Thursday, May 19, 2005

Minnesota: Senator Bachmann Does Dirty Radio Show

Did you know that pseudo-Christian State Senator Michele Bachmann thinks radio “shock jock” Tom Barnard is “awesome?” I did not know that until I heard her guesting on Barnard’s KQ Morning Show.

I’m not a regular listener, but from what I can make out Barnard’s program is a popular local version of the sort of “outrageous” morning radio Howard Stern pioneered back in the eighties. Barnard won a much-publicized ratings battle with Stern some time back. The format, tone and content of Barnard’s program seem to owe a lot to Stern’s “good taste.”

According to Barnard Bachmann had called in the day before her appearance trying to get on the show, but had missed him. So on Thursday, May 12, Barnard asked her to call in again.

He then went into a funny radio “bit;” the sort of material typically associated with this kind of program. This bit was about “first date” tips from Maxim Magazine: “In a woman’s mind the main purpose of a first date with you is to figure out why you are not coitus-worthy.” Barnard added: “And that’s kind of weak because you may like her or may wish to fornicate with her...” This was punctuated by playing a sound byte of a woman who said: “Tread lightly, who lives in hope of p***y.”

You know, I never thought Bachmann would support the kind of broadcast language and content you hear on Barnard’s program. I’ll bet most of her Christian supporters thought the same. They’ll probably be surprised to learn that she’s willing to endorse this sort of thing by appearing on such a program.

Barnard and his crew and callers filled the airwaves with jokes about men and women getting rid of the clap and trading crabs (“I’ll give you two blind ones for one with no teeth”.) Then they took a call from a guy who told us all about “a foot-long bloater” in the toilet during a first date.

Shortly after another hilarious “I’m Rick James, bitch” sound byte, Barnard was told that Senator Bachmann was on the line. Calling from a traffic jam, she was on hold and waiting to join the fun.

I don’t know if any of you have ever called in to talk radio. When you’re on hold, waiting to speak, you hear the show as it is being broadcast—it’s relayed through your phone as well as the radio. So while Bachmann was on hold, it is likely that she was enjoying the rest of the sexy first date routine and another outrageous sound byte (“I think what I’m most known for is my wiener.”)

None of this material discouraged Senator Bachmann from remaining on hold, or from lending the dignity of her office to the proceedings. One of Barnard’s zany crew scheduled her: “We’ll wrap up the sex survey here, and just when we’re in the sexin’ up mood, then we’ll turn to Michele at eight o’clock for a happy ending.”

When she finally came on, Bachmann spoke to Barnard and company about a number of her concerns: leftist domination of school curriculum, legal gay marriage as a threat to democracy, how welfare and health care expenditures will eventually consume the state budget. The conversation was a bit confused; at one point Barnard didn’t seem to understand that Bachmann was appearing on the program to deny that she was asking high school students to spy on classroom teachers and report their findings to her.

Barnard asked Bachmann if she thought she hated homosexuals.

“I think what I love is democracy…” she began. Sensing an evasion, a Barnard co-host pressed her: “Answer the question, do you hate homos?”

“No,” laughed Bachmann. “But ask my kids!” (Laughter.)

Barnard claimed that religion has no place in government and that the founding fathers made it very clear that this is not a Christian nation. Oddly enough, this assertion went unchallenged by Bachmann.

But she did announce that Barnard was her 23-year-old son’s hero! Bachmann thinks college professors are becoming a bad influence on our kids. But at the same time, she’ll tell the world that penis-and-p***y-and-bloater-jokin’ morning shock jock Tom Barnard is her college student son’s hero. I didn’t think kids raised in a Christian household would be very interested in that kind of stuff. In fact, I thought they’d be against it.

As a parting anecdote, Barnard offered the following: “I was at lunch this week and I ran into Congressman Kennedy who’s running for the United States Senate. I did point one thing out to him, I said if he wins United States Senate, he will be the first United States Senator Kennedy I’ve ever spoken to that didn’t kill someone.”

Well, the whole morning crew nearly died laughing at that one. And so did Bachmann. “You’re awesome!” she told Barnard, before she hung up.

So Minnesota’s most powerful pseudo-Christian legislator cracks up at Chappaquidick jokes.

It makes you wonder: what would Jesus find hilarious?

William Prendergast is the author of the crime thriller “Forbidden Hollywood,” and says: “If Michele Bachmann’s saved, I don’t wanna be.”

Friday, May 13, 2005

Minnesota: Bachmann Trapped In Scandia Bathroom?

Who do you believe? What happened at State Senator Michele Bachmann’s notorious appearance at that Scandia town meeting? The way most of the citizen-attendees tell it, Bachmann ended the meeting early and went into the ladies room, where two women asked her questions about education issues. Bachmann’s version of the same incident, on the other hand, might be titled “I WAS TRAPPED IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM BY PRO-LESBIAN ACTIVISTS!!!’

Both sides seem to acknowledge that Bachmann burst out of the ladies room screaming for help—but was there ever any real threat to Bachmann from the two other women present in the restroom? Or was it just another cheesy piece of cheap political theater from Stillwater’s pseudo-Christian drama queen?

Was the Senator really falsely imprisoned, or held against her will, or threatened, or what? What’s up with that? Bachmann filed a police report, but Sheriff Jim Frank’s take on the whole thing was: "I don't think there's a crime for us to investigate.”

Well, I certainly wasn’t hanging out in the ladies’ room when the whole thing went down. So I suppose it all depends on who you believe.

So who do you believe?

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’d take the word of just about anybody over that of Michele Bachmann. Her track record indicates that she has a problem telling the truth to the public. There are plenty of examples. Here’s just three:

1) First, let’s take the Scandia incident itself. Shortly after the event, Bachmann tried to convince us that she was not interested in publicizing it. She was quoted in the Strib: "I don't want to fuel anything. I'd rather not talk about it." She told the Gazette that she was trying to ramp it down in the media. She was quoted in the St. Croix Valley Press: “My goal has been to de-escalate everything.” “I didn’t go to the media,” she said. “I didn’t go to the media,” she said again.

But she DID go to the media! I was listening and taking notes when Bachmann broadcast her “scary” account of the Scandia bathroom incident on radio station KKMS 980-AM. She narrated the details of her supposed ordeal at length, and her version was unchallenged—because no one else who attended the meeting appeared on the radio with her. I suppose she was broadcasting her lurid version in order to frighten, anger, and “stir up” her supporters in advance of her latest anti-gay marriage rally.

So contrary to what she told reporters, Bachmann wasn’t trying to “de-escalate” or ramp down the affair at all. In fact, she herself was ramping it up!

2) In 2003, Bachmann was telling inquiring citizens that the Gazette had retracted a story that reported her position on the issue of teaching creationism in public schools. She wrote: “The Stillwater Gazette has retracted the story in which they wrongly attributed my position on this issue.”

The Gazette never retracted that story. In fact, the Gazette is still publishing it--you can still read it online in our archives. Bachmann was probably embarrassed because the story quotes her commenting favorably on the work of Michael Behe, proponent of Intelligent Design Theory. And Intelligent Design Theory is in fact a form of creationism; it asserts that life must have been the product of intelligent design. The story was never retracted, despite what Bachmann told you.

3) Bachmann told television viewers that judges do not make law.
During a televised interview with “Spirit of America Hour” host Randy Baar (March 22, 2002), Bachmann said : “We need to let them know--you are judges, you don’t make law, you take the facts and apply it to the law. We need to tell judges to get back in line with their job description, or else they’re out.”

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but making law is a proper part of the purpose and function of the courts. Statutes made by elected legislators are not the only kind of law. The opinions written by judges of federal and state courts are officially recorded so that they can be consulted by other judges and public officials—and such opinions are indeed law. Case law, made by judges (for example Brown v. The Board of Education or Roe v. Wade), is law.

Of course, Bachmann knew that judges make law when she told her audience that they don’t. Bachmann’s a lawyer and claims to have litigated cases; she’s presumably familiar with the concept of case law.

Devout Christians are required to confess their sins daily to God. If Bachmann is as devout as she pretends to be, I would guess that she’s kept pretty busy. And I’ll bet the sin she confesses most to during these little talks with the Lord is “lying to her constituents and to the public.”

And don’t even get me started on that “no new taxes” pledge she took.

William Prendergast is the author of the crime thriller “Forbidden Hollywood” and he actually had to do some research for this column, for a change.