Newsweek Faces Criticism Over Unflattering Bachmann Cover Shot

Newsweek Faces Criticism Over Unflattering Bachmann Cover Shot

The nation is buzzing over that unflattering photo of Michele Bachmann on the cover of Newsweek.

Ann Curry said on the Today  show, "Her most recent magazine cover is causing quite a stir."

On CNN's Political Buzz, one commentator said, "If the question is, is it biased? Absolutely. Is it sexist? Absolutely. They might as well put her in a straight jacket."

The shot of a wide-eyed Bachmann with the headline "The Queen of Rage" prompted one blogger to ask, "Can anyone really say with a straight face that the mainstream media is not totally biased against conservatives?"

Even the National Organization for Women, one of Bachmann's most vocal political opponents, is coming to her defense over the cover: "Who has ever called a man 'The King of Rage?' They are basically casting her as a nut job."

The uproar is sweeping the internet, with the Huffington Post story getting more than 11,000 hits. One post on slate.com claims Bachmann was captured before she was ready to be photographed: "It's a lighting test photo, something where Bachmann was not 'ready' for the shot, and it shows up as a deer in the headlights kind of photo."

Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown is defending the cover: "Michele Bachmann's intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek's cover captures that."

And the magazine is releasing outtakes from the photo shoot with Bachmann, which took place in Washington, D.C. "Many of the photographs taken for the feature showed Bachmann with similar intensity," continued Brown.

Bachmann's campaign says it won't respond to the controversy. She was asked about it on the campaign trail in Iowa, where she's rocketed to become the frontrunner.

"Have you seen it?" asked an audience member.

"I have not," said Bachmann.

"It's close-up, wild-eyed, with the headline 'The Queen of Rage,' " said the audience member.

"Aha, we'll have to take a look at that," said Bachmann.