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Conservatives rip Newsweek's 'crazy-eyes' Bachmann cover

August 08, 2011|By James Oliphant

Sting was the King of Pain. Is it fair to call Michele Bachmann the “Queen of Rage?” That’s what Newsweek has gone ahead and done on the cover of its most recent issue, a cover that has Bachmann’s conservative supporters, well, uh, raging.

It’s the same old song for Newsweek, which in the past has taken heat for a pair of covers with Sarah Palin, one that featured an extreme close-up and the other picturing her in a jogging outfit. In this week’s issue, not only is the GOP presidential candidate (and the field’s only female, so far) branded an intemperate queen, it also features a shot of Bachmann looking rather wild-eyed. As in crazy. As in “crazy woman.”

Tea-party activist Dana Loesch, writing at Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Journalism” site, denounced the cover as chauvinistic.  Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, addressing Newsweek editor Tina Brown, said, “You’ve resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures and their enraged 'crazy eyes?' Really?”

But even the National Organization for Women chimed in:

“It’s sexist,” NOW president Terry O’Neill told conservative news site the Daily Caller. “Casting her in that expression and then adding ‘The Queen of Rage,’ I think [it is]. Gloria Steinem has a very simple test: If this were done to a man or would it ever be done to a man – has it ever been done to a man? Surely this has never been done to a man.”

(Someone who comes to mind as a past candidate for similar treatment: Democrat Howard Dean, who appeared on Newsweek’s Jan. 12, 2004, cover. The headline was the gender-neutral -- and exceedingly dull -- “Doubts About Dean”; although, in all fairness, the cover also promoted a story on "mad cow" disease.)

Newsweek apparently stands by “Queen of Rage” for Bachmann. It promoted the story Monday on Twitter, using that as a hashtag.

As for Bachmann, she didn’t rise to the bait, reports Slate’s Dave Weigel. At an event in Iowa, the Minnesota congresswoman said she hadn’t even seen the cover or the article.

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