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Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Media, Politics | 13 comments

The Look Of Rage

Back in February 1994, the height of my Black Nationalism days, I remember Time Magazine came out with an article about Minister Louis Farrakhan called “Ministry of Rage”. I was livid yet pleased. How dare Time Magazine called the man that I used to idolized a man of rage? I thought then “Yeah he has righteous rage against those that look at we black folks as less than human” (remember these are my past views so don’t get weird on me). But I loved the picture of him. Although Time labeled the headline “Ministry of Rage”, I thought he look damn cool. Bow tie and cool spectacles. I was very pleased with that picture.

Fast forward to August 2011 and Newsweek’s article about Michele Bachmann entitled “The Queen of Rage”. First and foremost, Michele Bachmann’s hardly a queen of rage. She’s not even a princess or duchess of rage. “Queen of Controversy” sounds better to me. But let’s look at the photo. Personally, the photo is just bad. Minister Louis Farrakhan has much more a claim to rage (righteous or not) than Michele Bachmann and yet he looks cool with the effect and all on the Time magazine cover. Yet Bachmann looks wild-eyed and borderline crazy. I’m no artist but if I’m going to call someone the “Queen of Rage”, I’m going to stylize it up a bit. Bachmann, to a sizable bunch, is an attractive woman. I would have highlighted that, put a crown on her head, and showed her leading her “raging subjects”. Hmm. Maybe I’ll make her “raging subjects” look like rolled scrolls symbolizing the constitution (which she talks much about).


Wait a second! What am I doing? I don’t have a positive or negative view of Michele Bachmann. So I’m looking at this from a strictly style perspective. But this is 2011. And Newsweek Editor-In-Chief Tina Brown doesn’t fool me one bit. She wanted Michele Bachmann to look kind of “unhinged”. Because she has an agenda. And agendas are running rampant throughout the Left and the Right. But I do agree with with fellow TMV colleague Taylor Marsh that this isn’t sexist but a cheap shot. While the photo is bad, I don’t see the sexism in it. But I’m no fool twice. With the way female politicians are photographed and photo-shopped in unflattering and downright sexist ways, I can appreciate the concern. But while the photo is getting much play, I think the headline “Queen of Rage” should get the focus. A female politician who is galvanizing support for her campaign by riding her supporters’ anger at Washington is not a “Queen of Rage”. She’s a campaigning politician and a leader to her supporters. No more, no less.

Merriam-Webster defines rage as “violent and uncontrolled anger”. Let’s get downright stone serious now: is Michele Bachmann the “Queen of Violent and Uncontrolled Anger”? As NFL football star Chad Ochocinco says:


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  • DaGoat

    Bachmann is a poor candidate for president, but Newsweek is doing their best to make her look worse. I agree it’s a low blow.

  • StockBoyLA

    She’s Queen of Loony…. As in Minnesota loons.

  • SteveK

    Actually Tyrone, that’s how she looks.

    Here are some other outtakes from the same photo shoot.

    It’s not Newsweeks fault that the woman looks that way.

  • ShannonLeee

    Hey, didn’t that guy have Malcolm X shot?

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    thanks T, actually this pix reminds me of most all our high school pix before senior year. Remember those? We all looked like deer caught in headlights. There’s a reason most of us cannot ‘find’ our h.s. pix anymore. lol. On another note, sat next to Minister F on a plane trip once. Charismatic with very gallant manners. Speaking to him personally was quite different than the way he was being portrayed in public at the time. Though his separatist ideas have their reasonings, moreso, it appeared that some of his followers seemed violent. That splashed, I think. At the time I met Minister F, I believe he had cancer, and he was in a world of western medicine and concern.

    Thanks T

  • DLS

    This was just another example of the hypocritical as well as the lying left (the ones who are hateful and enraged for no reason, so often) mischaracterizing (and defaming) somebody they hate and who makes them enraged. (as many on the Left have been since late 1980)

  • DLS

    David Horsey, liberal cartoonist in Seattle metro, also took a cheap shot at Bachmann some time ago, but at least he, giving her the “Suze Orman look,” is entertaining — it’s supposed to be funny, and he is, his cartoon is, unlike the slimy Newsweek example.

  • DaGoat

    Bachmann was on the Sunday AM shows a while back and looked fine. Newsweek makes her look like Jack Elam.

  • Allen

    Irrelevant to me. They are both wild crazy jackasses as far as I’m concerned. Though I understand that Farrakhan had a change of heart after prostate surgery. One of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    While I think the title is a tad exaggerated, I actually the photo is a tad complimentary for someone who —to paraphrase dr E.—is suddenly caught in the headlights of fame and publicity.

  • TheMagicalSkyFather

    Where as I agree with SteveK that this photo shoot seems to be similar they still chose the worst one possible. So bad in fact that they should have warned her and requested a re-shoot. The Palin one lost a lot of traction for her when it was re-used elsewhere with her support (cant remember the mag) but this one is horrid.

    Oddly I have less issue with the “rage” thing but the picture was a very tainted choice that I would expect from The Standard/Fox News/The Nation or many of the other partisan voices. It is never acceptable and just allows me to ignore anything they may have to say in the future.

    Imagine the same title with a beautiful even feminine photo of her. That would have sold some major magazines and it would have been a better portrait of who she is. Acidic language with whispered venom spoken in a very pretty voice and in the most cordial way.

  • Ya’ll knew I’d have something to say about this:

    but I really must harken back to the Hillary Clinton, The New Republic May 2008 cover of hysteria.

    I don’t come down all that much on whether this Bachmann cover is sexist, cheap shot or damn straight good portrait. I just believe that at the end of the day – and hell, at the beginning of the day, the journalists involved can do better – way way WAY better – at promoting civic engagement if they actually cared about the civic part of our lives which, as news providers, I do think they should care about (yada yada profits bla bla bla I know).

    Why not use the photo of her in the prayer pose – also probably controversial but at least then we could use it as a springboard about her mixing up of church and state and the role she lets religion play in her policy decision making and so on. Substantive stuff – not gendered, stereotyped stuff.

    That’s all I really want.

  • JSpencer

    Excellent post T. Yeah, I think the cover was a low blow too, even though her eyes often do have a sort of an odd intensity about them. It isn’t the look of rage though, at least not any rage I’ve ever seen. Btw, there was a good program on Fresh Air today about Michelle Bachmann:

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