The Media Research Center released a new report earlier this week documenting mainstream media bias towards conservative women, especially Tea Party star Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
The report’s author, Matt Philbin, told The Daily Caller that many media outlets, but specifically Politico and MSNBC, have a double standard when it comes to how they report news regarding conservative female politicians as opposed to liberal female politicians.
“She’s [Bachmann] dangerous to them. I think, like Sarah Palin, they find her dangerous. Women are supposed to be liberal,” Philbin said. “They’re supposed to vote Democrat, just as blacks and Latinos are supposed to vote Democrat. Having a strong conservative woman that voices conservative concerns and understands conservative economics is very disconcerting to the left and to the media.”
Debbie Lee, a member of the Tea Party Express and founder of America’s Mighty Warriors, a non-profit that helps families of fallen soldiers, said she agrees that the media is harsher on conservative women than liberal women.
“I think we’ve seen a huge prejudice with attacks against conservative women. We don’t see that with the liberal, left-leaning women that are in there,” Lee told TheDC. “I think it is a pattern, a concerning pattern, when the media continues to attack conservative women, but, on the other side, lets things slide and doesn’t have the same consistency [for liberal women].”
Lee said conservative women, like herself, are often deliberately smeared by the media in order to discredit them and their worldview.
“I think a lot of is part of that good ol’ boys’ club,” Lee said. “Conservative women don’t fit in that mold, so they tend to attack us and discredit us or make us look like we’re less than or unintelligent or don’t know what we’re talking about.”
Philbin railed on MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews for his treatment of Bachmann during an the interview on Election Night where Matthews asked the congresswoman if she planned to try to use subpoena power to “investigate” Democrats for being “un-American.” Matthews also suggested several times throughout the interview that Bachmann’s answers made it appear as if she was hypnotized and in a trance.
“It wasn’t appropriate for the time, she was at a victory party. Asking her if she’s hypnotized is just incredibly unprofessional,” Philbin told TheDC. “She was gracious enough to go on his show which I would think is a real buzz-kill in the middle of her victory party.”
Philbin said Bachmann’s tendency to fight back against media smears is positive and it is something that she and other conservative women attacked by the media should continue to do.
“I think it can only help them, as long as they’re smart about it,” Philbin said. “What Michele Bachmann did to Chris Matthews on Election Night was some of the best TV I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it can hurt them at all.”
Philbin was referring to a retort Bachmann made to Matthews toward the end of the interview on Election Night when she said that she imagines that the MSNBC host was no longer feeling that tingle up his leg, a reference to a much ridiculed comment Matthews made about feeling a tingle going up his leg after a speech Obama gave during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Philbin added that Palin has only gotten stronger as a result of the leftwing media attacks and he expects Bachmann to come out stronger from the assaults as well. He also predicted that the next conservative woman to feel the liberal media’s heat could be New Mexico’s Republican Governor-elect Susana Martinez.
“They’re going to look at her, and if she really is the kind of rising star everybody says she is, they’re going to go after her hard,” Philbin said. “The examples of women and minorities in the Republican Party is devastating to the liberal agenda. The sense that women are off the reservation really sends them around the bend.”