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Did Newsweek do a hatchet job on Bachmann cover? August 12, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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In August 2011, Newsweek found itself in yet another controversy over one of its covers, this time for a picture of Republican presidential nominee Michele Bachmann staring into the camera with a wide-eyed glare and a caption that read “The Queen of Rage.” Although the caption was relevant to an article by Lois Romano on the radical nature of the Tea Party, the photograph led many conservatives to accuse Newsweek of trying to make Bachmann look nuts.

Interestingly, even several liberal journalists came to Bachmann’s defense. Ruth Marcus of The Seattle Times, for instance, declared that Newsweek‘s cover was mean and sexist. Marcus wrote:

“I think we need to come up with a better word for the gender-related issues we keep grappling with in politics — something that connotes less intentionality, more stumbling through the minefield of gender politics. The cover shot was chosen by a female editor for a story written by a female reporter. Any ill motive seems more directed at diminishing Bachmann as a conservative than as a woman. Still, the unavoidable fact of the matter is that, at least for the foreseeable future and most likely beyond, readers and viewers are going to focus more on female candidates’ looks and clothes than they do when men are involved. This is a phenomenon that journalists and fellow politicians need to keep in mind when choosing words and images.”

For more on Newsweek‘s Bachmann cover, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Was Newsweek‘s cover of Bachmann a malicious attempt to portray her as crazy? Why, or why not?

2.  Was Newsweek‘s response to the scandal, as depicted in the video above, sufficient in demonstrating that it was being fair to Bachmann?

3.  How should Bachmann use this cover to fuel her campaign for the Republican nomination?

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