Bashing Bachmann: A Review of Liberal Media's Most Obnoxious Attacks on the GOP Presidential Contender

Today's official announcement by Republican Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that she is running for the GOP nomination for President could spawn a whole new round of frenzied attacks by the liberal media on the Tea Party favorite.

A review of the MRC's archives shows a particular disdain for Bachmann coming from the likes of MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who once accused her of being a "zombie," even going as far to ask her on live Election Night coverage if she "hypnotized?" 

Not to be outdone, Matthews's former colleague Keith Olbermann claimed Bachmann's rise to Tea Party prominence was because she was one of the "evolutionary regressives" that appealed to, as actress Janeane Garafolo, put it, "the white power movement" of "tea-baggers" and "9-12ers."

The following is a collection of some of the left-wing media's most obnoxious quotes about the congresswoman:

Chris Matthews: "Congresswoman Bachmann, are you hypnotized tonight? Has someone hypnotized you? Because no matter what I ask you, you give the same answer. Are you hypnotized? Has someone put you under a trance tonight? That you give me the same answer no matter what question I put to you?"

Rep. Michele Bachmann: "I think the American people are the ones that are finally speaking tonight. We're coming out of our trance....I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe quite not so tingly on your leg anymore."

-From MSNBC's election night coverage, November 2, 2010

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "Let's listen to Michele Bachmann, your new boss. By the way she may be a zombie answering to somebody out there — Boris Karloff, I don't know who's giving her orders — but here she is on the debt ceiling. Let's listen to her."

Clip of Michele Bachmann: "I am not in favor of raising the debt ceiling. As a matter of fact, I have a petition that I'm urging people to sign at MichelePAC.com to urge their member of Congress not to raise the debt ceiling."

Matthews: "Do you hear that? Who does she get her orders from?"

-Matthews to GOP strategist Todd Harris on Hardball, January 4, 2011 

And then there's Michele Bachmann. I have said before that she has zombie-like qualities. I have never -- I think she's on hypnosis, but it turns out she just doesn't know anything. What she did this weekend was say, basically, that we did not have slavery after the days of the Founding Fathers because they were so great, they managed somehow that we didn't notice to get rid of slavery.

This is an incredible statement. The American people lost 600,000 lives in the Civil War, the worst catastrophe in our history, because of slavery continuing well past the mid-point of the 19th century. And this person - and you have to use the word "balloon head" -- said that we had slavery eradicated in the days of the Founding Fathers. I have never heard anything -- people like that should not be in politics. They didn't go to first grade in history. What is this person doing on the national stage? Go home to grade school. Start around 3rd, and you might be able to catch up with the class. Anyway, she's going out tonight as the spokesperson for the Tea Partiers. They must be really desperate.

-Matthews on Hardball, January 25, 2011

"The Republican strategy was 'Don't show your ugly faces tonight.' Today they kept all the crazies — all the crazies were in the closet....Michele Bachmann was not allowed to show up today. Joe Wilson from South Carolina was not there in evidence....[After clip of Republican participants using similar language] Look at these terms! ‘Start over,' 'clean sheet of paper,' ''scrap the bill,' 'step by step,' repeated like robotics....This is what it must be like at those North Korean assembly meetings where they all get together before the Dear Leader."

-Matthews discussing GOP's health care summit with Barack Obama on Hardball, February 25, 2010

"It's obvious to anybody who has eyes in this country that tea-baggers, the 9-12ers, these separatist groups that pretend that it's about policy — they are clearly white-identity movements. They're clearly white power movements. What they don't like about the President is that he's black....These people, who are also being led by the Glenn Becks, the Michelle Bachmans, the Rush Limbows [presumably Limbaugh], whomever, they are no different than any other white identity movement that's part of our history."

-Left-wing activist and actress Janeane Garofalo on HBO's Real Time, October 2, 2009

"If racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart, along with blind hatred, a total disinterest in the welfare of others, and a full-flowered, self-rationalizing refusal to accept the outcomes of elections, or the reality of democracy, or the narrowness of their minds and the equal narrowness of their public support. On Saturday, that support came from evolutionary regressives like Michele Bachmann and Jon Voight. On a daily basis that support comes from the racists and homophobes of radio and television: the Michael Savages and the Rush Limbaughs."

-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, March 22, 2010

"They're attractive, especially to the Republican Party, which is not known as a party that really does well with the opposite sex. Usually they're doughy white men, and I think they look on Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, as you know, MILFs. And I agree — they're morons I'd like to forget."

-HBO's Bill Maher on MSNBC's Hardball, April 14, 2010

"You feel very strongly that government should be limited to what it is allowed to do in the Constitution. Now, the fact is, when we have to change things in society, government has had to provide incentives to capital to move into certain areas. Think about energy, think about the environment. Do you really believe that the federal government should offer no incentives, should undertake no planning with anything that doesn't have to do with powers granted to them in the Constitution?"

-CNN American Morning co-anchor Ali Velshi to GOP candidate Michele Bachmann, June 14, 2011 

"[Michele] Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions....Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy. Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy....This hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator....She is at once the most entertaining and the most dangerous kind of liar, a turbocharged cross between a born bullshit artist and a religious fanatic, for whom lying to the infidel is a kind of holy duty."


-Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi in a July 7, 2011 profile, "Michele Bachmann's Holy War.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.