Nov
14
2011

Michele Bachmann and Made-Up Media Bias

The Michele Bachmann presidential campaign–formerly treated as atop-tier juggernaut by Beltway media–has been floundering for weeks. Which makes right now as good a time as any for them to grab some headlines by shouting about liberal media bias.

The Bachmann campaign was furious about email correspondence concerning a possible Bachmann appearance on a CBS Web show after the Saturday night debate. The network's political director, John Dickerson, was lukewarm on the idea, mentioning that Bachmann's poll numbers are quite low and that she wasn't likely to be much of a factor in the debate. Even though Dickerson is correct, these are generally not good reasons to exclude candidates, as FAIR has argued over the years.

The value to the Bachmann campaign was pretty clear, as the New York Times reported today:

"Last night, as Michele prepared her plans to debate on CBS, we received concrete evidence confirming what every conservative already knows–the liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message," Keith Nahigian, Mrs. Bachmann's campaign manager, wrote in an e-mail to supporters.

Back in reality, Bachmann's message was still being suppressed on Sunday morning–as she appeared on NBC's Meet the Press to talk about her candidacy.

The truth is that the corporate media have been remarkably generous, granting Bachmann an extraordinary amount of coverage. And the CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation, as FAIR noted here, has produced factcheck articles on its website after Bachmann has made appearances on the show–without ever telling its much larger viewing audience about her wildly inaccurate claims.

In case you missed it, Bachmann's Meet the Press appearance included, among other things,a call to make Iraq compensate the families of American servicemembers killed in the invasion of that country. A few million dollars would suffice.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.