At home today convalescing a bad back so I played Eenie Meenie to determine which morning news show I would watch. Good Morning America won. The first interview was conducted by George Stephanopoulos. His subject was Tea Party presidential front-runner Michele Bachmann. First, let me note that I like Stephanopoulos and, to date, dislike the Tea Party. I anticipated watching him throw out the hardball questions and listening to Bachmann’s response. Instead of an insightful interview, I was treated to an American History pop quiz.
Everyone who has graduated elementary school should know John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. Unfortunately, Bachmann did not know this when she made a recent comment the Founding Fathers working tirelessly to end slavery and identified J.Q.A. as a Founding Father. Stephanopoulos, citing an article that listed Bachmann as one of the worst offenders when it comes to perpetuating inaccurate comments, asked her if she were willing to admit she made a mistake. Rather than answer the question, Bachmann responded with a prepared speech about how wonderful America is. So, Stephanopoulos asked the question again and Bachmann, again, dodged. At this point, it was obvious this woman was either totally clueless or completely unwilling to accept she was wrong. Either quality should make one question her ability to lead the free world, but I digress. Instead of accepting Bachmann’s reluctance to provide an unscripted response, Stephanopoulos seemed to take pleasure in spotlighting her ignorance. He asked yet again if she really thought Adams was a Founding Father and smirked when she, yet again, provided a ridiculous answer.
Although I am not a Bachmann fan, I was disappointed in Stephanopoulos’ tone. It wasn’t professional and lends credence to the long-held notion that the news media are partisan and elitist. Of course, Bachmann played her part in the exchange. It doesn’t make one weak to admit a mistake. She could have even imported her “I Love America” standby into the admission, something along the lines of, “You know, my love for this country is so strong that I misspoke during the heat of the moment. Of course I know John Quincy Adams was far too young to be a Founding Father. Most Americans understand my intent. I’d much rather focus on my platform.” She only compounded the issue by trying to rationalize her mistake. Not a good look. Certainly didn’t endear her to me.
I, for one, would have appreciated hearing how she plans to get the country back on track instead of being subjected to a verbal sparring match about our country’s history then the somewhat sexist question of if she has prepared her family for the rigors of campaign life. Is Mitt Romney being asked that question? How about Ron Paul? The interview ended with me knowing as much about Michele Bachmann as I did before the interview, which is very little. Then, again, maybe that was the intent.
See the interview here.