine political/rhetorical skill. Gotta hand it to her."

This is a masterclass in emotional manipulation -- a genuine political/rhetorical skill. Gotta hand it to her https://t.co/77aBDoMuSr

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 2, 2021

Ocasio-Cortez's video has been widely shared on social media, amassing more than 4 million views on Instagram and Twitter. She reveals that she feared for her life on January 6 as she hid from rioters in the bathroom of her office.

While the New York congresswoman has been praised for her openness, Tracey's remarks to his 180,000 Twitter followers have been criticized by activists and writers.

Activist Charlotte Clymer wrote: "I am in no way exaggerating when I say this: if Michael Tracey had been in Rep. AOC's position during the Capitol insurrection, he absolutely would have s*** his pantaloons.

"Put more bluntly: Michael Tracey is a punk a** little coward, and it's laughable that he would mock anyone describing trauma they've experienced."

Put more bluntly: Michael Tracey is a punk ass little coward, and it's laughable that he would mock anyone describing trauma they've experienced.

— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) February 2, 2021

Attorney and author Jill Filipovic said: "AOC's account has been corroborated by her staff and other members of Congress. How many witnesses does a woman need before she's believed?

"Literally no one says we should believe AOC because 'trauma.' On the other hand, Michael Tracey, who was not at the events in question and has no specific knowledge of them, thinks he should be believed over AOC because ... he's a man on Twitter?"

Writer Jessica Valenti said: "For misogynists, it's not just about disbelieving women who come forward about sexual assault—it's about painting them as the real wrongdoers.

"That's why they say #MeToo is a witch hunt and call the men who've been outed as abusers 'canceled'. To sexists, women are the real perpetrators because we've victimized men by holding them accountable."

Many Twitter users have responded to Tracey's comments by bringing up a 2017 incident in which Tracey claimed that Rep. Maxine Waters "shoved" him, despite the video showing Waters simply moving past him, perhaps brushing her arm against his microphone or wrist. In the video, Tracey then looks at the camera and smiles.

Journalist Victoria Brownworth said: "Michael Tracey is out there calling AOC a lying manipulator for sharing that she, like 1 in 5 women, was sexually assaulted. Yet here he is claiming Maxine Waters assaulted him when she pushes his mic out of her face. What a disgraceful misogynist."

Author Drew Savicki shared the video of Tracey and Waters' interaction and said: "Look at the carnage here. Just brutal. She's still on the loose to this day."

Savicki also shared a screenshot of the moment Waters' arm appears to make contact with Tracey's microphone, tweeting: "Here it is. The moment where Maxine Waters violently lunged at Michael Tracey. Very graphic image."

Look at the carnage here. Just brutal. She's still on the loose to this day. https://t.co/WcztFPxzo2

— Drew Savicki 🦖🦕🦖 (@SenhorRaposa) February 2, 2021

Tracey later wrote on Twitter: "To all those lashing out in deliberate bad faith, I wasn't specifically referring to her sexual assault claim here—but rather to the entire interweaving presentation, where invoking 'trauma' automatically mandates accepting a politician's incendiary claims at face value."

Newsweek has contacted Tracey for comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2019. Journalist Michael Tracey is facing a backlash on Twitter for his comments on her Instagram video about the Capitol riots. Mandel Ngan/Getty