Jason Horowitz's July 6 piece in the Style section of the Washington Post, "Faith & Politics," was a continuation of the mainstream media's crusade against Michele Bachman and her family. Half anthropology report from the darkest Midwest, half political hit-piece, Horowitz's article sniped at the Bachmanns' opposition to homosexuality and their strong Lutheran faith.
Horowitz opened his article by portraying the Mr. and Mrs. Bachmann as unfeeling villains in their opposition to homosexuality: "In an interview last year with a Christian-radio talk show, Marcus Bachmann, a therapist who runs a faith-infused counseling center here, compared homosexuals to 'barbarians' who 'need to be educated, need to be disciplined.'"
Narrow-minded conservative, attacking homosexuality.
But Horowitz was merely getting started.
Horowitz then snidely described the Bachmanns' community, declaring that "Dr. Bachmann's strong anti-gay views would hardly be noteworthy outside the suburban towns marked with water towers in the St. Croix Valley." The implication is clear: uneducated country hicks aren't intelligent enough to support gay rights.
Horowitz quoted political scientist Larry Jacobs, who stated of the Bachmanns that "Their career in politics has always been about pursuing a social conservative agenda." Horowitz dutifully echoed Jacobs's assessment, disputing a quote from Michele Bachmann: "I am not running [for president] to be anyone's judge." Horowitz then proceeded to judge Bachmann's statement: "This is something of a change."
To bolster this claim, Horowitz brought out two incidents from Bachmann's past that were widely spread and embellished by professional Bachmann-bashers in an attempt to paint Michele Bachmann as a zealot obsessed with anti-gay behavior.
Horowitz attacked Michele's husband, Marcus, noting that "he is a major focal point of the Dump Bachmann blog," which he advertised as "the go-to archive for all things negative about the congresswoman." He then cited an article stating that Marcus Bachmann's clinic engaged in "reparative therapy," which Horowitz described as "a method of converting homosexuals to heterosexuality often [derisively] called 'praying away the gay.'"
Then Horowitz sought to conflate Bachmann's religious beliefs with her anti-homosexual aversion. He quoted Bachmann as calling a gay member of her family "part of Satan," and then turned to a gay Democratic state senator, Scott Dibble, who claimed that she once "prayed over his empty desk."
To complete the picture of the Bachmanns as radical Christian ideologues, Horowitz linked the Bachmanns' opposition to homosexuality with their faith, noting the strong opposition to homosexuality of their Lutheran church. Horowitz then tried to cast doubt on Marcus Bachmann's credentials as a therapist, stating that Marcus Bachmann is "not currently licensed by Minnesota's mental health or family therapy boards."
Horowitz closed his article by making Michele Bachmann out to be an unstable religious zealot, quoting Marcus Bachmann as stating that "what she was looking for in a husband was clearly stability" and stating that Mrs. Bachmann believed that she was called by God to marry her husband.
Horowitz's article is merely the latest in a series of media attacks against Bachmann - and against conservative women in general. This article was tame compared to some of the more vicious attacks that have been leveled against Bachmann and her family. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann compared Bachmann's son to Luke Skywalker rebelling against the "dark side" after he volunteered for a government program. She herself has been called an "evolutionary regressive" and has been attacked as having "zombie-like" qualities.
The media's loathing for conservative women is not a new phenomenon. Sarah Palin was subjected to vicious attacks on her and her family, as a 2008 CMI special report documented. Bachmann herself argued that "Clearly there is an effort to silence the voices of conservative women."
The Post's need to denigrate the Bachmanns' beliefs merely serves to illustrate the hatred of the media for conservative women.