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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Posted by Alisha De Freitas at 4:10 PM
Being that Election 2012 is a mere thirteen and a half months away, it goes without saying that the media has been reporting on it since, oh, let's say, early 2009. But since the promary season is actually now heating up, the coverage is really getting play online, on TV and in print.
And with this coverage comes mudslinging, or in the case of the above Newsweek cover, a downright mudslide.
Yeesh... let me preface this with a strong caution that I am not endorsing Michele Bachmann (or, for that matter, any politician) on this blog. This is purposeful. While I do watch the debates and read quite a bit on the subject (leading to countless debates with my brother Joe), I don't really discuss politics on this platform because it's such a divisive topic and people online tend to go batcrazy in the comboxes about it. For an example of this, check out the Red Cardigan's post on why she's not voting Republican anymore. Besides, I write about religion, and have caught enough flak for believing... if I add politics and sex, I'm just asking for the ultimate trifecta of hate to rain down on me. Although I'd like to have more than a dozen hits on a particular day, I'll pass.
If you are interested in a defense or support for Bachmann, check out Wintery Knight's blog. But no, this post is about that godawful picture that was plastered on the front of Newsweek. Instead of depicting Bachmann's "rage", it showcased how much they hate her. I mean, really, really hate her. And that, right there, is a turn off for me. I know exactly what I'm getting if I choose to pick up that mag. A six or seven page hatchet job. And quite fankly, that's boring. At least to me. It's the feeling I get when I see the quadrillionth Life & Style cover story about Brad/Angie/Jen. Not only will I NOT purchase your periodical, I will NOT even peruse it while waiting in an excruciating long, non-moving checkout line at Shoprite. I'd rather pretend to not be checking out the cover of the National Enquirer.
But maternity leave can do strange things (like leaving me wide awake watching Batman: The Animnated Series and reruns of the post-Sam-and-Dianne episodes of Cheers at 4A.M.), so when I stumbled on this "we really, really hate Michele Bachmann" piece from The New Yorker, I read the whole thing in one sitting. I should add that the online version does not contain any hideous pictures of the Tea Party darling, either, so I wasn't quickly spooked. Actually, I wasn't spookedd after reading it, either, but I was curious about the late Evangelical leader Francis Schaffer, who gets a surprisingly large amount of coverage in the piece based on Bachmann saying she was influenced by his 1970's documentary, "How Should We Then Live?" I read Frankie Schaffer's "Crazy for God" a couple of years ago, and while I thought the book was interesting, I got the feeling Junior was writing from a place of deep hurt and some anger at his father. So I didn't want to judge the elder Schaffer on that book alone. And the New Yorker story depicted him as a theocrat bent on Christianizing the U.S. by any means necessary. So moved by the article, I went to trusty YouTube and slowly went through the entire 10 part series of "How Should We Then Live?". I finished it up this morning, and while I don't feel I have a full opinion of Schaffer himself, I do have one of his documentary. It's... okay. Yeah, not very descriptive, but I really felt it falls somewhere in the middle as far as my interest goes.
What I didn't get was the doom Lizza (the New Yorker writer) broadly paints in his smear job Bachmann piece. What I did get from his article was no more interest (one way or the other) in his actual subject, but instead, in Schaffer and his take on the Christian worldview. As a former Journalism student, I'd say that would garner a writer a weak review.
But at least it still wasn't as jacked as that Newsweek cover, even if it did send the same message.