U.S. Republican lawmaker under fire for video attacking Ocasio-Cortez

November 9, 2021
U.S. Republican lawmaker under fire for video attacking Ocasio-Cortez

Twitter Inc. added a warning label on Tuesday to an anime video shared by U.S. Republican lawmaker Paul Gosar depicting him swinging swords at President Joe Biden and killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a post that has appalled the New York congresswoman and some of her Democratic colleagues.

Twitter said the video violated its “hateful conduct” policy and restricted engagement with the tweet, blocking the ability to like, reply or retweet it.

However, the social media giant said in a notification attached above the tweet that it had determined “it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

“As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited,” Twitter said in an email.

The 90-second video shared by Gosar on Sunday appears to be an altered version of a Japanese animated series and is interspersed with real-life footage of U.S. Border Patrol officers rounding up migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The roughly 90-second video is an altered version of a Japanese anime series, interspersed with shots of border patrol officers and migrants at the southern U.S. border.

During one roughly 10-second section of the video, animated characters whose faces have been replaced with Gosar and fellow House Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado are seen fighting other animated characters.

In one scene, Gosar’s character is seen striking the one made to look like Ocasio-Cortez in the neck with a sword.

In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez, referred to Gosar as “a creepy member I work with” and said he “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.” She added that Gosar would face no consequences because Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “cheers him on with excuses.” She also said that institutions “don’t protect” women of colour.

Democrats suggest Gosar should be reprimanded

The doctored video has been widely condemned by prominent politicians and social media users.

A fellow House Democrat, Ted Lieu of California, referred to Gosar’s tweet as “sick behaviour” and said in a tweet of his own: “In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired.”

Jamie Raskin, another House Democrat, said the chamber needed to address Gosar’s conduct, calling it “grotesque, dangerous and utterly disgraceful.”

Gosar was among the lawmakers whose phone or computer records a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection asked social media and telecommunications companies to preserve as they were potentially involved with efforts to “challenge, delay or interfere” with the certification or otherwise try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

He has suggested that Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot inside the Capitol in the Jan. 6 melee, was a martyr who was “executed.”

In 2018, six of Gosar’s siblings appeared in a campaign ad for his congressional opponent, deeming their brother unfit for office.

In the wake of his Jan. 6 actions and Babbitt comments, Dave Gosar told NBC News he considered his brother “a traitor to this country.”

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