Rolling Stone's Michele Bachmann story follows City Pages blueprint
We noted yesterday that Matt Taibbi's hit job in Rolling Stone on Rep. Michele Bachmann would sound familiar to local Bachmann watchers.
As The Awl points out today, Taibbi's piece should sound even more familiar to City Pages readers, because he sourced his story from our past coverage of America's Craziest Congresswoman.
Not that the story bothered crediting us for the original reporting, an oversight which Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates told The Awl was the result of trying to save space on the piece.
Because there just isn't enough room for an attribution in an online story unconstrained by space considerations, in a publication that brags about printing "All The News That Fits," one supposes. But whatever. At least they promised us some link love.
Here's some of what The Awl's Abe Sauer discovered:
For example, in the Rolling Stone piece, Taibbi writes:
"For the most part, though, Bachmann's upbringing seems like pure Americana, a typical Midwestern girl who was 'in a couple of beauty pageants' and 'not overtly political,' according to her stepbrother Michael LaFave."
The Chosen One graced our cover in October 2006.
Compare that to the 2006 City Pages profile of Bachmann, "The Chosen One," which interviewed LaFave:
"By his own admission, LaFave, 51 years old and a union representative who lives in Forest Lake, did not get to know his new stepsister all that well. 'I remember that she was book-smart, and did pretty well in school,' he recalls. 'And she was in a couple of beauty pageants.... She was not overtly political.'"
Another passage from that same 2006 City Pages profile:
"Stephens and other parents soon had confrontational meetings with Bachmann and the rest of the charter school group. 'One member of Michele's entourage talked about how he had visions, and that God spoke to him directly,' Stephens says. 'He told us that as Christians we had to lay our lives down for it. I remember getting in the car with my husband afterward and telling him, 'This is a cult.'"
By 2009, we were sure Bachmann was Going Crazy.
"One member of Michele's entourage talked about how he had visions, and that God spoke to him directly,' recalled Denise Stephens, a parent who was opposed to the religious curriculum at New Heights. 'He told us that as Christians we had to lay our lives down for it. I remember getting in the car with my husband afterward and telling him, 'This is a cult.''
City Pages, 2006:
"I came in wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and moccasins, and I had no makeup on at all,' the story quotes Bachmann as saying. 'I had not one piece of literature, I had made not one phone call, and spent not five cents and I did not solicit a vote.'"
"I came in wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and moccasins, and I had no makeup on at all,' she said. 'I had made not one phone call, and spent not five cents, and I did not solicit a vote.'"
We'll get over it. But the people Taibbi really ought to be worried about are Karl Bremer and Ken Avidor of the Dump Bachmann blog. He lifted chunks of background from them without attribution too.
And if Bremer and Avidor get you in their cross hairs, they can be relentless -- just ask Team Bachmann.
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