Journo claims NBC brass told her not to dress ‘too Latina’ for WHCA dinner, ‘think Ivanka Trump’

(FILE PHOTO by video screenshot)

A “journalist” who works for MSNBC and NBC News complained in a personal memoir released two months ago that she was asked by an NBC official in 2017 to not dress “too Latina” for the White House Correspondents Dinner, aka “nerd prom,” as it’s called by liberals.

“[W]hen NBC invited me to go to nerd prom in 2017 as part of their team, I was thrilled to represent our people, proud of having a seat at the table, literally and figuratively,” the memoir by Mariana Atencio reads. “I wanted to make a small tribute to my heritage. I had an idea — what if I wore something yellow, blue, and red, the flag colors of so many South American nations?”

It’s unclear why she — as an American citizen employed by MSNBC and NBC News — viewed the inhabitants of South American nations as “our people” versus her fellow peers who worked under the NBCUniversal News Group umbrella.

“Bags packed and ready by the door, I was whipping up a quick pre-flight lunch with my husband when my cell phone rang. It was one of the female managers at the network.”

Here’s a rundown of the conversation that followed:

  • Manager: “Mariana, I just wanted to make sure you’re prepared for such a prestigious gathering. What are you going to wear?”
  • Atencio: “Why do you ask?”
  • Manager: “Please don’t look too Latina.”
  • Atencio: “I beg your pardon?”
  • Manager: “When you pick your outfit, I mean.”
  • Atencio: “Um, I’m sorry — what does that even mean? I still don’t understand what I am supposed to do or not do.”
  • Manager: “Why don’t you go to Saks Fifth Avenue and have someone help you out? Have them pick out something demure. Not too colorful or tight. Think Ivanka Trump, okay? Let me know if you run into any trouble. Bye.”

“I thought about the multicolored outfit I’d already packed,” the memoir continues. “My self-esteem. My identity. Even my community had taken a beating in my mind. What’s worse is that this reaffirmed the belief that there is a formula to how people should look. For a moment, I felt like I was back at summer camp, feeling different and out of place.”

The rest of the passage from Atencio’s memoir talks about “colorism,” its ties to slavery and how she now regrets not standing up for herself.

During an NBC News interview in late June, only weeks after the release of her book, she reportedly revealed that she’d told the anecdote in the book “not to harp on the negative, but to remind readers that these things still happen and that we have to call them out and have conversations as adults about how we can get past them.”

It’s unclear whether she ever “called out” the manager, let alone filed a complaint with human resources about it. It’s also unclear why she still works at NBC, given the circumstances.

What’s known is that, despite NBC’s portrayal of Atencio as a journalist, she seems to be a far-left activist/commentator — one whose views parallel those of NBC’s other “journalists” to a T.

Observe for instance her reaction to the legally-justified apprehension last week of over 600 illegal aliens at various poultry processing plants in Mississippi:

Note also how she again refers to “our community,” except that instead of referencing the inhabitants of South American nations, this time she referenced illegal aliens.

Both the words contained in Atencio’s memoir and her pro-illegal alien activism does suggest she tends to prioritize her status as someone who was born in Venezuela over her status a presumably law-abiding American citizen and purported journalist. This could theoretically explain — though it wouldn’t excuse — her manager’s bizarre decision to ask that she not dress “too Latina.”

Vivek Saxena

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