Michele Bachman and the Newsweek Photo
I don’t know if it was sexist. I do think it was as an adolescent move by a nearly defunct magazine and a tactic used to lampoon men and women alike and across all sides of the political spectrum.
Look at the prototypical negative political campaign ad. Dark, grainy footage of the dreaded, villainous opponent, the most unflattering photos that can be found, usually punctuated by foreboding music and a deep, serious announce voice. That’s an ad either party would use.
How many unflattering photos of George W. Bush did liberals use to lampoon him?
But he also looked like this:
Perhaps those on the political right expressing so much outrage over the Bachmann photo forget the pictures of Hillary Clinton they were putting up on their web sites just a couple of years ago. Here’s one:
Actually, Hillary can also look like this:
Here, by the way, is what Michele Bachmann usually looks like:
Love her, hate her or indifferent, as more than a few have said over the past few days, you have to work pretty hard to find a bad picture of the Minnesota Congresswoman.
Here’s Newsweek/Daily Beast head honcho, Tina Brown’s words in defense of the magazine’s use of the picture:
Not cross-eyed. Listen she has – the intensity in her eyes is in all the photographs of her, you know. This is the thing that’s connecting with people. We have people in the crowd saying, you know, something about her tells me I should follow her And there is something about Michele Bachmann with the eyes looking out. She has a very very, this very kind of intense demeanor.
Really? The Newsweek cover photo depicts an “intense” demeanor? I kind of think the photo says “psychopath,” and I think its use was designed to get people talking about Newsweek magazine. I don’t actually think it will help increase its tiny circulation by much because, sadly, it’s an outmoded medium. But, I digress.
I unashamedly give credit to John Stewart for this, but, really, anybody can photograph badly, even Tina Brown:
Who, in all fairness, also looks like this: