Politics

Newsweek’s Tina Brown doubles down on her Bachmann ‘intensity’ cover justification

It’s one of the more talked about Newsweek covers of the year,  drawing criticism even from the likes of the National Organization for Women. But Daily Beast/Newsweek editor Tina Brown isn’t backing away from her magazine’s depiction of GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, saying the cover captures the presidential candidate’s  “intensity.”

On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Brown explained to viewers the timing of the cover and why it was so compelling. (RELATED: NOW calls Newsweek cover ‘sexist’)

“Some people look at this picture and think Michele Bachmann looks crazy, “ Brown said. “Some people look at it and think it’s the next president of the United States. The fact that these two things are no longer mutually exclusive is what I think makes it pretty compelling … this came out of a week where the New York Times calls the tea party ‘terrorists,’ and then apologizes the next week. This is a very polarizing moment politics and this cover absolutely captures that moment.”

Brown claimed it showcased this “intensity” that makes the Minnesota congresswoman such a compelling candidate for some people.

“[She’s] not cross-eyed,” Brown said. “Listen, she has — the intensity in her eyes is in all the photographs of her. You know, this is the thing that is connecting with people. You know, we have people in the crowd saying, ‘Something about her tells me I should follow her and there is something about Michele Bachmann with the eyes looking out. She has a very, very, this very kind of intense demeanor.”

And the “Queen of Rage” headline was not necessarily a play on Bachmann’s rage, but a play on the tea party’s rage, which Brown said is “all the rage.”

“The fact is, she is right now the face of the tea party,” she said. “And the tea party — we came off a week where rage was all the rage. Let’s face it: You know, we have been coming out of a period in politics which is so hyper-polarized and so hyper-aggressive, and Michele Bachmann is the face of the tea party right now.”