Galvanising intensity or the look of lunacy? Right-wing livid over Michele Bachmann portrait

It seems likely that she will come top of the crucial Republican straw poll in Iowa this Saturday

Hand-wringing has broken out across the American politiscape over the cover of the latest edition of Newsweek, which features a portrait of the Tea Party-adored presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann that might lead some voters to conclude that the congresswoman would be better off in a padded cell than the Oval Office.

No one could fault the magazine on its timing. It seems likely that in spite of her radical conservative views, Ms Bachmann will come top of the crucial Republican straw poll that is set for this Saturday in Iowa, the Midwestern state that will kick off the nomination process with state-wide caucus voting next February.

Struck by a blitz of criticism, Newsweek editor Tina Brown defended the choice of photograph, even if it shows Ms Bachmann wearing a decidedly startled expression. Or, as New York Magazine put it, the kind of look "you might see on the face of a serial killer who just spotted a new victim".

"Michele Bachmann's intensity is galvanising voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek's cover captures that," Ms Brown contended in a brief statement. The Daily Beast, her weekly's online sister, posted outtakes from the same event where they photographed Ms Bachmann in Iowa, saying, "Many of the photographs taken for the feature showed Bachmann with similar intensity."

A glance at the other pictures, some of which appear on the inside pages of Newsweek, nonetheless confirms what everyone suspected: none make the candidate look quite as zany as the one on the cover.

Right-wing bloggers, including Michelle Malkin, are incensed. She accused Newsweek of using "bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo clichés about conservative female public figures". The National Organisation for Women (NOW) joined the criticism.

"Surely this has never been done to a man," NOW director Terry O'Neill said. "What they are saying of a woman who is a serious contender for president of the United States of America... They are casting her as a nut job."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore