Accuracy in Media

In an attempt to discredit Republican Presidential Candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), POLITICO characterizes her legislative record as “thin” in its headline. POLITICO argues that an absence of successful sponsored legislation is a “major hole in her political résumé.”

Rep. Bachmann however has been in the House minority party for what her spokesman calls “nearly 90 [percent]” of her House career. POLITICO buries this tidbit in a quotation in the 19th paragraph. POLITICO finds the statement of an anonymous “GOP lawmaker who serves with Bachmann on the Financial Services Committee” more important: “There’s not been one single legislative accomplishment she’s had.”

To be fair to POLITICO, in the sixth paragraph the reporter notes that when he announced his candidacy then-Senator Obama “didn’t have a substantive list of congressional accomplishments.” Only in the fourteenth paragraph does POLITICO note that “Bachmann was sworn into office in January 2007, just as the new Democratic House majority under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi came into power.”

POLITICO also cites “sources” who “say Bachmann has brought ‘a partisan attitude’ to intelligence committee hearings, which has alarmed members of the panel who want it to act in a nonpartisan manner.” POLITICO says this after noting Bachmann’s appointment to “a posting [the Intelligence Committee] that has boosted her national security credentials in the early stages of her presidential campaign.”

Only in the 20th paragraph does POLITICO note Rep. Bachmann’s voting record in the House, and then again only through her spokesman. POLITICO quotes him as saying “Perhaps her most important achievement in terms of votes cast was her unwavering consistency in voting against TARP, stimulus, cap and trade, Obamacare and the rest of the big-spending, job-destroying, deficit-busting bills that were put forth by the Democrat majority.”

POLITICO finally claims that Rep. Bachmann “has not earned high marks from the Minnesota delegation.” POLITICO claims that Rep. John Kline’s (R-MN) characterization of Rep. Bachmann as “a ‘friend’ and ‘colleague’” supports this claim since Kline supports former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) for the Republican Presidential nomination. The other support for the claim is from Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat, who claimed, “I don’t know about her record.”

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