Not only picking up where I left off a few posts back, but also where Krauthammer and Will left off several months back with dismissiveness towards principled conservatives, preferring the establishment types deemed worthy to win over those mysterious independents who they understand little about, a couple of Fox News staples (yes, that’s right, I said FOX NEWS), Chris Wallace and Brit Hume, have picked up their cohorts reigns of marginalization and focused on their latest conservative target of criticism in the woman who could be our first female president, Michele Bachmann.
By now, I’m sure everyone’s seen the notoriously shrewd questioning, in that familiar ‘civil’ tone, in which Chris Wallace pompously asked Michele Bachmann if she was a ‘flake’.
Where the hell is the excitement over this lady possibly being the first female president of the United States of America, as compared to Obama being the first black president?! Too much to ask from a 'fair and balanced' guy? Nonetheless, one can imagine the uproar this caused with viewers, as it should have. And so much so that Wallace later had to release a statement dubbed an ‘apology’. Since, Bachmann has stated that Wallace actually called her and apologized, but also showed that she had thick enough skin to handle it, as her response in the interview displayed. Nonetheless, you can imagine how this has set off many conservative pundits.
Ed Morrissey released a Hot Air piece blasting Wallace and the rest of the media for “the same old double standard applied to Republicans” that somehow seems to bypass the Democrats. He admits that Bachmann has made some gaffes, “but given Obama’s track record both before and after his election to the presidency, it would take a superhuman effort to vault into his league. And the media still mainly ignores Obama’s gaffes, which have grown into the hundreds, without a single outlet ever asking Obama if he is a “flake” on that same basis.”
David Limbaugh approaches the topic by questioning what Chris Wallace was actually driving at?
Indeed, there is an enormous elephant in the room of GOP presidential politics, which is that despite their individual popularity, both female contenders, Bachmann and Sarah Palin, are dismissed in many circles as cartoon characters.
I'm the last person who wants to inject identity politics into any equation, but I can't help but wonder what role, if any, their gender may be playing here -- not just that they're females but also that they're attractive ones.
Though I doubt these are major factors for most people, they are for some. In fact, a number of females have suggested that other women react negatively to Palin -- and presumably to Bachmann, as well -- specifically because they are women.
In other critics I detect a type of soft sexism leading to a stronger reaction to their gaffes than to, say, Obama's. They regard their mistakes (or supposed mistakes) as disqualifying while casually overlooking far worse errors from the Harvard-educated Obama. Bachmann and Palin are panned as inexperienced and lacking gravitas despite their records and accomplishments, and Obama is treated as a heavyweight despite his miserable record and voluminous verbal blunders.
But much bigger factors driving the media narrative against Palin and Bachmann than their female attractiveness are their common personal and ideological characteristics. They are both fearless, combative, energizing and [absolute] conservatives. Don't get me wrong; they are two very different people, but these shared qualities make them especially contemptible to the left and to certain elitists on the right.
He went onto to express how both Bachmann and Palin are far more qualified and equipped to serve as president compared to Obama, and sending a message to some conservatives who “believe that Palin and Bachmann are unelectable or not particularly qualified for one reason or another," saying that "even here, I think we are allowing the liberal media to control the narrative.”
And of course Mark Levin had more than a few words for Chris Wallace in his show yesterday, starting with his opening monologue, which focused on the way conservative women are treated by the media, and went on to devote most of the first hour to this discussion. Mark says, “We can now come to expect from the media these types of ridiculous questions and statements to conservative politicians. They do this so they can score points with others in the establishment media. When is Chris Wallace going to ask Obama if he's a Marxist since some people think he is?”
Then to compound the issue that much more, Brit Hume joins in with a ‘sigh’ and a release when asked about Bachmann’s candidacy. Referring to her as "vulnerable" multiple times throughout the interview, and declaring that this will hurt her with those independents (there it is again), Hume did have one good thing to say about her, and I’m paraphrasing: “Well, she’s better than Palin.”
Brit, “in the end” independents turned away from McCain! Palin actually brought votes to that ticket in ’08. Were you paying attention?
Juan Williams, filling in for O’Reilly, went on to play a clip of Washington Post columnist Colby King calling Michele Bachmann 'Barbie with fangs', to which Hume dismissed as noneffective, just a personal attack with no substance. Yet, Hume turns right around and referred to a Washington Times piece that essentially makes a presumptive claim that because she mistakenly confused John Wayne’s birthplace with the families hometown of Waterloo (both of which reside in Iowa), Bachmann must have somehow gotten this John Wayne confused with the John Wayne Gacy that stayed a brief stint in Waterloo before moving to Illinois and starting his killing spree. WHAT?! That’s right, the media’s hatred for this conservative woman tells them that since she mixed up cities, she must be mixing up ‘The Duke’ with ‘the serial killer’. That’s rational, right? WRONG! Nevertheless, Brit Hume repeats it. Luckily, Hannity followed afterwards, and presented an opportunity for Bachmann to have the last word as to her purpose for even invoking the name of John Wayne in the first place, which Hume missed as well.
What Wallace and Hume have done is the epitome of what David Limbaugh refers to in allowing the liberal media to control the narrative. Why else would some of the thought-to-be legitimate reporters and commentators mimic the liberal biases of the mainstream media by questioning the validity and intelligence of conservatives, while accepting some of the utter nonsense and false claims that we hear spewed from the mouths and minds of statist Democrats, in turn fueling the flames of the Left? This is truly more of a mystery than the independents! Perhaps if they could see fit to drop some of the sexist undertones, acknowledge that all conservatives of gender, or ethnicity for that matter, are capable of beating the very beatable Obama, and stop looking for some establishment automaton of perceived perfection to win the People over, then they could see clearly that the principled conservative is just as legitimate as the statist liberal, and dare I say more so, much more. And this may be going too far for them already, but maybe, just maybe, they can come to understand that even a consummate conservative woman can win and win BIG!