The bias against Bachmann
The mainstream media are, of course, opposed to prejudice, yet remain the greatest generator of organized prejudice on the planet. Once they settle on a derogatory view of an individual or group, they keep repeating it forever, regardless of the facts. Michele Bachmann, for example, is now written down as a whack-job and ignoramus, and the media describe her that way even when the story they are reporting flatly contradicts it. In the last week I saw two items about her that played on these prejudices.
In the first, Ed Schultz on MSNBC said that Bachmann had revealed complete and embarrassing ignorance about firearms, which she claims to know something about, when in an interview she referred to a certain type of rifle as an assault weapon. Schultz then played the video of the interview. In it the host was obviously baiting Bachmann about a rifle she said she uses, trying to get her to say something damaging about guns, while she cooly kept to her statement about her personal experience with this rifle. She didn’t say anything about it being an “assault weapon,” though it appeared the host was trying to get her to say it. So Schultz’s characterization of her statement was simply false.
In the second incident, there were headlines on the Web sensationally announcing that Bachmann had compared herself to Margaret Thatcher, by calling herself the Iron Lady. The message was, “There goes that nutty Bachmann again.” I looked at the video, in which she was standing making remarks before a microphone. She said that just as Thatcher had come to power and taken strong measures to save the British economy, her, Bachmann’s, intention was to do the same thing with regard to our economic problems. She did not grandiloquently declare, “I am like Margaret Thatcher, I am the Iron Lady,” which was the way the headlines made it appear. She said, “I will handle our economic problems the way Thatcher did. I will be the Iron Lady.” I thought her statement was fine. There was nothing weird or objectionable about it. She was composed and in command of herself. But the prejudice against her is now such that no matter how appropriate and sensible her actual behavior and words, media and liberals look at her and say, “She’s nuts, she’s whacky, she’s an idiot.”