Daily Beast contributing editor Justin Baragona offered a humble apology after he falsely accused Fox News host Tucker Carlson of doctoring a photo on his Wednesday night show of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to depict her with ‘googly eyes’.
Ocasio-Cortez became a hot topic when she attacked Texas Republican leaders due to the power outages that have struck the Lone Star state during a massive winter storm, leaving millions without power in freezing temperatures. She claims that her “Green New Deal” would have prevented the catastrophe.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to her followers, “The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal. Weak on sweeping next-gen public infrastructure investments, little focus on equity so communities are left behind, climate deniers in leadership so they don’t long prep for disaster. We need to help people *now.* Long-term we must realize these are the consequences of inaction.”
That brings us back to Baragona’s accusation against Carlson. “So it appears that Tucker’s producers added ‘googly eyes’ to AOC in this image,” he stated after viewing Carlson’s segment on the Texas storm where he ripped wind turbines, liberals, and green energy. Except that wasn’t the case. The untouched photo was from 2018 and is a widely-used screenshot of Ocasio-Cortez. He also stated that Carlson’s upcoming video series on Fox Nation would be “just as racist as his show but with automatic weapons.”
Video Credit: Fox News
Later, Baragona would admit his mistake concerning the photo and apologize to Carlson for his unfounded accusation. He proceeded to delete his post as well. “Taking down this tweet as the image of AOC has been out there since at least May 2018,” the editor tweeted.
Taking down this tweet as the image of AOC has been out there since at least May 2018.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 18, 2021
In another tweet, Baragona took responsibility for his mistake: “Every day you log onto Twitter, you hope to get through it without being it. Tonight, I was it. And I absolutely deserved to be.”
“Word of advice — if you don’t want to be IT, make sure you don’t send out factually inaccurate tweets that can be easily verified and debunked,” he cautioned.
Every day you log onto Twitter, you hope to get through it without being it.
Tonight, I was it.
And I absolutely deserved to be.
Word of advice — if you don't want to be IT, make sure you don't send out factually inaccurate tweets that can be easily verified and debunked.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 18, 2021
According to Chuck DeVore, VP of Texas Public Policy Foundation, subsidies for green energy may have actually made things worse so Ocasio-Cortez’s claims on the Green New Deal may not have saved the day after all.
“Two problems in #Texas, one short-term and exacerbated by the long term issue, and one long term. The short-term failure came at about 1 AM Monday when #ERCOT should have seen the loads soaring due to plummeting temperatures and arranged for more generation. Texas came very close to having a system-wide outage for the whole state (ERCOT area, about 85% of the state) due to not arranging for more generation. This tripped the grid, knocking some reliable thermal plants (gas and coal) offline,” explained DeVore.
“This was a failure of the grid operator (ERCOT) not the power plants. In the last 4-5 years, Texas lost a net of 3,000 megawatts of thermal out of a total installed capacity 73,000 megawatts today. We lost the thermal power because operators couldn’t see a return on investment due to be undercut by wind and solar which is cheap for two reasons – it’s subsidized and it doesn’t have to pay for the costs of grid reliability by purchasing battery farms or contracting with gas peaker plants to produce power when needed, not when they can,” he added.
“Meanwhile, Texas has seen a growth of 20,000 megawatts of wind and solar over the same period to 34,000 megawatts of installed capacity (they rarely perform anywhere close to capacity). This subsidized (state and federal) wind and solar have pushed reliable thermal operators out of business or prevented new generations from being built as operators can’t make money off of the market. This reduced the capacity margin – grids must have excess capacity to ensure stability. Texas is experiencing what California has – with California affecting the entire Western Interconnection due to its policies. Blackouts are a feature of the push to have more unreliable renewables on the grid. Must pay $$ for reliable backup w/ renewables,” Devore posited on Twitter.
As far as Baragona’s too-soon accusation against Tucker Carlson and his apology, that got plenty of play on Twitter:
You know how you can avoid future L’s?
Stop putting what you WANT to be true, ahead of what IS true.https://t.co/TSYlwI8sLX
— David Henry (I have zero interest in Parler) (@imau2fan) February 18, 2021
Honest question: What made you decide to put this out there to begin with? Did you look into it at all? Or, did you just make it up?
— Clifton French (@CliffFrenchTV) February 18, 2021
To be fair, he did receive a heaping bit of praise for admitting his mistake:
You shouldn’t have to take the L. You should check your facts before posting. I give you credit for coming clean tho. Most of your kind wouldn’t dare.
— David (@st8ofluvntrust) February 18, 2021
Was here to mock but will instead day respect for being able to own mistakes pic.twitter.com/cTZ3V9ElZq
— JdsJackets (@jdsjackets) February 18, 2021
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