Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit out at CBS News for an apparent lack of black journalists covering the 2020 US presidential election.
The newly sworn in congresswoman responded to a tweet from CBS producer Ben Mitchell which announced the team covering the upcoming election and published their headshots.
The Democrat, who represents New York’s 14th congressional district, said: “This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have.
“Yet CBS News hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.”
The rising political star, a self-avowed socialist from the South Bronx, added: “Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.”
The Twitter post, which has been shared over 4,500 times, faced some criticism from other reporters over the comments. This included Josh Kraushaar, politics editor at the National Journal, who said she had “another thing” in common with US president Donald Trump: “media scold.”
But Ms Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Mr Kraushaar, saying: “Or: maybe having powerful editorial positions awash in people from one race, class, or gender isn’t a good idea; since we get 1000% more takes on ‘brown lady says a curse word’ than an actual white supremacist in Congress. If you won’t look the mirror, people will do it for you.”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who volunteered for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign, appeared to be referencing data released by the liberal group Media Matters for America on Friday.
Mr Kraushaar later said the seven campaign reporters “looked racially diverse” but conceded there was no black representation currently on the team.
He tweeted: “For what it’s worth, the mix of 7 embedded campaign reporters looked racially diverse (at least based on last names), with the exception of lacking an African-American.
“If there aren’t strict racial quotas for every batch of hires, does it mean a company is racist?” he added.
But Ms Ocasio-Cortez responded to Mr Kraushaar’s analysis in another tweet in which she also contended that “one race isn’t substitutable for another.”
She added: ”It doesn’t work like that. It’s not about ‘quotas.’ It’s about understanding the country you’re living in”.
Do you understand how fundamental the black experience is to American politics? And to American history?
One race isn’t substitutable for another. It doesn’t work like that.
It’s not about “quotas.” It’s about understanding the country you’re living in. https://t.co/sttXLoD4J3
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)
Ms Ocasio-Cortez worked as a bartender before thrashing Democrat stalwart Joe Crowley – the 10-term representative and then-fourth-ranking Democrat in the House.
She supports abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the creation of a universal healthcare system.
This year, she has asserted that Mr Trump is “no question” a racist, and beaten back a manufactured controversy over a video of her dancing while in university.