Media critic

Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on his Thursday show, saying she pushes “bizarre, far-left radical ideas.” Hannity slammed her on his Wednesday show as well for taking “planes instead of the train, the Acela, Amtrak despite her calls to abolish air travel.” Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed her on his Tuesday show, citing a poll indicating she “has wasted no time in becoming deeply unpopular among voters in her home state of New York.” Carlson also slammed her on his Monday show for her claim that there is little time left to deal with climate change. “Top Democrats are warning that if we don’t give don’t give them full control of the U.S. economy right now, the world will literally be destroyed,” said the host.

Yes — that’s an illustrative cross section of Fox News’s focus on the first-term representative.

And so, NBC late night host Seth Meyers was on the mark in asking Ocasio-Cortez about Fox News hosts: “They talk about you a lot. Are you surprised with the speed at which they seem to have shifted all their attention and programming to you?"

“I mean, it’s weird. Why are so many grown men just obsessed with this, like, 29-year-old?" responded Ocasio-Cortez, who drew laughter from the crowd with her jibe. “On second thought,” she joked. Asked whether her Republican colleagues extract bad information from Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez replied in the affirmative: “One of the side-effects of . . . this Fox News lunacy is that other actual members of Congress believe it and see it uncritically.”

There are many reasons Ocasio-Cortez is a Fox News star. One is that the network will jump on any pretext for mocking a lefty, as host Laura Ingraham displayed on her show. Another is Ocasio-Cortez’s profile. Like President Trump, Fox News needs an opponent, a detractor, an enemy to add conflict and edge to its broadcasts.

Peel away those layers, though, and you get to the core answer, which is that Ocasio-Cortez wants to raise taxes on the rich. And as we learned earlier this year, that idea — and its historical and logical merits — is enough to short-circuit the ideologues over at Fox News.

Read more:

Alexandra Petri: I am sick of hearing about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from myself, talking about her

Paul Waldman: Republicans really hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There’s a lesson there for 2020.

Marc A. Thiessen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an economic illiterate — and that’s a danger to America

Christine Emba: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a troll. The good kind.