Bachmann Blacklists TV Station Over Interview About Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

July 26th, 2011

Earlier this month when it was revealed that the clinic operated by Michele Bachmann’s husband was providing ex-gay therapy to clients, Bachmann appeared on a Davenport television station to defend her husband’s practice, calling it “jobs creation.”

Since then, that station, WQAD, had been placed on a campaign blacklist, barred from interviewing the candidate. Last night, Bachmann was in the Quad Cities area on a campaign stop, and despite despite promises to WQAD for a one-on-one interview, the Bachmann’s handlers “aggressively denied News 8 access to the Iowa Republican front-runner.” WQAD’s Chuck McClurg describes the scene:

“I followed them outside hoping to get the interview I was promised,” said McClurg

McClurg began rolling his camera as another local Quad Cities news station started asking their questions.

“I started to tape something off of that interview and a staffer pushed me aside and stood in front of my camera and said that this was for the other station only.”

The reporter asked a question about Bachmann’s clinic and her husband. At that point, McClurg says the staffer took the microphone off of Bachmann, tossed it to the reporter and said their interview was over. McClurg said he thought he would then get his turn after he was respectful of the campaign staffer’s wishes.

“I was standing (there) and I brought up my camera and that’s when all of the staffers pushed her on,” said McClurg. “I’ve been a photojournalist since 1988 and I have logged some 3,000 items. I’ve never been snubbed like I was (here) yesterday.”

Here is video of the encounter:

WQAD reveals that during the original interview two weeks ago when Bachmann was asked about her husband’s offering of ex-gay therapy, there was considerable drama taking place behind the scenes:

During the satellite interview, behind the scenes, it got ugly. In the News 8 control room, campaign staffers threatened WQAD producers that they would cut off the feed if Rae Chelle repeated the question. A follow-up question was asked on the issue. The Congresswoman’s answers were aired nationally on ABC World News Tonight and Nightline.


July 26th, 2011

Bachmann is going to run out of TV stations she will talk to soon

Priya Lynn

July 26th, 2011

For her to respond to the question about “exgay” “therapy” by saying her clinic deals with job creation is one of the most pathetic dodges I’ve ever heard.

Lost Choi

July 26th, 2011

All this craziness in the Bachmann campaign could give a person a headache … oh wait, it already did! How are those migraines going, Michele?

Regan DuCasse

July 26th, 2011

This just proves how reluctant the anti gay are when it comes to dealing with the press that isn’t fawning all over them and asks hard questions. If this is how they are going to react to hard questions on THIS subject, imagine how it’s going to be with serious world affairs and the challenges THAT is going to bring.

Pathetic dodges or complaining that the press is picking on them is weak and cowardly.
And our nation could never afford weak and cowardly leadership.
It’s quite apparent that putting one’s religious beliefs and affiliations in front as if a sufficient show of character is a bad move. Even THAT doesn’t imbue anyone with courage, smarts or virtue.


July 26th, 2011

It’s the Sharron Angle school of press relations — and we saw where that went.


July 26th, 2011

It’s the Sharron Angle school, for sure.

But I think it’s also something else less obvious but more obnoxious. It’s treating the press as if the press were just another interest group, like the Humane Society or Girl Scouts, and no more important than any other group.

If this is true (and I think it is), and if it develops, it signals a fundamental and negative change in political regard for the public right to know.

The unwritten but very real watchdog role of the press, all but abdicated by the press itself since the early 90s (or before), is perhaps the only bulwark the public has against the overweening greed and self-interest that characterize much of public service today, and which succeeds by not being exposed.

Just as the rabbis in New York yesterday displayed an ineffable arrogance toward representative American government, this growing new treatment of the press, and Bachmann and Angle themselves, suggest an hostility to public knowledge that is even more dangerous to the country than their election.


July 27th, 2011

Public knowledge? I’d go a bit further and say that the Sharron Angles and Michelle Bachmanns of our political systen have a general hostility to knowledge, period.

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