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Journalist's 'creep shot' photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparks major backlash online

Mythili Sampathkumar

A tweet over Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's choice of clothing has sparked a backlash after a journalist suggested she was a woman who “struggles” with money.

The tweet from Eddie Scarry of the Washington Times came after it was revealed Ms Ocasio-Cortez could not afford to rent a flat in Washington before her Congressional salary kicks in in January.

The picture, taken of Ms Ocasio-Cortez from behind said:: “Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now. I’ll tell you something: that jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles”.

The backlash was swift and Mr Scarry has since deleted the tweet which had thousands of replies with criticism for the “creep shot,” as Vox’s Liz Plank called it.

Even Dictionary.com’s Twitter account took a swipe at Mr Scarry for calling the 29-year-old New Yorker a “girl,” quote-tweeting him with the definition: “Girl. Noun. A female child, from birth to full growth. E.g. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a girl.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who has been taking Instagram followers along with her in a series of behind-the-scenes videos of the freshman Congress class’ orientation sessions, also responded.

She has made no secret of her upbringing in a working-class neighbourhood of the Bronx borough of New York City and just until a year and a half ago was serving tables at a restaurant when she began her bid for the US House seat.

She tweeted no matter what she wore, critics of the socialist Democrat would find something to say.

“If I walked into Congress wearing a sack, they would laugh & take a picture of my backside. If I walk in with my best sale-rack clothes, they laugh & take a picture of my backside,” she wrote. She added: “Dark hates light - that’s why you tune it out.”

Mr Scarry attempted to defend himself from the onslaught and said in a follow-up tweet his original message was misinterpreted.

He said he simply meant she looked “elegant...despite suggestions she’s struggled”.

At one point Mr Scarry had posted an Amazon link to his book Fraud and Fiction: The Real Truth Behind Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

The page was subsequently flooded with one-star reviews.