Fake News: Mitch McConnell Campaign Did NOT Say 'Boys Will Be Boys' After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Disturbing Groping Pic

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alan Duke
Did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign say "boys will be boys" in its reply to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of a tweeted photo of teen volunteers groping a life-size cardboard cut-out of her? No, that's not true: "Boys will be boys" was a shorthand interpretation of the defense released by "Team Mitch" published by the Daily Beast, which was then used more literally by Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet reply. Other media repeated the phrase as if it was what McConnell's manager literally said.

The false quote was included in an article published by The New York Daily News on August 6, 2019 titled "Mitch McConnell campaign says boys will be boys after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasts TeamMitch over disturbing groping pic" (archived here) which opened:

AOC says #TeamMitch is a bunch of dangerous perverts -- but his campaign literally says boys will be boys.

The liberal lightning rod is demanding Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) take action after campaign supporters were pictured groping and insulting a cardboard cut-out model of her.

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Mitch McConnell campaign says boys will be boys after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasts TeamMitch over disturbing groping pic

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is demanding Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) take action after campaign supporters were pictured groping and insulting a cardboard cut-out model of her.

The controversy began after the photo was tweeted on August 5, 2019 by a New York woman using the handle "feminist next door."

The "future federal judges" comment may have been included because the Team Mitch Instagram account also shared a photo of several of the same teen boys holding up cardboard heads of judges and a justice confirmed by the senate under McConnell's leadership:

Ocasio-Cortez soon retweeted the photo, with the added message:

Hey @senatemajldr - these young men look like they work for you.

Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?

McConnell senate campaign manager Kevin Golden issued a statement in response to Ocasio-Cortez which read:

We've watched for years as the far-left and the media look for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics.

These young men are not campaign staff, they're high schoolers and it's incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country. Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life sized cardboard cut outs of any gender in a manner similar to what we saw from President Obama's speechwriting staff several years ago.

The Daily Beast published a story on August 6, 2019 titled "McConnell Campaign Responds to Viral Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cutout Being Groped." The website promoted the story in a tweet that read "Mitch McConnell's campaign manager essentially says boys will be boys in response to that image of teens groping and choking a cutout of @AOC."

The 'boys will be boys" phrase was an interpretation by writer Shira Feder, who concluded Golden's statement "essentially" said that:

After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) slammed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a photo posted on Facebook of a group of young men wearing "Team Mitch" shirts shown choking and groping a cardboard cutout of the Democratic congresswoman, the Senate majority leader's campaign manager initially responded by saying, in essence, boys will be boys. The campaign ultimately ended up condemning the image as "demeaning."

But Rep. Ocasio-Cortez picked up the phrase and shared it on her Twitter account as if it was a direct quote from Team Mitch:

Boys will be boys."

Is that also the reason why you've chosen to block the Violence Against Women act too, @senatemajldr?

It prevents dating partners w/ records of abuse + stalking women (also an early warning sign from many mass shooters) from obtaining a gun.

This tweet led to other media outlets attributing the "boys will be boys" phrase to McConnell's campaign.

This Lead Stories article is not intended to weigh in on the whether the actual statement from McConnell's manager was appropriate, but we can conclude that some of the media coverage was inaccurate.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes nydailynews.com as:

The website of the Daily News in New York, one of the country's oldest tabloid newspapers, covering news, sports, and gossip in the nation's largest city.

According to NewsGuard the site can generally be trusted to maintain journalistic standards. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about nydailynews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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