People have been in an uproar all week about the latest Newsweek cover featuring Michele Bachmann – everyone from conservatives who are worried that their candidate is being seen in a bad light to women’s group who believe the use of the picture is sexist.
On all sides, people are claiming that Newsweek is biased because, they say, the picture makes Bachmann look insane. I agree with half of that. The picture does make her look insane. Actually, Michele Bachmann makes Michele Bachmann look insane. The picture just reflects the reality of her total batshit-ness. It’s not like this is something new (recall her ridiculous Tea Party “response” to the State of the Union).
But I don’t think that means Newsweek is biased, unless being biased about having insane/stupid people trying to run our struggling country is now a bad thing. It used to be the media’s job to show us reality and teach us about the world. Now they basically just have to make both sides seem equal and be nice to everyone. Bias would be not making it clear that Bachmann is completely unqualified and mentally unable to be the leader of the free world. It would be bias to pretend that she’s on the same level as Barack Obama – but this isn’t a left/right thing: she’s also not on the same level as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, John Huntsman, or Ron Paul and I don’t want to see any of them leading the country.
It’s important to note that many of the people on the right who are raving mad about this picture had no problem with the “Obama in Muslim garb” or the claims that Obama “palled around with terrorists” and was anti-American.
If this cover makes people think that Bachmann is nuts, good. If it damages her chances of actually being president of the United States (not that there really is a chance), even better.
If you think that the founding fathers tried to end slavery, that evolution is an evil liberal myth, and that gay marriage is the greatest threat to our nation in the last three decades, you’re not an actual sane, thinking person. If you think your husband can turn gay people straight, you’re a fucking moron. If you publicly decry taxes and government spending while simultaneously begging for government money, you’re either not smart or have no integrity.
So where’s the bias in nudging along the narrative that a crazy/ignorant person is crazy/ignorant and unfit to be president? That is the real story and the real truth.
And showing that used to be the media’s job, no matter who it helped or hurt.