Is Newsweek's Cover Trying to Make Michele Bachmann Look Crazy?

| by Michael Allen

Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown is drawing the ire of the Tea Party for selecting a photo of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for Newsweek's cover that makes the 2012 Republican hopeful look well, crazy.

The photo of Bachmann, shot in Washington on Aug. 1 by photographer Chris Buck, accompanies a cover story by Lois Romano entitled "The Queen of Rage."

Reached via email, Alice Stewart, Bachmann's press secretary, declined to comment. "We are focused on meeting with the people of Iowa in advance of the Straw Poll," she wrote in an email.

Conservative media pundits were furious over the cover picture selection.

"Under the editorial control of Tina Brown, the rice paper magazine barely struggles against its bias towards conservative women to view them with anything other than contempt," Dana Loesch wrote on Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism.com.

It's not the first time that Newsweek has drawn criticism from conservatives over a candidate's cover photo. In 2008, Newsweek published an extreme close-up of Sarah Palin on its cover, sparking cries of bias.

"Memo to conservative women," Ed Morrissey wrote on HotAir.com. "When approached by Newsweek or Time for a cover story, always bring your own photographer."

But critics charge that the newsweekly is using more than just its cover image to editorialize about Bachmann and the basis of her popular appeal. An interior image--featuring Bachmann at a campaign stop and also taken by Buck--was shot from an angle that shows the conservative candidate with devil horn.

"Michele Bachmann's intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now," Brown said in a statement regarding the current cover. "Newsweek's cover captures that."