One of the United States’ biggest news outlets has been slammed for a “profoundly misleading” and since deleted tweet implying a politician had made a sensational backflip when she was just following procedure.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week endorsed Joe Biden as the party’s presidential candidate to run against US President Donald Trump in November, formalising a nomination that had already been decided.
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Joe Biden saw off competing campaigns from the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders before the former vice-president clinched the nomination.
But on Wednesday, NBC News tried to make it look like the race was still on.
“In one of the shortest speeches of the DNC, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not endorse Joe Biden,” a tweet sent from the network’s account said.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the youngest members of the US Congress who through the primaries supported Bernie Sanders and championed the Green New Deal and Medicare For All policies that were largely at the heart of his campaign.
She also endorsed him for president.
“I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,” she said at the DNC.
But it wasn’t a last minute protest against the party’s choice.
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Ms Ocasio-Cortez was specifically asked to second the nomination as part of the event’s rules, and her speech was also prerecorded.
“Convention rules require roll call and nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold. I was asked to second the nomination for Senator Sanders for roll call,” she explained on Twitter.
“The nomination is a procedural requirement of the convention,” read an “editor’s note and clarification” NBC News later wrote in reply to the tweet it deleted.
“Ocasio-Cortez has previously endorsed Biden, and her speech was similar in length to other nominating speeches,” it added.
The “clarification” came too late for some Twitter followers.
“We all knew that,” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s part of the procedure for a nominating convention. Delete your tweet and post a correction instead of trying to cover up a very misinformed at best tweet.”
“That’s a strange way of saying, ‘our original tweet misrepresented a planned and ordinary ceremonial part of the nomination procedure. There was no story. We regret the error,’” wrote another user, suggesting the apology they wanted to see.
“The previous tweet is profoundly misleading and should be deleted,” another user wrote.
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Other users were baying for blood and calling for someone to be fired over the tweet.
Still more wanted to place the blame on the “interns” in charge of the social media account.
However, NBC is a multi-billion dollar corporation and like most media organisations, do actually employ people to run the social media accounts it relies on to attract viewers, rather than having interns manage one of the most important parts of its business.