Former Clinton pollster Mark Penn weighed in on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) power and influence to get 'The New York Times' to update a headline about President Trump's statement on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend. Penn told FOX News host Tucker Carlson the paper of record caved in a way that will "haunt them for some time to come."
"To actually bend after it is printed to a political faction is to cave in a way that I think will haunt them for some time to come," Penn said Tuesday.
"The paper wanted to please a constituency and they weren't willing to stand behind their own headline and were then willing to change for that constituency," Penn said. "That is incredible."
MARK PENN: Look. You could think that either headline was okay but the process of the headline that was factually correct and frankly was unifying after this horrifying events would then be complained about by one political faction and changed, that is an astounding development in journalism. I've never seen it. Maybe it's happened before.
Why don't they just run the headlines before AOC before they run them now and not get in this situation? I've never seen anything like this. I mean, that would be the way to go to avoid this kind of trouble. Is that journalism today? I don't think so.
TUCKER CARLSON: Isn't the appropriate response -- Well, I know, I've been in it for 28 years -- I know the appropriate response, it's up yours. It's our paper. We'll write the headlines we want, it's our paper. And we're going to tell the truth whether you like it or not. Whatever happened to that attitude?
PENN: That was the old 'The New York Times' that I know. I used to complain when I was working with Hillary and Bill about the headlines all the time. I never got one changed, maybe I got a paragraph six grafs down changed, but you know, they were the paper of record, they said how they thought and that was that.
To actually bend after it is printed to a political faction is to cave in a way that I think will haunt them for some time to come... What's changed is, one there is social media. But regardless of the social media, the paper wanted to please a constituency and they weren't willing to stand behind their own headline and were then willing to change for that constituency. That is incredible.
CARLSON: It is. It is incredible. So, I mean, you've been in Washington an awfully long time and known a lot of people in power here. Have you ever seen anybody under 30 with as much political power as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
PENN: No. It's not political power. You see, Pelosi is right. Pelosi runs the House.
But when it comes to media power, and to influence across our work culture and society, she is a phenomenon that is really quite powerful. And she could change the headline on 'The New York Times.'
CARLSON: It's like a child with a firearm. She's scary. I'm glad I'm not a Democrat. I'm glad I'm not Nancy Pelosi. That's probably the first time I ever thought this. I mean, how would you like to deal with that? I almost feel sorry for Pelosi. Almost.