Michele Bachmann Newsweek Photo

Michele Bachmann Newsweek Photo

Part of a series on 2012 Republican Presidential Primary. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 29, 2012 at 01:07PM EDT by amanda b..

Added Aug 16, 2011 at 03:28PM EDT by Don.

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Michele Bachmann Newsweek Photo refers to a magazine cover featuring a wide-eyed photo of Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate nominee Michele Bachmann.[9] The image has inspired photoshop fads and parody videos, and sparked a debate about whether it was appropriate for Newsweek to use the photo.


On August 7th, 2011, the official Newsweek Twitter account[1] posted a link to a sneak preview of their magazine cover, which would be released the following week on August 15th. The cover featured a photograph of Tea Party-supporting politician Michele Bachmann looking startled, taken by Canadian photographer Chris Buck.[2] It was paired with the headline “Queen of Rage,” which was seen as casting her in an extremely negative light.[10]


On August 7th, 2011, Gawker[3] published an article titled “Michele Bachmann Looks, Um, Surprised to Be on Newsweek Cover” describing the unpublished mockup. The following day, the cover was discussed on news sites including the Washington Post[11], the Huffington Post[12], Yahoo! News[13] and Slate[14], debating whether or not the photograph was chosen to portray the politician as a joke. On the 9th, Jon Stewart shamed Newsweek editor Tina Brown on The Daily Show for choosing this image.

On August 16th, 2011, ABC News[7] published an interview with former Delaware Senate GOP nominee Christine O’Donnell who claimed that the Michele Bachmann cover was sexist and exemplified the unfair treatment female candidates receive.

On Twitter

In the days following Newsweek’s initial tweet, the #QueenOfRage hashtag began appearing in other Michele Bachmann related tweets, especially those referencing the famous Newsweek cover. However, it was only used approximately 300 times.[15]

Bachmann Eyes

On August 8th, 2011, BuzzFeed editor Matt Stopera posted a series of 20 images titled “Hot Chicks With Michele Bachmann’s Eyes,”[6] photoshopping Michele Bachmann’s eyes from the Newsweek cover onto other celebrities. Two days later, a single topic Tumblr titled Bachmann-eyezed![8] launched, posting 7 photos featuring people with photoshopped eyes, in the vein of Steve Buscemeyes. The blog released an iPhone app[16] on September 30th, 2011 and ceased updated in November 2011.

Alternate Covers

A collection of alternate Michele Bachmann Newsweek covers was posted to Funny or Die[5] on August 8th, 2011.


Search queries for “michele bachmann newsweek” began rising rapidly on August 8th, 2011, the day after the Gawker article was published, peaking that month. Search peaked again in April 2012 after the cover was referenced in a Saturday Night Live skit, in which actress Kristen Wiig reenacted the “Newsweek face.”[17]

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