Monday, June 27, 2011


While Jon Huntsman grimly goes forward with his "Won't Someone Who's Not in the Elite Media Please Join Me in a Chorus of 'Kumbaya'?" U.S. Civility Tour, Michele Bachmann shows him how it's supposed to be done in his party: Don't just get mad, get mad and graceless:

... Michele Bachmann isn't accepting an apology from Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace for asking her yesterday, "Are you a flake?"

ABC News' Jon Karl, who's been getting face-time with Bachmann in Waterloo in advance of her formal campaign announcement, played a clip of the web video in which Wallace said, "I messed up. I'm sorry."

When Karl asked if she accepts the apology, Bachmann brushed aside the question this way: "I think that it's insulting to insinuate that a candidate for president is less than serious."

Trying the question again, Bachmann replied, "Those are the small issues. I'm focused on the big ones." ...

There are limits to this in Wingnut World. You can't actually raise your voice -- that makes you Anthony Weiner in right-wingers' eyes, and that's bad. Huffy? You can do huffy forever. You can carry a grudge like the Hatfields and McCoys. In fact, if you don't, you're a big wussy. (Needless to say, this extends to governance -- "bipartisanship is another name for date rape" and all that.)

If I'm wrong and Huntsman is right, then Bachmann will pay dearly for not being civil enough to accept Wallace's apology. Anyone want to make a bet on how that works out?


The only thing I can't figure out is whether this is all theater -- Wallace and Bachmann creating a phony controversy just to give her hero status. It seems unlikely -- Wallace, if anything, sullied the Fox brand by launching a red-on-red attack, though he sure directed some eyeballs to Fox, which may be the point. And I'm not sure whether Murdoch and Ailes want to pump Bachmann up (because the core audience needs a new hero), or would rather steer the rubes toward someone more electable (even at the expense of not giving the punters someone to cheer for). I'm going to guess that Wallace just went rogue here, and that his bosses like the attention but don't really want this Bachmania to get out of hand (she can't win and she hasn't been on the payroll) -- but I'm really not sure.

... Or maybe the whole sequence -- question, reaction, apology, refusal to accept apology -- is a staged, eyeball-grabbing, pro-wrestling-style scripted feud. You think? Am I being too cynical?

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