Bachmann Beat: 'Challenging Mainstream Science'
A daily roundup of news and commentary about U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Sixth-district congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is in California today, where she will address the state Republican Party's convention in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Bachmann's vaccine brouhaha is showing no signs of letting up. During a stop in San Rafael, she defended her controversial remarks regarding alleged dangers posed by the HPV vaccine Gardasil, and offered no apologies to those who say her comments might serve to discourage parents from having their children vaccinated.
In a scathing opinion piece, a Salon writer castigates Bachmann for her remarks, and points out that she's ironically giving voice to a widely discredited "liberal conspiracy theory" about vaccines causing autism.
MPR says Bachmann has a long history of "challenging mainstream science," while The New York Times writes that the vaccine dustup is only adding to Bachmann's "reputation for making unsupportable statements."
(As a side note, a writer for Forbes says Bachmann's comments have had the accidental benefit of unleashing an "almost immediate outpouring of intelligent writing" on the subject of vaccines.)
There is, of course, another side to the vaccine argument. Yesterday, a group called the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota sent out a press release criticizing the media for ignoring reported vaccine injuries and "legitimate product safety concerns." (The press release does not appear to be available anywhere online.)
Other Bachmann news:
- The Associated Press reports that in spite of her opposition to President Obama's economic stimulus program, Bachmann is on a list of Republican presidential candidates who benefited from the stimulus.
- The parent of a gay teenager who committed suicide is among those calling on Bachmann to condemn bullying based on sexual orientation.
- Bachmann's campaign posted photos of her meeting with Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on her Facebook page.
Finally, if one were to make a list of words that shouldn't be used to describe a presidential candidate, "cougar" — a slang term for older women who pursue younger men — would almost certainly be on it. The University of Iowa learned that lesson yesterday.