Well, as Dutch Reagan might say: “There you go again.” I’ve opined previously that conservative women engaged in national politics are treated differently than men by the news media reporters and pundits, liberals — especially liberal women — and other miscreants.
Now Chris Wallace enters the fray.
Wallace, although he won’t admit it, is a conservative Talking Head on Fox News. He interviewed Michele Bachmann the other day and let this question define the interview: “Are you a flake?”
C’mon. I know. Journalists get paid to ask questions and on TV a lot of it has to do with ratings. But has Wallace asked that same question of a male candidate? Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, T Paw, Barack Obama and others — come on down.
OK. Wallace subsequently apologized and Bachmann accepted.
But Wallace has his supporters — at least from the standpoint of the legitimacy of asking the question in the first place.
Jonathan Capehart opines in WaPo, “Bachmann handled flake question just right“:
Let me cycle back to “Flake-gate” — sorry, Alexander — and the dust-up between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Chris Wallace. The “Fox News Sunday” anchor asked her bluntly, “Are you a flake? And while you would have used a less sexist adjective to describe the congresswoman, you know you would have asked some variation of that question if you were in his shoes. I know I would have.
The good folks at National Journal saved me a ton of work by putting out the “five things Michele Bachmann may want to un-say.” There’s the “gangster government” rap against President Obama. The Manchester mishap. Her call for “armed and dangerous” Minnesotans. The “bondage” of the “gay and lesbian lifestyle.” And the “slit our wrists” comment that I’d never heard before. Wallace himself ticked off a couple others in the lead-up to the offending “flake” question.
I don’t have to tell you that you have — the rap on you here in Washington is that you have a history of questionable statements, some would say gaffes, ranging from — talking about anti-America members of Congress — on this show — a couple of months ago, when you suggested that NATO airstrikes had killed up to 30,000 civilians.With a rhetorical track record like this, I don’t begrudge Wallace asking the question he did. Again, he should have put it a different way. But, you know what? I have to give Bachmann her due in how she handled it.
OK. And how did the congresswoman respond?
I would say is that I am 55 years old. I’ve been married 33 years. I’m not only a lawyer, I have a post doctorate degree in federal tax law from William and Mary. I work in serious scholarship and work in the United States federal tax court. My husband and I raised five kids. We’ve raised 23 foster children. We’ve applied ourselves to education reform. We started a charter school for at-risk kids. I’ve also been a state senator and a member of United States Congress for five years. I’ve been very active in our business. As a job creator, I understand job creation. But also I’ve been leading actively the movement in Washington, D.C., with those who are affiliated with fiscal reform.
I don’t know that I would vote for Michele Bachmann for president. But it strikes me that she is a serious candidate — and deserves serious consideration.
And remember: the best that the scribblers and Talking Heads can say about Sarah Palin, as they chase her around the country and hang on every word she says, is that she is stupid.
That strikes me as being kinda flaky.