NBC Apologizes to Michele Bachmann for Offensive Fallon Song

NBC on Wednesday issued a formal apology to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for the offensive song that was played as she walked onto the stage to be Jimmy Fallon's guest Monday evening.

The issue was discussed in great detail on Thursday's Today show (video follows with transcript and commentary):

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON: Michele Bachmann.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC: Meantime, Michele Bachmann criticized NBC Wednesday after her recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon when the show's band played a song with a title that's offensive to women as she walked out onto the stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MINNESOTA): And this is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite, but it’s also, I think, a sexism, sexism as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WELKER: In a tweet, Fallon apologized saying, “I'm honored that Michele Bachmann was on our show yesterday and I'm so sorry about the intro mess. I hope she comes back.” And the Roots bandleader released this statement: "The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention.” An NBC executive has sent a letter to Michele Bachmann apologizing for the incident, calling it unfortunate, but also unacceptable, and went on to say that the Roots bands has been seriously reprimanded. Jimmy Fallon also called Bachmann to apologize personally. The GOP candidates will be back on the campaign trail tomorrow. Carl.

CARL QUINTAINILLA, HOST: Kristen Welker, thank you for that. John Harwood is CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent. John, good morning. Let's pick up on that Michele Bachmann story that Kristen ended with. We’ve heard about the apology from Fallon and from NBC. Bachmann seems to suggest that there would have been a swifter response had this been say the first lady instead. Are the implications here more personal than political?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: There probably would have been a swifter response if it was the first lady because she's more high profile. Ultimately, though, we got to the place that we ought to get to. Everybody knows that Jimmy Fallon’s a funny guy. The show is edgy. But if you are going to have a presidential candidate as a guest in your house, you’ve got to treat them with respect. The way she was introduced was outrageous, and eventually NBC and Jimmy Fallon have done the right thing.


It's a pretty lame excuse to say the response would have been swifter if the snub was on the first lady as it seems a metaphysical certitude the apology would have come far more quickly if this had happened to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Women's rights groups would have been out in force demanding an apology minutes after the incident took place.

Welker's report also ignored the fact that the drummer had tweeted before the show that something edgy was going to happen thereby refuting the claim that this was a spur of the moment decision.

Something else to consider is that when MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin called the President a "dick" in June, he was suspended for four weeks.

One therefore wonders what "serious" reprimand the band got for calling Bachmann a "lyin' a-- b--ch."

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.