Readers of this space by now are familiar with the oft-referenced Dave Chappelle formulation of the Jussie Smollett tale, in which the actor and fabulist is referred to as the “famous French actor Juicy Smullier.”
Since Chappelle’s classic takedown of Smollett over his fanciful, and soon disproven, fish story of having been brutalized by Chicago rednecks in Trump hats setting upon him in the middle of a February night in minus-15-degree weather, there have been multiple examples of other “juicy” stories. New Orleans radio host Seth Dunlap, who falsely concocted a “homophobia” controversy after taking an unpopular on-air position, was one discussed here.
And the “juicy” scandal involving the mediocre NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and his faux-threatening garage door pull handle, which wasn’t quite the Klan lynching noose he made it out to be, was another.
But the Juicy phenomenon was always destined to make its way from the road to the Theatre District, and it most certainly has gone Broadway in the person of one Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the juiciest and most obvious eventual purveyor of useful political hoaxes imaginable.
AOC’s Juicy saga had a predictable beginning: it began out of a true American political horror. She was beset by the almost-unthinkable prospect of a conservative Republican luminary attempting to agree with her.
That being Sen. Ted Cruz, who tweeted his approval of her position in favor of the Reddit revolutionaries who ran up the price of GameStop’s stock in a market insurrection against hedge fund shorts. Cruz, whose wife formerly worked at Goldman Sachs but who has several times expressed concerns about the outsized influence of American elites in the markets, sought common ground with Ocasio-Cortez on an issue in which the hard Left and the populist Right can actually work out a sizable majority for reform.
But in true radical fashion, when the center began knocking on the door AOC ran for the basement. Rather than engage with Cruz she accused him of attempting to have her murdered.
AOC later explained that when Cruz embraced the demonstrators descending on Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to protest what nearly half the country believes (or believed at the time) was a stolen election, it was tantamount to encouraging or “inciting” the “insurrection” that resulted in protesters breaching the Capitol and engaging in misbehavior that resulted in multiple deaths — how many, and how directly, is a matter not quite settled as a factual concern.
This was met by guffaws even from people not ideologically opposed to AOC, and while she’s certainly used to people refusing to take her seriously it simply couldn’t be tolerated for her to have lost a rhetorical battle with Cruz. Therefore, we were told that not only has AOC been the victim of a prior sexual assault but she had been under severe threat of losing life and limb on Jan. 6.
Nobody quite believed that, for some reason, largely because her entire career in public life has consisted of one unserious and anti-factual ridiculous statement after another. So AOC had to spice that up by telling the tale of a Capitol policeman who gave her the willies:
I come out and this man is a Capitol police officer. But the story doesn’t end. It’s a Capitol police officer, there was no partner, [he] was not yelling, you know “Capitol Police, etc., etc.” But then it didn’t feel right, because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility. And things weren’t adding up. Like there was no partner there and no one was yelling, he wasn’t yelling “this is Capitol Police, this is Capitol Police!” And he was looking at me in all of this anger and hostility and at first, in my brain, and in my mind, I’m thinking “OK I just came from this super intense experience just now, maybe I’m reading into this. Maybe I’m projecting something onto him, maybe I’m just seeing anger but he’s not trying to be angry.” But I talked to G, my legislative director, after the fact and he said “No, I didn’t know if he was there to help us or hurt us either” and G was actually like this man came with so much hostility that G was sizing him up and didn’t know if he was going to have to fight him. Like that is how aggressive the situation was in that moment and we couldn’t even tell, we couldn’t read if this was a good situation or a bad situation. Like so many other communities in this country, just that presence doesn’t necessarily give you a clear signal if you’re safe or not. And so the situation did not feel okay.
We’ve gone from “Ted Cruz tried to have me murdered” to “the situation did not feel okay.”
Which is more than a little Juicy.
Then it gets worse, because it turns out that AOC wasn’t at the Capitol when all this happened. She was a six-minute walk away at her office in the Cannon office building, where most of the House members have their offices.
And freshman Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace noted that the Capitol protesters, or rioters depending on your level of rhetorical flourish (either way is OK in this space), never made it to Cannon.
Which occasioned a very juicy exchange between Mace and AOC over whether it’s sufficient to have been scared about what happened on Jan. 6 to make the accusation of Ted Cruz attempting to have AOC murdered into something credible. RedState’s writeup of that back-and-forth is well worth a read.
All of this is quite engaging. None of it is a surprise. If ever there was a member of Congress destined for a Juicy Smullier scandal it was AOC, an unserious millennial dunce with a following of Twitter troglodytes she weaponizes against her detractors. And in perfectly predictable form, when the hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on Twitter, she demanded her minions mass-report those sharing it to Twitter’s insufferably censorious management to have them defenestrated and deplatformed, There was no longer a doubt about her lack of introspection, integrity, or intellectual fortitude — particularly when AOC took to the well of the House chamber Thursday night to tell “her truth” about the horrors of Jan. 6 that she “experienced.”
That “her truth” bears scant resemblance to the actual truth is hardly material, and shame on you for noting the discrepancy. One cannot be Juicy without a robust insistence on one’s own fantasies and the public acceptance thereof, after all.
AOC will go far in this insane moment. In what direction is another matter altogether. But that’s for another column.