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Chris Wallace Palinizes Michele Bachmann

Chris Wallace Palinizes Michele Bachmann

The narrative already was being set, the Palinization of Michele Bachmann, but now that Fox News has joined in, it’s all but over as to the Michele Bachmann narrative if she makes it to a general election (including as to V.P.).

It’s a question to which there is no good answer because even having to respond to such a question, asked by someone of Chris Wallace’s stature, is damaging.  “I am not a flake” will be hung around Bachmann’s neck.

As reported by HuffPo, and as will be repeated endlessly in the left-blogosphere, print and broadcast media:

If any of you thought that Fox News was a sufficient counterweight to the liberal mainstream media, think again.

Update: Wallace has issued a video statement acknowledging that it was a mistake to have used the term “a flake” since such language in the question interfered with the real story, which was Bachmann’s response. Wallace is a class act, and I’m sure he didn’t mean to demean Bachmann by the use of the term, but it just goes to show how deep the narrative of Bachmann, Palin, and just about any other non-establishment Republican being “non-serious” or “a flake” goes.


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Talk about the pot calling the kettle flaky…..

On the contrary, Wallace gave her an opportunity to tackle the “narrative” being driven by leftist journalists head on — and her cogent reply will enhance her standing.

Liberals will throw whatever they can at any GOP candidate. However, some are better on defense and counter-attack than others.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to JEBurke. | June 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    The use of the term “flake” was the problem for her. Wallace could have asked a substantive question without playing in to the narrative.

      Pasadena Phil in reply to William A. Jacobson. | June 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      That is exactly right. It’s like when a “conservative” candidate shies away from confronting gratuitous references to his/her more “extreme” (code for “conservative”) positions without even specifying what those positions are. Wallace also gave Bachmann an opportunity to backup her claim that she is not shy to criticize her party’s leadership to which she demured.

      There is too much empty talk coming from our “conservative” candidates and not enough conviction. The key word in “fighting for conservative principles” is FIGHT. The rhetoric is always that the next election is the most important election ever and that we are “fighting” for the very survival of America. So why do we have to be so polite and lame? Cognitive dissonance.

      The only authenticity and commitment to be found today is among we Tea Party people who are actually carrying the FIGHT.

      You have to understand that almost no one likely to be among the 65 million or more people voting for a successful GOP candidate in 2012 reads Think Progress, DailyKoz or Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

      What all those folks write can have some influence on developing a wider MSM narrative — or not. If Wallace tippy toed around this criticism from the left, he would not be doing her any favors, because others in the MSM would take up the slack.

      By questioning her aggressively, Wallace gave her the opportunity to put this particular slander to rest early before it begins to take hold among the wider audience that has just begun to pay attention to her in the past couple of weeks.

      She should kiss Wallace for making itnpossible for the Washington Post to write this paragraph today :

      In the face of sharp questioning from Wallace, Bachmann appeared steely and calm, noting that she has “a titanium spine.”

      Not every candidate would appear steely and calm under tough questioning — as you ought to recognize.

        Crawford in reply to JEBurke. | June 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

        “You have to understand that almost no one likely to be among the 65 million or more people voting for a successful GOP candidate in 2012 reads Think Progress, DailyKoz or Andrew Sullivan’s blog.”

        No, but the people they get their “news” from do.

      While true, her response was canned and defensive. It appeared as though Team Bachmann was anticipating this question. The response did not address any of the concerns raised by Wallace before he asked the question. She will not be able to get away with that answer again if/when the same or similar question is raised by another interviewer. I hope Bachmann does not become Christine O’Donnell redux. Bachmann can not afford to have her message upstaged by this ‘flake mantra’. Ed Rollins better start earning his keep.

      I don’t know why but I get the feeling Bachmann is a ‘stalking horse’ for Palin.

    Katie Thompson in reply to JEBurke. | June 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Agreed. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to say Fox was “joining in”… Some people think she’s a flake; if they’re going to address the issue, they might as well address it without pulling any punches.

    Either way, her response was impressive – she was clearly offended but didn’t whine about it and gave a solid answer. I have to say, the more I see of her the more I’m impressed.

Who was it who asked Senator Kennedy why he wanted to be President in the 1980 primary season? Kennedy didn’t have an answer ready. While Carter wasn’t all that great, Teddy managed to help the hemorrhaging of the Carter Presidency. Candidates have to be ready for everything, including slow fat pitches down the middle of the plate.

Let’s brainstorm what could have been a good answer: ‘Flakes are what happens after bad shampoo. X said that “The problem with conventional wisdom is that most people would rather lose conventionally than win unconventionally.” I’m just unconventional enough to get the ball rolling.’

In my opinion, Chris Wallace is a jerk. Not a new opinion by any means, but he is reinforcing it almost daily.. What is new for me is a suspicion that FNC is changing significantly. Apparently, the criticism from the left has taken a toll, and their idea of “fair and balanced” is tipping to the left.

As to Wallace and his smirky, snarky question; it is almost a comic parody of the “have you stopped beating your wife?”. There is no winning answer.

I am paying less attention to FNC as the days go by. To many of the Wallace type; O’Reilly, Shep, Carl Cameron, Krauthammer. To full of themselves by half again. I miss Brit Hume.

LukeHandCool | June 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

The energy needed to split the “mainstream” media narrative makes that released by splitting the atom seem like child’s play. I’ve come across many otherwise reasonably intelligent people who do not have the time nor the desire to follow the news outside of the MSM’s memes and latch on to the going conventional wisdom for fear of appearing uninformed or downright stupid. I think they subconsciously feel that parroting the official MSM-approved narratives if the situation necessitates, grants them the best chance of “getting along” with their coworkers, neighbors, and other aquaintances.

LukeHandCool (who thinks, in the spirit of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” that Wallace is guilty of beating around the bush, and should be held accountable for not asking Bachmann, “Aren’t all conservative women flakes at best?”

@ Oldflyer said:

“What is new for me is a suspicion that FNC is changing significantly.”

I have a different view. FNC has always been bi-polar. They mix in both viewpoints and the Lamestreamers suffer badly in comparison, but this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, some of their empty suits will [appear to] sandbag a conservative candidate.

How many male candidates (from either party) have been asked that question?

“Are you a flake?” is tough questioning

A tougher question might be “how do you respond to your own campaign manager stating Feb 10, 2011 CNN oped that you are “third tier” and “not a serious candidate”?

And where are all the “serious” Republican Policy Wonkers demanding she provde a detailed and complete explantion of every policy ever known to politics(past and present) as well as can she name every country in the world, their capitals, who arethe leaders, and what is population for each.

Seriously, “are you a flake” is sharp questioning which proves ‘a steel spine’?

I think Bachmann is a flake. She is not qualified for the job. She has no executive experience. Only a flake would run for POTUS who has no chance.
The only means we have of judging Bachmann’s leadership ability is by judging her performance as the leader of the Tea Party caucus. She dropped the ball. Where was Bachmann leading the front on Pigford? Initially she was there with Rep. Steve King playing the drama queen and making all of this noise but has since fumbled the ball. She should have made sure that the members of the Tea Party caucus were voting against PigfordII. Where is Bachmann leading the charge on stopping the raising of the debt ceiling? The word is out that the fix is in.
She’s got as much experience as Øbama and worse, she’s proven that she can’t deliver. We don’t need all talk and no action. We need someone who can close the deal. Michele is all about Michele. She’s Dumb-Ø on the right side of the aisle.

If she sincerely cares about advancing the Tea Party agenda she will abdicate the leadership of the Tea Party caucus to Allen West or some other member because she is too concerned with running for POTUS. But she doesn’t care about the Tea Party. She cares about Michele and she wants to claim the title. Just another typical, self serving, Washington, lawyer, inside the beltway, opportunist, politician.

Bachmann will end up being despised more than Øbama. People hate a traitor more than anything and she sold out the Tea Party. We don’t care about Bachmann. We care about advancing the Tea Party agenda. We have invested too much time to take a back seat to some politician who tried to usurp the Tea Party.

Another tough question might be, ‘you have served three terms in the House yet did not submit a single piece of major legislation nor have you ever held minority/majority positions on any committee. Further, you have never held an executive position nor have you run private businees. Given your weak record why do you beleive you have the experience to be Presdient?’

How about this question ‘you only education consists of attaining a law degree, and gven the sorry state of Law in America what makes you any different than the current President as well as the majority in House and Senate who
have only received a Law degree’?

Or this question ‘Considering the disaster Lawyer-in-Chief currently occupying the White House why would any sane American voter ever trust putting a Lawyer in the White House again?’

[…] was immediate, and predictable. Jim Hoft called the question awful. William Jacobson said it was the beginning of the Palinization of Bachmann (ironically, of course, Palin works for the same network as Wallace). Ed Morrissey used the […]

On the other hand…

“I thought she was a boffo performance today. It was the first time that I ever saw her and thought ‘this woman is a serious – if she decides to run – candidate for President. And a serious possibility to be President.’”

Chris Wallace on Sarah Palin 6/5/2011

Edward Cropper | June 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

So many rational thinking Americans believe President Obama is totally unqualified to be in the office he now holds.
Why is Ms Bachmann any more qualified than Mr. Obama. Her credentials are lacking to say the least
Citizens who are concerned about their country should get their heads out of the sand and look for a candidate who actually has something to offer.
That may be asking a lot but it should still be asked.
If Ms Bachmann hasn’t anymore political savvy than to appoint Ed Rollins to anything, she certainly is a questionable candidate to say the least.

jeannebodine | June 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Chris Wallace is a liberal, born & bred. Granted he’s normally fairer than most but the mask slips occasionally and his tilt is definitely toward the left He’s just like Major Garrett who was also pretty even-handed but if you looked closely, you’d recognize your boilerplate MSM journalist (and who was recently publicly trashing Michele Bachmann as well).

Overall, I think FoxNews has veered left over the past 2 years or so. Their news stories often have a liberal slant (see last week’s hinting-at-the sinister report on fracking for a good example) and I find the All-Star Panel on Special Report mostly insufferable anymore.

Contrary to the view of writer I was really impressed with Bachmann’s reply. She handled a lousy situation with class. Also we of the right must stop letting the press pick or disqualify our candidates. Let’s select them at the ballot box.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I didn’t watch Fox News Sunday this morning, but I just finished watching the repeat a half hour ago. I thought Bachmann handled herself well throughout the interview, including her response to that horrible question.

And yes, Wallace has apologized. But so what? I’d bet the other Republican campaigns as well as Obama’s campaign are already creating the commercials with Wallace asking, “are you a flake?”. The damage is done.

[…] Legal Insurrection calls this the Palinization fo Bachmann. […]

Chris’s question smacks of the old “have you stopped beating your wife” gotcha trap.

Any question that has an obvious answer (whether true or not) is being posed for some reason other than to elicit a pertinent answer or data.

Obviously MB isn’t going to say; “Why yes Chris, I am a flake. Flaky as a ten month old box of Kellogg’s.

So the question is posed to give the meme “She’s a flake” some more air time and stir people to inquire why he asked that question and without crediting those who labeled her.

And the obvious answer of “No Chris, I’m not a flake” actually does more damage than any other answer.

For those of us who recall when Nixon said “I’m not a crook”, did any of us then have any doubts that he WAS A CROOK in that it was obvious that he was LYING about what he actually knew and did? That statement of his did more to sink him than any ten ‘plumbers’.

Personally, I am skeptical about MB. I question her authenticity and her true ideology but I don’t think she’s a flake (as in Christine O’Donnell flaky) but we shall see.

[…] question which has no good answer. Yes? No. I am not? Coming from Fox News of all places, this will hang with Bachmann, at least until we move on to more serious business. Or the next Anthony Weiner. Share this: This […]

Huh? Since when does Chris “tingle” Wallace have stature?

Passing a bar exam is a meaningful credential which Bachmann should publicize if she has it. Does she? For that matter, does Obama?

    Milhouse in reply to gs. | June 27, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Bachmann certainly passed the bar — she worked for the IRS for five years as a tax lawyer. And I’m pretty sure 0bama passed the bar too, though I think he only practised for a few months.

Any question starting with a preamble of “…some people say…” should incur the following response up front. Who are these some people…? This silly dodge is just a form of injecting the questioner’s opinion as a legitimate question to be answered.
Bob Schiefer did the same thing to Bachman with the good old…”some people say you lied…”.
Cadidates cannot allow this form of smear to continue and must demand up front to have the questioner quote the some people cannard. It is not used on Democrat party candidates and has been used for so long on conservatives and republican candidates that we no longer identify the smear for what it is.