Green Room

Another News Outlet Publishes an Unflattering Bachmann Photo

posted at 4:43 pm on August 14, 2011 by

It is open season on media outlets publishing unflattering photos of GOP presidential hopeful and Iowa straw poll winner Michele Bachmann. The first salvo in the who-can-make-Bachmann-look-worse contest came from the left-leaning Newsweek, whose “intense” headshot of the attractive Minnesota congresswoman generated feedback last week.

This week’s contender was shot by Toby Harnden of the generally rightwing English daily The Telegraph (h/t Mediaite). The most polite interpretation of the image is that it shows the candidate administering life support to a corndog. The least polite interpretation is that she is—well, suffice it to say this is a family publication.

The text, also the work of Harnden, is snarky and hostile:

On the eve of the Ames Straw Poll, the Republican candidates made a last push for votes at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines—a huge spectacle in which cattle, pigs and horses are on display as well as politicians and Iowans queue to for fairground rides and some of the most unhealthy food on the planet (I was going to try the Fried Twinkies but the queue was, alas, too long).

Most unhealthy food on the planet? I would have thought that dubious honor belongs to Scotch pie, a British culinary invention in which minced beef and suet (aka, rendered beef fat) are encased in a pastry crust made with lard (aka pork fat).

Frances Martel at Mediaite believes there is something more insidious at work than merely portraying Bachmann in the least flattering light possible. And that is “a deliberate attempt to undermine the one characteristic Rep. Bachmann has that no one seems to disagree with: she’s photogenic.”

Martel speculates:

Then there’s the sexist subtext here: would the Telegraph have run a similar photo of a presidential candidate consuming an obvious phallic symbol if said candidate were male? Phallic symbols make for good comedy, sure, but the Telegraph is not Mad Magazine, and there appears to be no intent at humor here, only degradation.

Phallic symbols make for good comedy? Maybe females of the species have much to teach us after all.

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Bless her heart! Gosh Michele, please in the future eat a tiny french fry when you are out on the trail? You just know this is going to go all over the world with nasty captions all over the place. Bet those so called comics will be all over this on their hateful programs.
L

letget on August 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

It would have been a stronger visual if she were using a knife and fork on the corndog.

J.E. Dyer on August 14, 2011 at 5:50 PM

It would have been a stronger visual if she were using a knife and fork on the corndog.

Ouch! I’m having recovered memory of my bris!

Howard Portnoy on August 14, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Unfortunately, this picture has already been plastered all over facebook, by my “Classy” liberal friends. It never ends….

Markvike on August 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Unfortunately, this picture has already been plastered all over facebook, by my “Classy” liberal friends. It never ends….

Markvike on August 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM

With friends like those…

gryphon202 on August 14, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Shoulda’ ordered waffles.

Socmodfiscon on August 14, 2011 at 10:13 PM

And again with the eyes.

Socmodfiscon on August 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM

I like the leering dude in the background.

Socmodfiscon on August 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM

I do not defend the media here, but this kind of thing has happened on both sides.

Remember Dukakis in the tank, or Kerry in two very unflattering photos, and don’t forget Hillary.

It’s the way of politics and Michele’s strong and won’t let this bother her.

Jvette on August 14, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Disgusting. The phallic symbol, her eyes, the leering man in the corner (which could’ve been photoshopped out)….it’s intentional and utterly misogynist.

It would have been a stronger visual if she were using a knife and fork on the corndog.
J.E. Dyer on August 14, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Ha! There ya go.

conservative pilgrim on August 14, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Where’s the mustard? One must put mustard on a corndog.

SouthernGent on August 15, 2011 at 12:50 AM

The media have obviously decided that Palin isn’t running and have shifted their crosshairs accordingly.

Cylor on August 15, 2011 at 1:52 AM

On the eve of the Ames Straw Poll, the Republican candidates made a last push for votes at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines—a huge spectacle in which cattle, pigs and horses are on display as well as politicians and Iowans queue to for fairground rides and some of the most unhealthy food on the planet (I was going to try the Fried Twinkies but the queue was, alas, too long).

This isn’t even a sentence.

Just screw ‘em.

cane_loader on August 15, 2011 at 5:16 AM

Sadly, unflattering photos will be the least of her worst worries if she can’t do better in debates.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 15, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Then there’s the sexist subtext here: would the Telegraph have run a similar photo of a presidential candidate consuming an obvious phallic symbol if said candidate were male?

I don’t know. Ask Larry Sinclair

LegendHasIt on August 15, 2011 at 3:05 PM