Keller @ Large: Bachmann Falsely “Slimed” By Media Over Natural Disaster Joke

By Jon Keller, WBZ

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s easy to stand up and defend people you really admire when they come under attack. But while it’s not quite so appealing to go to bat for someone you’d just as soon never hear from again, today is one of those days when I feel compelled to do exactly that.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is not someone I want to see become the leader of the free world. Her views on several important issues are the opposite of mine. She lacks experience and leadership skills, and seems to spend an inordinate amount of time engaging in political demagoguery during interviews in which she displays only a very casual relationship with true facts.

But that said, Michelle Bachmann doesn’t deserve to be falsely slimed by the media.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

That’s what happened Monday when the press pounced on a couple of sound bites from Bachmann on the campaign trail in Florida, where she incorporated a joke about the hurricane and the recent earthquake into her stump speech:

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” I saw Bachmann say in two seperate video clips. “We’ve had an earthquake; and a hurricane.”

She goes on to suggest that God wants Washington to listen to public anger over federal spending, and that the natural disasters were a wakeup call.

How do I know this was a joke, not an especially classy one, but a joke nonetheless?

Because you can see Bachmann smiling, and members of the audience laughing. And because while Bachmann has said many things that struck me as odd in the past, I have never seen any evidence that she genuinely believes God creates natural disasters to influence current political debate.

But that’s the way the story was played, complete with skeptical references to Bachmann’s religious beliefs and how they impact her family life. And all I can say to anyone who distorts this story that way is: there are plenty of other ways to express your disdain for someone than to make up a fake story about them. And if you can’t figure them out, maybe Michelle Bachmann isn’t the only one who should be a bit more careful with her rhetoric.

More from Jon Keller
  • Ashley

    snnnooozzze… boring article jon. sorry.

  • JohnC

    Right on, Jon. Her god joke is not the reason that I will not vote for her.

  • Ron

    This has to be an ego trip for her. If she had any common sense she wouldn’t be running but supporting someone else, quietly. Other than that I completely aggree
    with you Jon

  • petem

    Jon her reference to God in her speech was not a joke. She and the other hyper Christian (in their minds Christian) candidate Rick Perry are known or believed to be adherents to the Dominionist Christians movement. That movement believes in the supremacy of Christianity and that they alone should govern society. I think it’s dangerous to assume she’s joking when this is the whole point for these two candidates. Although they wrap the flag around them, they aren’t interested in the Constitution created by our forefathers, They want to impose a Christian state on all of us regardless of the intent of what history tells us.

    • Joe

      You’ve got to be kidding me? Even if you were correct, which your not, do you think this country would let anyone “impose” any form of religion as the sole basis of law? I am against sharia law having ANY legitimacy in this country and as a catholic, nor do I want catholicism to impose laws.

      Also, the same constitution that you say doesn’t “interest” them will undeniably prevent anyone from imposing any religious beliefs on our judicial or any other government system. But I’m sure its fine with you if our existing president follows the beliefs of his church leader reverend wright?

  • Joe

    This goes on all the time and it really is getting old. I never truly believed the rights claims of media bias against them. However, since Obama took office it has become abundantly clear to me that media bias is alive and well. Not all media outlets but enough to be a problem. Don’t believe me? Pay attention to the media coverage the next time there is a controversy involving Obama. Then ask yourself what the coverage and commentary would look like under Bush for the same controversy.

    Where have all the war protesters gone? Where have the candle light vigils gone and the news coverage of them? We are still at war and the last time I checked President Obama has increased the amount of troops in Afghanistan. What happened to the nightly updates of dead American soldiers on the news? There are still soldiers dying. Sure, they report on them but katie couric and others opening nightly death toll segment has disappeared. What happened to all the stories of torture and human rights violations at guantanamo bay? President Obama campaigned on closing gitmo but the last time I checked its still open. Funny how those stories all but stopped once the President took office and realized closing gitmo wasn’t realistic.

    I could go on but I’m getting a headache thinking about the extent of the media bias against republican politicians. And Jon, I’m not talking about reporters like yourself whos job it is too give your opinion and create discussion. I’m talking about news executives, journalists and anchors whose job requires them to be “objective”. For example, the relationship between GE and the white house while owning a major news network is a serious issue in my mind. This is a very serious problem that needs to be fixed. I just hope its not too late!

  • mikey

    Bachmann in 2012
    The world’s going to end then anyway.

    (bumper sticker I recently witnessed)

  • dlb

    Hi! I want to comment on the adoption/free tuition comentary. I am all for adoption! However, this is a parents’ choice, whether they cannot conceive or choose to adopt otherwise. This is a chose they made. I chose to have my two children. as a result, I also take on the responsiblility to care for them like any other family and am obligated to and am preparing for college for them. My husband and I have been preparing for there college education since they were born. We are not a wealthy family but we are preparing for their education beyond high school. I do not understand why the women on tonights news expects the state to send her child to college curticy of the state. My parents were not wealthy by far. I applied for loans and am still paying them off. It’s not the governments responsibility to provide free education!!

  • andyme

    Joe, your points are right on. I am not a Bachman fan, however, Jon you point out that she lacks experience and leadership skills, what about the current occupant of the White House?

  • FireGuyFrank

    Oy, I have no idea where to begin: Dominionist Christian?!

    It was a joke. I heard many times while traveling to DC that week — I was there for the earthquake (a whole lot of nothin’ that provided enough excuse for federal employees to clog the roads getting home). I heard all about Irene. There were plenty of people saying that God was trying to get Washington’s attention. It wasn’t only Michelle Bachmann.

    Were all these people “hyper-Christian”? I tend to doubt it. That said, has anyone read what the Founding Fathers thought of Christianity? They actually founded this Nation on basic Christian ideals. The reason they added the Freedom of Religion with the concurrent prohibition of Congress to ESTABLISH an official religion was because they learned from The Church of England that it could be bad. (Review the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland if you want to see how politics and religion meshed.)

    Look no further than what radical Islamists want in many nations — especially in the Middle East, but want very much to bring to the West.

    Let’s not get side-tracked by media bias against Republicans in general, and Christian Republicans specifically.

  • Nab71

    Those who missed the fact that Bachman was making a joke support the Big Joke in the White House. Wait a minute the jokes on us!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live