Who’s Really To Blame For Michele Bachmann’s Ill-Advised Appearance On Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Talk Show?

Jimmy Fallon returned to NBC and took over from Conan O’Brien after O’Brien left the network in a huff because of his hurt pride after his TONIGHT SHOW ratings tanked. Jimmy Fallon has done a remarkably good job since taking over, recreating a show that’s uniquely his own and very quirky. In the spirit of that quirkiness, earlier this week, also-ran presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, made a surprising, and probably ill advised appearance on the show. Certainly, as could be expected, something went wrong here.

When Bachmann walked on the stage, the band leader for the musical group, The Roots, thought it would be real funny and tongue-in-cheek to play a few instrumental notes from the controversial Fishbone song, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”. Certainly, that was a poor decision and not respectful of a guest. However, Jimmy Fallon himself was respectful of her, making few jokes at her expense. But, because most people surrounding Bachmann are hardly well versed in modern hip hop culture, it only took days for her campaign to finally figure out what the instrumental’s title actually was and that it was an insult of sorts. But,instead of just letting this little slight just pass, like most politicians usually always do, Bachmann made a major issue out of it, hoping to portray herself as some grand victim here, hoping that would somehow score a few points for her lagging campaign, which presently has just about 2-4% support nationally.

On her own political website. Michele Bachmann’s own official campaign site, proudly proclaimed that, “Michele Bachmann Brings The Funny On Jimmy Fallon”, as though she knew that that her appearance would generate some comedy value. But, she hardly played the role of good sport later, and demanded apologies from just about everyone that she could . Some others were quick to jump on this “victim card” bandwagon as well, including both Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, neither of which miss any low-rent opportunity to create an issue out of practically nothing,.

Both, Jimmy Fallon and NBC offered Bachmann their apologies. And the band leader of The Roots was suspended, but a few die-hard Bachmann supporters still would like their Shakespearian “pound of flesh” from someone because of this minor incident. Bachmann continued to play up the victim card for at least two days on the issue as well. But, compared to some late night jokes about Herman Cain being some sort of sex offender, or Rick Perry being incoherent, this joke at Michele Bachmann’s expense seemed rather slight by comparison.

Bachmann had to realize that her appearance on Jimmy Fallon would largely be to poke some fun at her expense. How could she not but see this? Her later indignation at the interview now reeks of an air of mock indignation more than anything. She has now largely replaced Sarah Palin as a bizarre sideshow candidate with zero chance of being elected, who only seeks out outrageous photo opportunities such as Jimmy Fallon’s show to grace her own ego. That’s a far cry from the more serious candidates in the race who are actually trying to get elected president.

Certainly, Jimmy Fallon’s show deserves some discredit for not respecting a guest. But, someone who deliberately puts themselves in such a spot shouldn’t be held entirely blameless either. Yet, Bachmann doesn’t appear quite ready yet to drop this whole matter. Today, she expressed disappointment that the president of NBC didn’t personally apologize to her rather than some company executive. Apparently, each day she continues to raise the bar of just what she expects in the way of a bigger and bigger apology.

Who could have ever guessed that the “queen of rage” could be so finicky?

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  • Anonymous

    Oh, horsecrap. How many things did you get wrong here?
    1) Bachmann, as well as everyone else, knew what the song was within 24 hours — because Roots’ leader Tweeted a hint before hand.
    2) The band leader was NOT suspended. He didn’t miss a bit of work. Fallon Tweeted that he was “grounded,” but that was it.
    3) Guests on these shows expect a little teasing, but common etiquette and tradition insist on no open assaults of this magnitude.
    4) Bachmann was actually one of the last people to complain about this.
    5) There were NO apologies made on the show — Fallon’s half-assed apology was via Twitter, and NBC’s by a press release. There was NEVER any followup on the air.
    6) Fallon’s half-assed apology consisted of calling the gross insult a “mess” and hoped she’d return to his show. NBC’s “apology” said that the band would be more closely monitored in the future.

    You know what would have been a real apology? Fallon saying so on the air. The band being fired or suspended. A statement that guests ought to and will be treated with at least a modicum of respect.

    Christ, this is one of the most pathetic hack-jobs I’ve seen in ages. And I used to read diaries at Kos.


    • Anonymous

      Its the narrative.  Gets them every time, JT.  Maybe there’s a science fiction story somewhere with an evil narrative that takes on a life of its own, sucking objective reasoning dry and infecting its victims who spread the parasite further.  Too much like reality, though.

  • They naturally find the worse possible picture of her that they can find.

    • Anonymous

      And Paul just HAS to use it.

      Actually, Paul makes a few compelling arguments here. First up, by his standards, NO Republican should ever go on any of these shows, because this is what they expect. Next, Bachmann has no right to complain, ‘cuz the bitch was asking for it anyway, going on that show.

      I don’t think those are the messages he intended to send, but that’s what he’s saying…


  • Paul Hooson

    Hello, Jay. I think I really expressed most of my thoughts on this sorry little episode on TV pretty well here. However, I think that once Bachmann slipped to around 2-4% national support in the polls, she began to be viewed more as a comic entity than anything. Further, Jimmy Fallon’s show is a goofy humor show, with a lot less dignity than Jay Leno or Letterman for example. Bachmann’s own website seemed to somehow understand that her appearance would largely have a comedy rather than serious value, but then she continues to milk the appearance for one apology after another, raising the apology bar each day.

    My personal opinion is that any candidate of high standing in the polls, such as Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney, both wouldn’t do Jimmy Fallon’s show for one thing, but would be treated far more respectfully if they did. I think Michele Bachmann has unfortunately jumped the political shark recently,  where she’s now viewed as a goof nationally, much like Dennis Kucinich or a few others. She’s no longer viewed as a serious national candidate, but certainly will likely continue in congress from her own district. Her local voters like her, just not much of anyone else.

    I personally doubt that Bachmann’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon, or even the poor song choice, did any real political damage. At 2-4% in the polls, there’s no bottom from that. But, her over-reaction to the event is helping to reinforce more negative views about her, which are already shared by most voters. Among even Republican voters, her positive intensity score is quite low right now, for example.

  • Anonymous

    So, it’s fine for hosts to dump all over their guests, as long as their poll numbers aren’t high enough? As in, “popular enough to fight back?” And are you gonna clean up all the things you got wrong on your two stories on this situation?

    She was an invited guest. Simple courtesy requires that she be treated with at least a minimum of respect. And she didn’t get it.

    Plus, when was the on-air apology from Fallon and NBC? What penalty did the band pay?

    Finally, what agent in their right mind would allow their client to go on Fallon’s show now?


    • Paul Hooson

      The band leader was suspended for  the song. And both Jimmy Fallon and NBC offered up an apology for the very minor incident. But, overall, Jimmy Fallon’s interview was largely respectful when you look at the video of the entire segment as a whole. I wouldn’t advise Herman Cain to appear on any of these late night comedy talk shows since his scandal. That would make an easy target. But, almost everyone running for president should have no problems with an appearance. But, I’d strongly advise them to stick to Leno or Letterman. Going on shows like Jimmy Fallon, John Stewart or Howard Stern is just asking for trouble.

      People belonging to all political parties watch TV. It only follows that guests of all parties should come on shows as guests. Bachmann’s problems on Jimmy Fallon were because of her reputation, something entirely of her own making. Others with a better reputation, wouldn’t had the same problem.

      The latest controversy for Bachmann, just this weekend,  is a misleading interview that she gave on FOX & FRIENDS, mis-characterizing Newt Gingrich’s  position on immigration in an attempt to hurt him politically. In that context alone, was .the song choice, “Lyin’ As Bitch”, so far off the mark?

      Every candidate has the right to propose some political position of their own. But, it’s not up to Michele Bachmann to misrepresent those positions of the other candidates.

      • Anonymous

        1) The band leader was NOT suspended. I recorded Tuesday and Wednesday’s shows, and he was on both. So that’s a crock.

        2) Fallon gave a half-assed apology via Twitter, saying it was a “mess.” NBC sent out a press release. Neither were ever even hinted at on the air.

        3) Yes, Fallon’s interview was pretty decent. Too bad he let HIS band on HIS show take a massive dump on HIS guest. And he let it go with absolutely no consequences. Good luck to his bookers in the future.

        3) I notice you keep harping on the theme that Bachmann basically asked to be called a “lyin’ ass bitch” on national television.

        4) Were I advising Bachmann, I’d recommend going back on the show. Walk out on stage, go right up to the band leader, call him an disgusting excuse for a man, then walk right back off stage and leave. I’d actually call him a ball-less wonder and worthless piece of crap, but Bachmann is more gracious than I am.

        Here’s a challenge for you, Paul. Cite the actual terms of the band leader’s suspension — when it started, and for how long. Reprint Fallon’s whole “apology” — it’s less than 140 characters. Then find a new way to spin how Bachmann really deserved it, anyway.


  • Paul Hooson

    I did forgot to post my thoughts on the controversial NEWSWEEK cover here. Like the bad song choice on Jimmy Fallon, it was of course another cheap shot. But, on the other hand it did capture the impression of some voters of Bachmann as angry or grumpy candidate. Her own website is peppered with petty little swipes at her opponents for example. And her endless quest for an apology far greater than the last one from NBC, is starting to appear as a quest for the “Holy Grail” of apologies more than anything. Like I said before, she jumped the shark as serious political candidate some time ago. At 2-4% national support, some adult in her campaign needs to have a serious talk with her about folding up the tent on the presidential campaign, and she needs to just do her best as a congressperson for her district instead.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right, Paul. Since her poll numbers are so low, fuck the bitch. She was begging for it.


  • Paul Hooson

    No, Jay. Bachmann was an easy target, unlike the far better candidates with more careful statements and better campaigns.Further, she placed herself on the wrong show to be taken seriously as well. And Bachmann really hurt her claimed “victimization” case this weekend when she misrepresented Newt Gingrich’s views on the immigration issue on FOX & FRIENDS. She now owes Newt Gingrich an apology. Where’s that apology? 
    At any rate. Wizbang Pop is an entertainment site. This story only made news here because it was part of a TV show that resulted in controversy. Other sites do the political thing. Wizbang Pop only covers political figures when they are involved in a controversial incident such as this Jimmy Fallon thing.
    Thanks for your thoughts here, Jay. I appreciate your opinions. Wizbang Pop can use a few more lively discussions like today. It makes this a better website by encouraging more folks to join in with their opinions. 

  • Anonymous

    It could also use a dose of reality, too. “Bachmann took a week to take offense.” “The band leader was suspended.” Did I miss any other things you completely fabricated to suit your spin, or did I hit the highlights?