Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yes, Chris Wallace, Michele Bachmann is a flake. Thanks for asking

Okay, Michele Bachmann is certainly the flavor of the moment in American political discourse. Ever since the media decided that she won the New Hampshire GOP presidential nomination debate because she was disciplined enough not to betray her natural wackiness, we have all been talking about her a lot. Sometimes you just can't help talking about things like this. It's like what happens after going to a circus freak show when you're a kid.

The most interesting thing over the past few days, though, was the posing of a question to Bachmann by Fox News personality Chris Wallace, which has to be on the minds of many. You probably know that he asked her, no doubt based on so many of the nutty things she has said in the past, if she was a flake.

For some reason, she took exception, and still appears not to be ready to accept Wallace's apology, which someone in a position of authority at Fox must have suggested he offer. Or maybe Wallace realized himself that pissing off Fox Nation was not a good way to ensure long-term employment with the network.

That was fun.

What is also interesting is the consideration of that question to Bachmann in the context of an earlier comment made by Wallace in an interview with Jon Stewart.

In the interview, Stewart said the following:
The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.

Wallace replied:
I don't think our viewers are the least bit disappointed with us. I think our viewers think, finally, they're getting somebody who tells the other side of the story.

By his comment, it seems obvious to me, as it did to Stewart, that Wallace was blowing the shit out of Fox's claim to be fair and balanced by arguing that it is Fox's job to counter what they see as the liberal bias in the media. Whether or not one thinks the media have a liberal bias, Fox likes to argue that they remain neutral in their presentation of the news, however much nonsense that actually is to most reasonable people.

No great surprise here. It was just nice to have someone at Fox admit that the fair and balanced thing is bullshit. Golly gee, they seem to be driven by an ideological agenda that colors everything they do. Well, duh.

So, when Wallace asked Bachmann if she was a flake, he was badly off script. There is a narrative that all Fox employees are required to embrace. Conservatives are good. Liberals are evil and there are no shades of gray. And that is the so-called "other side" as Wallace sees it.

On that side of things, conservatives are not flakes, and certainly not Michele Bachmann, though she consistently embarrasses herself with mind-blowing ignorance and frightening right-wing extremism.

It's a shame Wallace felt the need to apologize for this, because he accidentally asked a good question, even if he regrets it now. Societal norms apparently dictate that unhinged candidates who have no business running for president be shielded from such unpleasantness, but Michele Bachman is arguably the most ridiculous person in Washington. She proudly embraces bizarre conspiracy theories; she routinely says crazy things on national television; she pretends to grasp public policies she doesn't understand; and her worldview is comparable to someone who's suffered serious head trauma. Even as the Republican Party leaps off a right-wing cliff, Bachmann stands out for her unique brand of madness.

So, thank you, Mr. Wallace for asking a question for which very few of us didn't know the answer. I am so very sorry you got in trouble with your network for failing to remember job one at Fox, don't screw around with the pre-approved radical right-wing narrative.

But thank you most of all for putting the question directly to Bachman, on behalf of the non-crazy rest of us, and quite obviously pissing her off. She knew what to expect in an interview on your network. She got the memo from Fox News management. Why didn't you?

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • All hail to Astroturf TeaBparty Queen (ATQ), Michele Bachmann. Isn’t she the one that who rails against the Federal Government while every year she benefits from farm subsidies and adopts kids to work them on same farm. Oh yeah she is also a self-proclaimed historian on the US Founding Fathers and US history. The sad truth she will lie to get her way, what honor is there in that? But if you manipulate our US history and double down when you are found out, well don’t go crying to Fake News when you lose. Kind of like the Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Most recent quitter of her Bus Tour to restore America). We remember what happen when after “W” manipulate Florida (w/ the help of brother Jebb) to win the presidency and his failure to win any of the two wars he started that devastated our treasury and ruined our economy for the next 50 years. If the GOP thinks that Michele Bachmann is the answer, good luck with that. After her "John Wayne" mishap and Tom Petty, calling her a thief, well you know, same old Bachmann, you have a winner GOP.

    By Anonymous Montana, at 12:31 PM  

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