A new Newsweek cover story focusing on Michele Bachmann has caused consternation among conservatives, who claim that the photo of the Tea Party favourite and aspiring 2012 presidential candidate makes her look a little unhinged.
The cover, which shows Bachmann against a blue background, has the caption ‘The Queen of Rage’. The article inside, Lois Romano’s Tea Party Queen for America, doesn’t really go for the ‘rage’ angle and is a much more considered and even-handed profile than the cover might have you believe.
Nevertheless, the cover has already sparked outrage among Bachmann’s supporters, who see it as another example of conservatives not being given a fair ride by the mainstream media. Granted, their narrative about the mainstream vs conservatives is hopelessly wrong. But it’s still fuel for their rocketship. And as The Village Voice points out, the image isn’t particularly flattering.
Then again, it is Michele Bachmann’s real face. It’s not as if Newsweek has stuck a caricature on its cover. The lighting, lens choice and composition don’t really help Bachmann, but it’s definitely her face. Because she’s female and running for president, there will inevitably be complaints from some people that she is being criticised for her appearance.
But that would be to miss the point. There are many reasons to criticise Michele Bachmann, and her expression on a magazine cover isn’t one of them.