Accuracy in Media

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, might be in that put-upon tenth. A freshman congresswoman representing the 6th district of Minnesota, Representative Bachmann is committed to a political transparency rarely seen in Washington—perhaps that is why she is a Republican elected for the first time in a Democratic year from a blue state. Moreover, contrary to popular wisdom, that dynamic did not lead her to shift left.

  A frequent blogger, Representative Bachmann’s writing can be found on her official website and on the conservative website She stated in a recent interview that “You don’t get more real than blogging…and I love to be able to speak to people directly.” She elaborated that “blogging allows me to get my heart out before people so that they can know where I’m coming from.”

To date, Representative Bachmann’s blogging has focused on the oil crisis facing America, an issue she’s been tackling directly. She recently returned from the American Energy Tour with about eight other Republican Congressmen, touring both the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to see the trans-Alaskan pipeline and coastal region replete with oil, and Colorado to visit the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Representative Bachmann sponsored the Emergency Energy Cut-the-Red-Tape Now Act (H.R. 6463) to streamline the refinery process and open up ANWR and the oil shale reserves to increase the domestic supply of oil. “If you talk to people in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district,” she says, “it is the high gas prices that people have trouble with, and it’s wrecking the economy.” She predicts that America could see gas at $2 dollars a gallon again were we to take advantage of the domestic opportunities available for increasing supply, and she mentioned that she wanted to see the media tell the American people “the story that is happening right now” with the energy crisis.

To date, she has cosponsored 17 other bills addressing the energy issue by pushing for an increase in domestic production of oil, as well as expanding America’s alternative energy capabilities. She is also a member of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.

A former federal tax litigation attorney, Representative Bachmann states that Congress “wastes money like the American people wouldn’t believe.” She’s a fundamental fiscal conservative and has won multiple awards for her work;

  • the “Taxpayer’s Friend Award” in April 2008 from the National Taxpayers Union;
  • the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” for 2007 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
  • and the “Defender of Economic Freedom” award for 2007 from the Club for Growth.

She recently appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” debating Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act (H.R. 6275) he sponsored that passed in the House June 25th.

When asked about the level of bias she’s seen in the media, Representative Bachmann stated that she hasn’t seen a significant difference in treatment in radio and television venues, with the exception of the debates with Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate Patty Wetterling in the heated race for the Minnesota Congressional seat in 2006. Representative Bachmann said that the “level of bias” in the televised debates was highly partisan, and the debates were “always skewed against the conservative in favor of a liberal bias.” She also mentioned seeing a difference in treatment with print journalism. Overall, however, she was very positive about her experience with the mainstream media.

Representative Bachmann has her share of critics, to be certain—not just across the aisle but in the blogosphere. You might have a hard time reconciling the characterization of her with the genuine article; try checking out the latter before accepting the former.

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