Michele Bachmann Shows How To Engage Media
Christopher G. Adamo
Let the pretenders continue with their platitudes about the general sincerity of Fox News reporter Chris Wallace and the “unintentional” nature of his recent insult to Michele Bachmann. Only the hopelessly naive will buy any of it. What viewers witnessed during Wallace’s June 26 interview of Bachmann was the initial salvo in what the Democrat/media propaganda machine plans to be the total political annihilation of one of its most worthy, and feared opponents.
Pretending to be completely matter-of-fact and objective, Wallace suddenly asked Bachmann, “Are you a flake?” and later apologized for the incident on his blog. Of course, in the wake of his “apology” nobody is supposed to question either his methods or motives. Simply accept his assurance that he meant no harm, and forget it. But despite currently being a member of the news network most hated by the left, Wallace has a “mainstream” media pedigree that includes stints with both NBC and ABC.
It will ultimately be left up to the judgment of concerned individuals as to whether or not Wallace actually meant to demean Bachmann. And for his part, Wallace will have an opportunity over time, and properly put under intense scrutiny by Fox viewers, to either prove a renewed dedication to being “fair and balanced” or divulge further evidence that he does indeed collaborate in the bias for which the liberal media is so despised by real America.
However, in the midst of any post mortem of the episode, a few realities must not be overlooked. Wallace could hardly be excused on the basis that he might merely have been seeking answers to lingering questions, devoid of any personal prejudice. Does anyone believe that if interviewing Barack Obama, Wallace would likewise have casually queried, “Are you a lying Marxist and an anti-Semite?” Yet the supporting evidence for such an inquiry vastly outweighs anything in the psyche of Michele Bachmann that might call her political sobriety into question.
Wallace clearly hammered what liberals hope will be only the first nail into Bachmann’s political coffin. Along with their vastly overblown reactions to her mix-up of the birthplace of John Wayne (clearly a defining issue in 2011 America) the “mainstream” media will hereafter incessantly invoke the Wallace comment, and continue to build upon it in what they believe is an excellent opportunity to discredit a formidable opposition candidate.
Nor would this be the first time an ostensibly flippant, offhanded comment from a network talking head has thereafter been indelibly impressed on the image of a potential candidate for public office. In January of 1994, Nightline host Ted Koppel set the standard, displaying unprofessional partiality by attaching the pejorative “accomplished liar” to then U.S. Senate candidate Oliver North. That Koppel would resort to such harshness revealed a deliberate desire to inflict damage on North’s political fortunes. That he could so selectively make that accusation in the midst of the presidency of Bill Clinton while maintaining a pretense of seriousness, revealed the supreme height of hypocrisy and bias. Nevertheless, despite a strident and creditable defense from North, the characterization stuck and his senate candidacy fizzled.
These tactics are clearly not intended to promote reasoned and thoughtful debate on the issues of importance currently facing America. Nor are they meant to aid in evaluating the credentials of candidates seeking to effectively address those issues. If such were the case, the liberal agenda would long ago have been relegated to the paper shredder. Rather, they are the means by which disreputable and unqualified political hacks on the left can be given a critical advantage over capable opponents. Chris Wallace merely represents the latest iteration of this ploy. He can offer his vacuous “The jury will ignore that statement” farce of an apology, knowing full well that the damage has already been done and his mission accomplished.
So what should Michele Bachmann’s proper response be? In the aftermath of the incident, the usual suspects, predictably including voices on the “right,” were insistent that she should simply be “gracious” and acknowledge his contrition and accept it as an apology. Thus might she best endure this first of the “thousand cuts” by which her opposition hopes to eventually secure her political demise. But true to her inimitable manner, she has had none of it.
When asked whether or not she accepted Wallace’s pseudo apology offered to viewers in a web video, she simply brushed aside the question and proceeded to elaborate on the concerns of the nation and her impressive track record in confronting those responsible for causing them. Not until Wallace called her personally and expressed his remorse did she “accept.” If he and his kind are going to engage in behavior of this sort, they can bear the consequences. It is not up to the likes of Michele Bachmann to bail them out at her own expense.
By responding in this nature, she is sending forth a warning to all who would play underhanded games in hopes of demeaning and diminishing an otherwise laudable contender for the nation’s highest office. Michele Bachmann means business. She is not about to be sidetracked by playing petty word games with inconsequential reporters who expect to deal her a sucker punch and then recoup their own images by offering up a little empty contrition. Her campaign timetable is too significant to be sidetracked on that basis. And the consequences for the nation, if she and her kind can be thus thwarted, are too dire.
Let the milquetoast political insiders tell Bachmann how to properly play the game by their rules. She has no desire to either curry their favor or be typecast into their positions of irrelevance. Compliant and obsequious candidates, and the liberal media have had their day. America is now demanding something better.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state level for many years. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com