Citing illness, Ocasio-Cortez cancels final appearance at SXSW festival

March 11, 2019 by Ben Marquis

Attendees at the predominately liberal and progressive annual gathering in Austin, Texas known as South by Southwest (SXSW) — a festival ostensibly devoted to film and technology — were disappointed to learn on Sunday that a highly anticipated final appearance by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had been cancelled at the last moment.

The media- and leftist-adored freshman congresswoman was reportedly feeling “under the weather” and unable to participate in the taping of a popular podcast discussion.

Illness cited for absence

The congresswoman’s communications director Corbin Trent announced in a statement on Sunday, “We were extremely excited to join Michael Isikoff and Dan Klaidman in a conversation about big tech and antitrust.”

“Unfortunately Representative Ocasio-Cortez is under the weather and unable to attend the Skullduggery podcast. We are looking forward to continuing this very important conversation in the future,” Trent added.

The statement was shared via Twitter by both Klaidman and Isikoff, as well as through an alert issued by the SXSW app.

Klaidman, editor in chief at Yahoo News, said of the cancellation, “We’re sorry @AOC is not feeling well. We are very much looking forward to rescheduling this important conversation with @SkullduggeryPod soon. Here’s the official statement from her office. And stay tuned.”


Isikoff, also of Yahoo News, tweeted his disappointment as well, stating, “We are bummed — and hope @AOC gets better soon. We look forward to rescheduling.”

Cancelled appearance disappoints eager crowd

The Daily Mail reported that the cancellation of Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance was announced only about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled taping of the Skullduggery podcast, disappointing numerous fans and supporters who were already waiting in line to hear the young congresswoman speak.

Word of her decision came shortly after the taping had been moved from its original venue to another about three times its size in anticipation of the large crowd that was expected to attend.

Relocation of the podcast taping to a larger space was no doubt in response to the massive crowd that had turned out to see Ocasio-Cortez at a Saturday evening appearance, one that not only packed the venue to capacity, but also filled overflow rooms with people interested in hearing her remarks.

During the Saturday event, liberal television personality Bill Nye also took the microphone and lamented the challenges of engaging with those who do not support progressive viewpoints on climate change due to “fear.” He asserted that “people are just afraid of what will happen if we try to make these big changes” in the areas of climate and income inequality.

Nye later tweeted his approval of Ocasio-Cortez and her radical environmental agenda, declaring, “AOC gets it.”

Notably, cancellation of the planned podcast appearance occurred not long after the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist was spotted greeting fans, posing for selfies, signing autographs and giving impromptu interviews on the red carpet at the premiere of a documentary titled Knock Down The House, a film chronicling the primary campaigns of four women who ran for Congress, including Ocasio-Cortez.