Yesterday, Michele Bachmann was asked to comment on the latest developments regarding Iran and foreign embassies. You might have heard that Iranian “students” — unimpeded by Iranian security forces — invaded and sacked the English Embassy. In response, London announced that it pulling all its diplomats and staff out of Iran and closing the embassy. They also announced that they were ordering the Iranian embassy closed and sent all the Iranian staff home.
When asked about this, Bachmann expressed her approval. “That’s exactly what I would do We wouldn’t have an embassy in Iran. I wouldn’t allow that to be there.”
Pretty clear to me. But then ABC News got their spin on it. They “interpreted” Bachmann’s statement for us poor rubes: “That’s exactly what I would do [if I were president]. We wouldn’t have an embassy in Iran. I wouldn’t allow that to be there.”
Why did they add that little parenthetical enhancement? Because then it lets them play their gotcha game. “Did you hear Bachmann thinks we have an embassy in Iran? Man, is she stoopid!”
That’s right. Bachmann is stupid because of something that ABC made up that she said.
Her original statement is quite clear: she is approving of London’s response in the clearest possible terms — she would have done the same thing they did.
I’m actually impressed. The alternative way to spin it into making Bachmann look stupid was to say “Bachmann seems to think she’s running for Prime Minister, not president.”
This, sadly, is not that new for the mainstream media. Take something a conservative says, rewrite it for them, then mock them based on the rewrite. Sarah Palin said that she knew a little about foreign relations, citing her state’s extensive dealings with Canada and their proximity to Russia — but everyone quotes Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house!” President George W. Bush, when discussing why Iraq didn’t reform itself under Saddam Hussein like South Africa, said “I thought an interesting comment was made — somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, ‘Now, where’s Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas.” That became “OMG! Did you hear? Bush thinks Nelson Mandela is dead!”
This raises an interesting question for me: if the Republicans are so stupid, why don’t their critics simply make their case by quoting them, instead of having to make this stupid shit up?