Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
July 18, 2011

Marcus Bachmann Looking Gay

Marcus Bachmann

“Christ is the Almighty Counselor.”– Marcus Bachmann (from Bachmann & Assoc. counseling website)


“(He’s) an An IZOD shirt away from being the gay character on ‘Modern Family’.”– Jon Stewart about Marcus Bachmann

Because Michelle Bachmann is vehemently anti-gay and because her husband runs psychotherapy clinics with a strong Christian focus, evidence showing the treatment of homosexuality as a pathology, Marcus has become a legitimate object of political attention. That being the case, there is now a lot of chatter going around that Michelle’s other half is, himself, deep in the closet.

What’s problematic, though, is qualifying what that happens to look like.

Jon Stewart, with the maximal dose of satire sprinkled with flashes of real anger toward Dr. Bachmann for calling gays “barbarians,” went right at his sexuality in a segment last Wednesday. Stewart not only questions Bachmann’s orientation based on a clip of him and Michele dancing, but he then flips out, partially to the barbarian comment, but partially, I believe, to Bachmann’s “style of speech” in the audio clip. (Stewart on Marcus Bachmann in Daily Show video starts at 2:12. Audio clip is at 5:15.)

In the meantime, the file photo above (taken the day of Bachmann’s candidacy announcement back on June 27th) has been making the rounds the past few days, showing up on media sites such as The Washington Examiner, the Post Bulletin, the SF Examiner, as well as other media articles. In this example, the photo appears in an AP slideshow accompanied only by the caption about Bachmann doing “ex-gay therapy.”

As expected, I’ve got a few questions about the photo: Are the editors at these various media sites dipping into the file and producing this “queer-looking” pose as their own quiet version of what Stewart dished out? Even if Bachmann is in the closet, how fair is it to proffer one single frame as evidence? And, above all: has Dr. Bachmann, in his and his wife’s vitriol toward homosexuality, brought this visual, as heavy as it is with innuendo, upon himself?

(photo: Charlie Riedel/AP caption: In this June 27, 2011, file photo Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and her husband Marcus wave to the crowd after her formal announcement to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in Waterloo, Iowa. Marcus Bachmann is defending his Christian counseling business for offering so-called ex-gay therapy, a controversial practice that’s focused attention on the Bachmanns’ views on social issues at a time when the Minnesota congresswoman has shown momentum in the Republican presidential race..)

  • frank burns

    Hmmm, that is an array of enticing questions. Those reporters better get to the bottom of it, including that last one.

  • hmd2010

    Where there is smoke, there is fire.  Marcus is the classic case of the gay man trying to hide his sexual orientation and sensibilities.  This is a sad reminder of what can happen when you deny who you really are for fear of societal rejection.

  • black dog barking

    Dr Bachmann walking like a duck: quack.

    Maybe he’s just a closet Egyptian.

    • black dog barking

      Egyptian.

      (Busted link?!!? Preview would be nice, hint hint wink wink.)

  • Hampton Cole

    “how fair is it to proffer one single frame as evidence?”

    That’s, like, the whole M.O. of this site, no?

    • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

      The site focuses on photo/media analysis. By no means has the Michael based the entirety of his analysis of a subject on anything outside of a picture(s) only what the picture brings to the discussion.

  • bks

    Just looks like another fat f.ck to me …hey, wait… if he had a moustache he’d be a dead ringer for John Wayne Gacy.

    http://www.buzzintv.co.uk/files/2010/04/John-Wayne-Gacy.jpg

        –bks

  • Gasho

    Maybe those on the left are getting tired of loosing ALL of the framing wars and they’ve finally started fighting back.

    Who really cares if the guy is gay?  What matters is that we’ve focused a spotlight on the “anti-gay/Bachman” issue.  This is a looser for the candidate either way.  Gay rights are becoming popular, so the anit-gay stance looks bad.  The far right religious nuts love the anti-gay stuff, but now they won’t trust this dude, cause… uh, he’s GAY!!!

    Show the pictures, make the claims, point out the hypocrisy then… DISCUSS AMONGST YOURSELVES… that’s how it works!  

    It matters not how true it is…unless you’re concerned about the downfall of the media’s trustworthyness..  HA, HA.. yeah, right — that horse left the barn looong ago!

    • Anonymous

      Who cares? I bet Michelle cares.

  • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

    Do I care about his sexuality? No. I do care about his attacks and suppression of others rights. That makes him a dangerous hypocrite and a liar.

  • Troutcor

    I’m not comfortable with the commentary based on stereotypes about gays. If it is wrong for conservatives to gay bait, it is wrong for liberals.

  • marc sobel

    I just realized that the “ex-gay” swindle is an ingenious way to re-enter the closet.   As in:

    “He looks gay.”

    “No, he used to be confused but through Jesus became ex-gay. See, he is married with a lot of foster children and counsels young attractive gay men curing them of their affliction, through prayer, faith in Jesus and the laying on of hands.”

  • tinwoman

    Well, I don’t know if that “queen of England” winky winky wave makes him gay but with his whole counseling practice and what not he is bringing the scrutiny on himself.  He’s either a straight homophobe or a closeted self-hating homophobe, who cares which one it is?  We don’t need this couple anywhere near the Presidency.

  • Victoria

    What strikes me is how many people are all over this “quacks like a duck” perception of Marcus Bachman, how “out there” it all is  – You mention Stewart, but also Lawrence O’Donnell, Letterman… well, pretty much everyone in late night . The problem is he just reeks of every stereotype we associate with being effeminate.

  • Victoria

    What strikes me is how many people are all over this “quacks like a duck” perception of Marcus Bachman, how “out there” it all is  – You mention Stewart, but also Lawrence O’Donnell, Letterman… well, pretty much everyone in late night . The problem is he just reeks of every stereotype we associate with being effeminate.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes