Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Mar 24th, 2010

Summary: St. Cloud Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser has done what good reporters are supposed to: fact-check the public assertions of elected officials — and his preliminary finding is that “independent experts … are disputing [Michele] Bachmann’s abortion claims.” There’s much in the new health care legislation that’s fair game for legitimate criticism. But to shamelessly and dishonestly scare constituents who care about protecting life with baseless fearmongering is not only indefensible; it’s irresponsible and a dereliction of duty. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 24, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she wanted people in Minnesota “armed and dangerous” on the issue of an energy tax, “because we need to fight back” and “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”

Nov 18th, 2009

Summary: Like most of the mainstream media complicit in propagating a superficial, sanitized image of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, CNN has taken the bait. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 18, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iran praised the Iraqi Cabinet for approving a U.S-Iraq status-of-forces agreement and that Michael Hanna, an analyst at the Century Foundation in New York, said a continuing but finite presence of U.S. troops in Iraq could benefit Iran because it provides “retaliatory options” as Tehran pursues a nuclear program opposed by the West.

Sep 20th, 2009

Summary: The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has released a statement that characterizes Gov. Tim Pawlenty as “moving closer and closer to Representative Michele Bachmann’s extreme right-wing ideology.” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on the 11th day after losing his 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Aubrey Immelman, in line with his focus on national security, reported on the release of a new al-Qaida tape marking the 7th anniversary of 9/11, threatening attacks in Afghanistan; a huge suicide truck bombing that devastated the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad; and a speech by Pakistan’s new president, Asif Ali Zardari, in which he said Pakistan will not tolerate violations of its sovereignty in the name of fighting terrorism — a clear signal to the United States to avoid controversial cross-border strikes against the Taliban and al-Qaida.