Liberal bias is rampant among the media, but there is no more tangible example of it than in how the media treat Conservative women. The most recent cover of Newsweek features a very wide-eyed Michele Bachmann, looking surprised and unattractive. Perhaps more disturbing is the caption Newsweek placed below the presidential candidate's photo: "Queen of Rage."
Bachmann, an attractive 55 year-old mother of five, is a three term member of the House of Representatives, constitutional conservative and prominent voice of the Tea Party movement. But if you get your information from liberals or the mainstream media, you might know her as 'crazy,' a "zombie" a "phony-ass broad" and a "skank."
In June, the Minnesota Congresswoman threw her hat into the ring of GOP 2012 White House contenders. Predictably, the media attacks on her have escalated.
Newsweek unveiled its cover story this week with a profile on the presidential contender, and readers were stunned to see the Congresswoman's "crazy eyes," a popular left wing meme for fired-up conservative women including Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice and Michelle Malkin. Malkin responded to the Newsweek cover saying, "Disseminating unflattering photos of conservatives isn't journalism. It's Alinskyite narrative-shaping."
Even though the most liberal women's group NOW has come to Bachmann's defense against the sexist photograph, the media were giddy over the unflattering photo. And small wonder. In a media environment where Playboy thinks it's all right to publish a list of conservative women to "hate f***," its open season. And it's of a piece with the vitriol, slander and slime the left and its media accomplices reserve for women of the right.
Bachmann is Target #1
The "journalists" at the Village Voice crowed with glee that they had a copy of the coveted, high resolution image of Bachman's eyes. "We have obtained a very high-resolution copy of Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann's upcoming Newsweek cover," wrote Nick Greene. "As you can see, the resolution is so high we had to crop out a lot of the image."
It should be no surprise that Gawker, the gossip site that published the disgusting tell-all from an anonymous man claiming to have spent a night with 2010 GOP Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, had a field day with the magazine cover. "Too bad the photographer startled her like that, eh? Ha ha, just kidding-they don't call her CrazyEyes for nothing. Looking like she's intercepting constitutions from other galaxies is her default setting."
Though The Washington Post called her a "barbie with fangs," Bachmann's looks are the least of her worries - her faith, political metaphors, fiery rhetoric and intelligence have all been under attack in recent months. Vanity Fair has chimed in on Bachmann's political aspirations and picked on one of her favorite metaphors: the three-legged stool.
Vanity Fair picked quotes from her June 27 presidential announcement, highlighted her stool metaphor, and offered snarky commentary.
'We are excited how we work together in this three legged stool of ours and so many of you got off the couch in this last election.'
Do the couch and stool come as a set? And are there no down payments until 2014?'
'Because a wise man named Solomon once said that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. And any carpenter will tell you that a three-legged stool is strong and stable and it won't tip over very easily.'
A multi-pronged metaphor, on the other hand, can easily tip over.
Vanity Fair also poked fun at Bachmann's faith, when she told Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation" that she felt God calling her to run for office. "God also gets to choose, and God chose Bachmann…But was it God or a campaign staffer who suggested kickstarting a campaign in the town called Waterloo? O, Lord, permit us to hazard a guess," Juli Weiner wrote.
The 5,200 word hit piece on Bachmann by Matt Taibbi in "Rolling Stone" magazine was among the worst attacks on her character to date. As NewsBusters pointed out 'Taibbi relentlessly attacked Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as a 'bats-t crazy' 'political psychopath' with a 'gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt'." The piece was accompanied by a hideous illustration of Bachmann in a full suit of armor, holding her Bible, wielding a bloody sword, with a path of destruction in her wake.
Apparently Bachmann's faith and presidential bid are so funny that Taibbi asked his readers not to laugh when considering her "presidential prospects." "Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann… Don't laugh," Taibbi asked. "It may be the hardest thing you ever do, for Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics… Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions."
(Taibbi is something of a specialist in slimy attacks on conservative women. As CMI reported in 2009, Taibbi let loose with a vile, misogynistic and violently sexual attack on columnist Michelle Malkin.)
The network news has taken to calling Bachmann names as well. On June 27, NBC "Today" correspondent Kelly O'Donnell saying that by jumping into the presidential race, Bachmann is "'redefining [her] public image' by 'turning down the flame-thrower persona.'" Bachmann, she said, "has been described as being too far outside the mainstream to be president."
In December 2010, MSNBC liberal host Chris Matthews laughed on air about Michele Bachmann being named to the House Intelligence Committee. After reporting the news that Bachmann had be named and the laughing had subsided, Matthews asked his guests "What-what genius, Howard, thought this was the perfect match?" MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman replied, "I have no comeback. I think that just speaks for itself."
Matthews, along with others at MSNBC, has a long history of degrading conservative women. His disdain for Bachmann culminated in a caustic exchange on election night 2010 in which Matthews accused her of being hypnotized or "in a trance." But the victorious Bachmann got the better of Matthews, who famously confessed to a physical reaction to a Barack Obama speech. "I imagine that thrill is probably maybe quite not so tingly on your leg any more," she shot back.
Palin in the Running
The most visible target of the mainstream media's attacks on conservative women over the last three years has been none other than former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Virtually unknown on the national stage prior to her 2008 vice presidential run, Palin was consistently under fire for her looks, speech, folksy demeanor and conservative policies as she tried to win the White House.
The former governor of the nation's largest state, and an attractive mother of five, has been called "vicious" and "paranoid," "uninformed" (by Barbara Walters), the "Kim Kardashian of politics" (Kardashian is famous for her leaked sex tape), and one who causes "strife."
Although Obama booster Oprah Winfrey said she believed the American people too intelligent to send Palin to the White House, Barbara Walters said that the thought of her as president is "scary" to some folks. She's falsely been called an "enthusiastic birther" and was even linked by the mainstream media to the tragic shootings of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in Arizona in January 2011. When the gunman turned out to be a crazed loner without political affiliation, Palin's accusers went silent.
The hate hasn't stopped with Sarah Palin, either. When her daughter Bristol appeared on "Dancing with the Stars," and succeeded in reaching the finals, liberals saw a "Tea Party conspiracy" because Palin beat "infinitely more skilled and interesting on the dance floor."
Grilling Governor Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley is the current governor of South Carolina. She's the first woman to hold the position, and at 39, the attractive mother of two is the youngest sitting governor in the United States. She's also only the second Indian-American (after Louisiana's Bobby Jindall) to serve as governor of a U.S. state.
Those are impressive achievements, and they'd be celebrated by mainstream press outlets were Haley a Democrat. But what do they earn a conservative woman? The Washington Post described Haley as a "small time agitator."
As she ran for governor in 2009 and 2010, Haley's campaign had to battle rumors that she had an extramarital affair, a claim her office continues to deny to this day. Those rumors resurfaced last winter as, according to the AP and published on the Huffington Post, "The political blogger who claims he had a physical relationship with married Republican South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley offered new details in a sworn statement released Tuesday," Seanna Adcox wrote.
It wasn't just Haley's personal life under scrutiny. Her faith was questioned as well. Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants, and grew up in a traditional Sikh faith household. Thought she became a Christian and converted to Methodism in 1996 at the age of 24, Haley continues to occasionally attend Sikh services out of respect for her parents' culture. But that was enough to get the usually disdainfully secular media up in arms about her lack of commitment to her faith.
"Nikki Haley Under Fire, Stresses Christian Faith Over Sikh Heritage," ran the headline of a 2010 article by David Gibson at Politics Daily. "South Carolina's Sarah Palin-approved Republican primary candidate for governor, Nikki Haley, seems to be trying to highlight her belief in Jesus while playing down the Sikh religion of her family in an effort to overcome damaging allegations of extramarital affairs and punishing attacks from her political foes," Gibson wrote. He cited a change in rhetoric about her personal relationship with Christ on her campaign literature and website as her changing her tone on her religion.
David Waters at the On Faith Blog for the Washington Post also questioned her commitment to her faith, saying "Nikki Haley, the Sarah Palin-endorsed, scandal-hounded, Sikh-turned-Methodist who finished first Tuesday in a contentious South Carolina Republican primary for governor, is facing new questions about the length and depth of her commitment to Christianity.' Waters cited the same reasons as Gibson for the basis of his "questions" about Haley's faith.
Haley has even come under fire for her race. Newsbusters.org pointed out that the Associated Press helped Democrats attack Haley, saying "South Carolina Democrats on Thursday seized on a 10-year-old voter registration document for Gov. Nikki Haley to claim the Republican uses her Indian-American heritage when it's convenient because it lists her race as 'W' for white."
It's also necessary to ask, how many liberal candidates - male or female - would be asked if they will embarrass the people they represent? But ABC's "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopolous asked just that. "Can you assure South Carolina voters that they're not going to be embarrassed if they elect you?"
Laura Ingraham, 'Talk Slut'
As noted above with Matt Taibbi sliming of Michelle Malkin, conservative women don't have to be politicians to attract the hatred of the left. Radio host Laura Ingraham was recently called a "right-wing slut" by MSNBC host Ed Schultz for her opinion on Obama having a beer summit overseas.
On his May 24 national radio show, Schultz said the following: "But you know what they're talking about? Like this right-wing slut, what's her name, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas …"
What's more, when the news broke, the ladies of ABC's morning talk show "The View" made light of the comments. Barbara Walters laughed off the sexist remarks. "I would like to say that Joy Behar, on this program, has called me a slut," Walters quipped.
They're Asking for It
According to Newsweek, the sexist treatment of Republican women is … their own fault for being so attractive. "There seems to be an insistent, increasingly excitable focus on the supposed hotness of Republican women in the public eye, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, and Nikki Haley - not to mention veterans like Ann Coulter," Newsweek wrote in a July 3 piece titled "Too Hot to Handle."
But not everyone buys that they bring it on themselves by being attractive without corresponding intelligence. Charlie Daniels, the famous fiddler and noted patriot had this to say about the media's treatment of Bachmann and other conservative women receive: "If they were the idiots the self-proclaimed elitists in the mainstream media would have us believe, they'd simply fall under their own weight without any help from the insulated dodos at the New York Times."