Authors: Rebecca Fenton
(WASHINGTON) -- In one short week Michele Bachmann went from being called “photogenic” by fellow GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman to earning the less-than-complementary descriptions thanks to a deliberately arresting Newsweek cover that led to accusations of sexism against the publication from both sides of the political aisle.
The cover shot, which was taken specifically for Newsweek, shows Bachmann staring wide-eyed, straight into the camera with a caught-off-guard kind of smile against a bland blue background. The bold white headline reads, “The Queen of Rage.”
When a voter asked Bachmann about the cover at a campaign stop in Atlantic, Iowa Monday Bachmann said she had not seen it, Slate's David Weigel reported.
"It's a big close-up of you," the voter said, "a wild-eyed photo with the headline, 'Queen of Rage.'"
"Ah-hah," Bachmann said. "Well, we'll have to take a look at that, won't we?"
Fox News contributor Monica Crowley said the cover represents Newsweek’s “special kind of loathing for women conservatives.” Even Terry O’Neil, the president of the left-leaning National Organization for Women -- which has stayed mostly silent while Bachmann and Sarah Palin endured blistering attacks in the press -- called it a “misogynistic attack.”
While the Bachmann campaign has been tight-lipped about the cover, which hit newsstands Monday, the Internet most certainly has not. The comedy website Funny or Die put up a slideshow of “more appropriate headlines” to go with the “horrifying” photo. Some of the more print-appropriate ones were “Michele Bachmann Takes A Stand Against Blinking” and “Zombies: Michele Bachmann Eats Americas Young.”
But this is not the first controversial cover shot for Newsweek. Last month the magazine featured a photo of the late Princess Diana, photo shopped to look older, walking alongside Kate Middleton, in what one tweeter called “the creepiest magazine cover ever!”
The Atlantic Wire ran a story about the cover titled “How Creepy Is Princess Diana's Ghost on the Cover of Newsweek?” and the Los Angeles Times headline asked “Newsweek’s ‘Diana t 50’ cover: Shocking, brilliant or just plain cheap?”
The magazine also ignited a backlash in 2009 when they ran a cover photo of Sarah Palin in short runner shorts with the headline “Do you know how to solve a problem like Sarah?” In a post on her Facebook wall, Palin said the cover was “sexist” “unfortunate” and “out-of-context.”
Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said the Palin cover was “worse than sexist.”
“I think it is demeaning and degrading and Newsweek knew exactly what it was doing. They made sexuality a part of her performance,” Perino told Fox’s Sean Hannity.
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