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article imageOp-Ed: Wallace Demonstrates Flaky Journalism

By David Zublick     Jun 26, 2011 in Politics
On his program Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked his guest, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann if she was a flake.
Bachmann seemed perturbed by the question, and rightly so, and then proceeded to answer the question with coherence, grace and dignity. She responded by saying "well, I think that would be insulting, to say something like that, because I'm a serious person". Bachmann pointed out that she has been married 33 years, is a lawyer, has a post-doctorate degree in federal tax law, worked in the U.S. federal tax court, has five children, raised 23 foster children and opened a charter school for at-risk youth.
"I've also been a state senator and a member of the United States Congress for five years. I've been very active in our business. As a job creator, I understand job creation. But also I've been leading actively the movement in Washington, D.C., with those who are affiliated with fiscal reform," Bachmann said.
Wallace's question was an ugly example of shoddy journalism, the kind of "gotcha" question reserved for Republicans, and especially Republican women, in what can only be described as a double standard set by the mainstream media that gives liberals a pass.
Wallace asked the question because in some circles Bachmann is perceived as gaffe prone. To be fair, she has made a few mistakes, but has come a long way since the "anti-American" comment in October of 2008.
But where was the media when Barack Obama, while campaigning for president in 2008, said he had visited "57" states, referred to a "bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor", declared that Memorial Day honors "an unbroken line of fallen heroes - and I see many of them in the audience here today"?
Yes, political candidates do make embarrassing remarks on the campaign trail, but once elected, every speech, every move will be without flaw, because should something go awry, the media will be all over it, such as when Obama picked the name of a dead hero as a live Medal of Honor winner, referring to a military medic as a "corpseman", and botching a toast to Queen Elizabeth II, right?
Maybe not.
Wallace did offer one of those back-handed apologies on the Fox News website, the kind where one says "if anyone was offended, I'm sorry".
That's not good enough. This was a hit job on Bachmann, one for which she should be insulted. But journalists should also be insulted, as should every American. There is no place in the news media for this kind of attack.
And although we have come to expect this sort of thing from the talk hosts at MSNBC, or the writers at the Huffington Post, one would expect better from a Sunday morning news and analysis program, especially one on Fox.
Shame on you, Chris Wallace. That question was flaky journalism.
Listen to America Talks Monday through Friday at 6 pm Eastern Time and Saturdays at 9 am Eastern Time at and at
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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