The issue I have with Chris Wallace asking Rep. Michele Bachmann if she’s a “flake” is that similar questions never get asked of obviously flakier figures. Barney Frank, who defended Fannie and Freddie and had boyfriend run a brothel from his apartment, could be argued to be a flake. Dennis Kucinich, who wants to abolish the Department of Defense and replace it with a moon-eye Department of Peace — definite flake. Louis Farrakhan, who believes in all sorts of bizarre UFO and conspiracy theories, is both a racist and a flake. There are lots of flaky people in public life, probably more on average than you’ll run into in normal life, but only one was actually asked if she’s a flake, and having met Bachmann a couple of times, I can say that I don’t think she’s flaky. I’ve also been around Ron Paul once, and he’s more than a shade flaky. Al Gore — big time flake. Lots of public flakes out there.
Wallace has apologized, Bachmann hasn’t accepted, whatever. It’s probably useful to her to get a little media victim status from this, but not too much so she shouldn’t overdo it. Chris Wallace is not Keith Olbermann (who is a major league flake), and Fox is not MSNBC. Fox has Sarah Palin on the payroll, fergoodnesssakes.
To the extent that any “flake” question is acceptable, I just think it ought to be more generously and fairly asked. As deployed by Chris Wallace against Michele Bachmann, it was below the belt.
Update: How could I have left Blago off the list — that guy’s a total flake.