Newsweek magazine faced criticism yesterday after it revealed the cover of its latest edition, featuring an unflattering picture of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Conservative bloggersthat the magazine was showing a liberal media bias against the Tea Party-aligned congresswoman from Minnesota, while others accused Newsweek of sexism.
The Newsweek cover features a close-up portrait of Bachmann with a slight smile and wide eyes, and the headline on the cover reads "Queen of Rage." The accompanying article points to charges of hypocrisy against the congresswoman but also lauds the "petite and prim" Minnesota representative for her "simple, black-and-white distillations of complex problems."
Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin was one of the first to criticize the magazine for "bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures."
Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women told the Daily Caller the Newsweek cover was sexist.
"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," O'Neill said. "What they are saying of a woman who is a serious contender for president of the United States of America...They are basically casting her as a nut job."
While NOW encourages the advancement of female politicians, the organization opposes Bachmann on just about every issue.
The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, who also opposes Bachmann's policy stances, doesn't quite criticize Newsweek but says the cover will "cement" for some the characterization of Bachmann as "crazy."
As the magazine came under more widespread scrutiny, it was prompted to respond to the charges of bias. Newsweek posted a photo gallery of "outtakes" of Bachmann on the Daily Beast website, claiming that in many of the photos taken of Bachmann, she had the same facial expression.
Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown said in a statement, "Michele Bachmann's intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek's cover captures that."
Bachmann, for her part, brushed off the magazine's unflattering portrayal of her. In Iowa yesterday, a voter asked Bachmann whether she had seen the cover, Slate reports. The voter described it to her, after Bachmann said she had not seen it.
Bachmann dismissed the issue, saying, "Well, we'll have to take a look at that, won't we?" She quickly turned back to wooing voters in the early-nominating state, telling them she is a seventh-generation Iowan.