For most members of Congress, encounters with the press are a common and expected part of the job. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), however, seems to take a different approach to dealing with the media.
Speaking to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday, Bachmann said she feels as though MSNBC hosts are stalking her.
“Now, it’s almost like I have personal stalkers, only they have TV shows, so it’s kind of an interesting phenomenon,” she said.
The two were engaged in a discussion about community organizing group ACORN, against which O’Reilly has been on the warpath. Specifically, O’Reilly has been suggesting that ACORN’s involvement in the election of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) may have tipped the scales in the Democrat’s favor, though he has yet to present anything more than conjecture. Franken defeated former Republican Senator Norm Coleman by a mere 312 votes after months of recounts and court battles.
“It’s not fair to say that ACORN did fraud, committed fraud, in Minnesota, your state,” O’Reilly told Bachmann. “But [they registered] 43,000 new voters, almost 100 percent of them going Democrat. You gotta take a look at it on a 312 margin, do you not?”
She responded by calling for an audit of ACORN’s funds and another review of the ballots in the Franken-Coleman race.
Despite a steady stream of accusations, mostly by Republicans, ACORN has never been linked to any actual cases of election fraud.
Moving on, O’Reilly suggested that Bachmann is “second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst.”
“They’re after you now,” he said. “We hear it all the time: Michele Bachmann, she’s this, she’s that, bup-bup-bup. How did you get into that wheelhouse?”
“It’s an interesting phenomena,” she said. “I think it happened when a competing cable network that took an interest in me and it’s only grown. And, uh, so now it’s almost like I have personal stalkers, only they have TV shows. So, it’s kind of an interesting phenomena.”
Recently, some emphasis has been placed on covering Bachmann because of her numerous controversial statements. For instance, she called carbon regulation “tyranny,” alleged that Democrats’ health insurance reforms will establish “death panels” to kill old people and suggested in 2008 that Obama may be “anti-American.”
“Does it bother you that NBC News is using its cable arm to make your life difficult?” O’Reilly asked. “Does that bother you?”
“You know, not really,” she said. “I grew up with three brothers and that’s the best preparation for politics anyone can possibly have. I’m just doing my job, working on behalf of the people of Minnesota.”
(Photograph of Michele Bachman © Michele McGaughey)
This video is from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, broadcast Oct. 7, 2009.