From Slate (6-27-2011):
During his interview of Michele Bachmann last night, Chris Wallace pointedly asked the presidential hopeful, “Are you a flake?” Bachmann was visibly offended. “I think that would be insulting to say something like that,” she shot back , “because I’m a serious person.” Shortly after the interview, the Fox News Sunday Facebook page was flooded with accusations of sexism on Wallace’s part. Politico and the Washington Post speculated today that the interview might enhance Bachmann’s appeal among female voters who’ll now take a sympathetic posture towards her.
In response to the growing chorus of criticism, Wallace issued a video apology this afternoon. “I messed up,” he said, “I didn’t mean any disrespect.”
(Yes, Mr. DeMille, she’s ready for her close-up.)
[T]his isn’t the first time the Fox reporter has used the term to describe her. In fact, Wallace also told Bachmann in an interview this April that she had a reputation for saying “some-forgive me-flaky things.” Wallace has plenty of material to work with. In the April interview, he confronted Bachmann with footage of two of her more outrageous assertions: that the Revolutionary War began in New Hampshire , and that the federal government presently owns 51 percent of the private economy. Last night, he pointed out that she’d alleged NATO airstrikes had killed 30,000 civilians and also accused members of Congress of being anti-American. As those (and many , many other ) statements illustrate, Bachmann is a flawed candidate, and it is well within the media’s rights to point that out.
(This one’s for new Raisinette, Dave in Austin, who requested the poster )
As with much questionable language usage, Wallace’s tone was crucial: His use of the word last night was inextricable from his belittling attitude toward Bachmann. In the April interview, Wallace began his conversation with the representative by noting that it “may surprise some people” to learn that she is a tax attorney. As others have pointed out , his tone last night was similarly more like a doubtful high school counselor than a journalist conducting an interview with a public figure. (“Do you recognize,” he asked her, “that now that you are in the spotlight in a way that you weren’t before that you have to be careful and not say what some regard as flaky things?”)
The article points out that the word “flaky” is usually invoked when attacking a female rather than a male, even though the word has never been gender-specific. I know I’ve called plenty of men politicians flaky, so I don’t feel any guilt. If the word fits, use it. Botox Batshit Bachmann is a flake. Just one more thing, just because someone called her a flake, she is not a victim. I’m sick and tired of any criticism launched at Rethuglicans resulting in their cries of victimhood. Just wanted to get that off my chest.