Bozell Column: Fear and Loathing of Bachmann
In the last election cycle, we heard a lot of complaining about the sexist treatment accorded to Hillary Clinton as she campaigned for president. One magazine wrote, “It’s her resilience and capacity to survive and thrive against all comers that partly fuels the haters’ fury.” They even wrote “The anti-Hillary industry has never managed to bring down Hillary herself — in fact, the more they have attacked, the higher she has risen.”
That would be Newsweek magazine, in the June 18, 2007 issue. Four years later, Newsweek was mocking Republican candidate Michele Bachmann on its cover, making her look pale and confused and, well, nutty – with the headline “The Queen of Rage.” Physician, heal thyself. Now the term “hater’s fury” aptly describes the very same “news” magazine that so pompously lectures us about civility every time one of their favorites is in the political crosshairs.
It’s impossible to imagine the “objective” news rags picturing Hillary with crazy eyes and a headline like “Queen of Rage.” Newsweek titled their 2007 article “The New War on Hillary.” There is a War on Michele developing, and it’s being waged by the left-wing press. They won’t stop until they achieve their goal of grinding her presidential hopes – if not her entire political career – into a fine powder. They despise this woman.
On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough was typical: “Michele Bachmann is a joke...Her candidacy is a joke.” Joe has favored the sleep-walking Jon Huntsman because “He can speak in complete sentences. One sentence actually relates to the previous sentence.” Huntsman only got beat in the straw poll by Bachmann by, ahem...4,823 to 69, or a ratio of about 70 to 1. So who is the joke?
On NBC, former CNBC host Donny Deutsch defended Newsweek’s right to mock Bachmann as a cartoon without care for accuracy and honesty: “Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture, and they didn't air touch her. It's not a flattering article. By the way, why can't you write an unflattering, biased article?”
Deutsch wasn’t kidding about the nastiness of the article. Newsweek’s Lois Romano threw acid at Bachmann about her dangerous “shtick” of “intransigence.” Here’s a typical, sneering sentence: “For now, Bachmann revels in the Iowa crowds, which don't fuss about the missing fine print behind her ideas, the perceived contradictions among them, or their radicalism.”
Newsweek claims to loathe contradictions – as they write long, nasty editorials and then claim like complete hypocrites that they’re publishing a “news” product.
There are at least three reasons for the media’s everlasting enmity. The first is Bachmann’s staunch and vocal conservatism on TV. She has become the most identifiable member of Congress aligned with the Tea Party, which to the liberal media is a cancer on our politics
that must be removed like a tumor. Bachmann’s opposition to Obama and his radical agenda was red-hot before the Tea Party “rage” was born.
The second is Bachmann’s deeply-held religious faith. She’s an evangelical conservative who doesn’t hesitate from a fight on cultural issues like abortion and “gay marriage.” Our secular press corps seriously despises people who dare to assert that America is great in part because America has been and is inspired by Judeo-Christian values. Their ideal of a “devout Christian” is Barack Obama, who devoutly spends most Sundays golfing.
Third is Bachmann’s gender – but that’s closely associated with the first two. If you’re a liberal woman, the media will celebrate your presidential run as shattering a glass ceiling. But as we just learned with Sarah Palin, a conservative woman on a national ticket is going to get nothing but a carpet-bombing from the powers that be in “compassionate” journalism.
(The same narrative applies to conservative blacks. Just ask Clarence Thomas.)
There are many Republicans infatuated with the idea of countering Obama in 2012 with female or minority conservatives, be it on the presidential and/or vice presidential ticket. But it’s quite obvious that the media – especially liberal females and minorities in the media – loathe the very thought, regardless of the person. They don’t want to give up their “making history” template for two seconds.
Five months ago, new Newsweek boss Tina Brown’s first cover championed Hillary Clinton and “How she’s shattering glass ceilings everywhere.” Brown doesn’t really want conservative women to shatter that metaphorical ceiling first. After a run of victories by conservative female candidates in the 2010 GOP primaries, Brown went on ABC and with a straight face called the wins "a blow to feminism."
And she calls Michele Bachmann the Queen of Rage.