The PJ Tatler

Keepin' It Classy, Newsweak Dubs Bachmann the 'Queen of Rage,' Uses Crazy-Eyes Cover Photo

Here’s the photo and headline, both of which speak for themselves.

Note the glassy eyes, the vacant and vaguely insane smile, and the edgy headline. It’s all such a ham handed slam on Bachmann it barely deserves comment. The article certainly doesn’t deserve anyone’s time. Her haters will hate her, while her supporters won’t be dissuaded by such foolery. Those in the middle probably don’t ever read Newsweak in the first place. Nobody else reads it, that’s for sure.

Pro tip for you photo editors at Newsweak: It’s not difficult at all to find a more flattering image of Michele Bachmann to use, if you want to portray her in anything resembling a fair light. Here’s one.

And here’s another.

It’s not tough to find flattering images of someone who is as attractive as Bachmann is. By putting Zombie Michele on their cover, Newsweak’s editors may be chortling that they got one over on her but they’re wrong. They’ve just made themselves look biased and silly. I mean, this is the sort of thing we blogs do, with the photos of “Stretch” Pelosi and George Soros as Dr. Evil — but we’re honest about ourselves and the photos are used for a laugh or for effect. Newsweak thinks they’re smarter and no one will catch onto the bias, displayed with all the subtlety here of a Joker prank.

It’s also not difficult to write a headline for Bachmann other than “The Queen of Rage,” which is both inaccurate and unfair to her. I’ve met her and seen her speak in public more than once; rage isn’t her schtick. She’s serious, she’s passionate, and contrary to most caricatures of her, she’s knowledgeable. But she’s not enraged. If she were a liberal, you can bet that Newsweak would have portrayed her as the strong mother of five who is also a lioness in Washington. But she’s a conservative, so it’s fair in their minds to portray her as nutso and full of rage.

We get it, Newsweak: You’re threatened by attractive, conservative women.

But what else should we expect of a bottom-rate rag that sold for a dollar and is currently owned by former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman’s husband? That was a year ago, and there are no signs that Newsweak has become any more viable since. They’re trying to be outrageous to make waves and sell magazines. Hopefully that unfair cover will scare people off at the newsstand, not to Bachmann, but to the unskilled hacks at Newsweak. This particular treatment was so over the line that even the National Organization of (Liberal) Women felt compelled to defend Bachmann. They must have hated doing that so much, it’s almost worth the zombie cover.

Update: Right, Newsweak is now part of the Daily Beast’s operation. I’d forgotten about that. Honestly, I’d pretty much forgotten about Newsweak until this episode.