Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is warning that the words of Fox News hosts have more consequences than many people seem to realize. In a Saturday night tweet, the freshman lawmaker from New York linked comments by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro to death threats against her colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar.
While retweeting a news story about the 55-year-old Donald Trump supporter who was arrested for threatening to kill Omar, Ocasio-Cortez made a reference to Pirro. “Understand when Jeanine Pirro goes on Fox + rallies people to think hijabs are threatening, it leads to this,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Folks who imply we’re ‘bad’ for politics, the party, the country, etc. have no idea the threats we deal w/ because of that kind of language. Talk policy, not personal.”
Patrick Carlineo allegedly called Omar’s office on March 21 and threatened to “put a bullet in her fucking skull.” That threat came days after Pirro questioned whether Omar’s hijab meant she was against the Constitution. “Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said on March 9. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” Fox News criticized Pirro’s words and temporarily pulled her from the air for two weeks.
Support work like this for just $1
Slate is covering the stories that matter to you. Become a Slate Plus member to support our work. Your first month is only $1.