As Jonathan wrote earlier, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has apologized for asking Rep. Michele Bachmann if she was a “flake” during an interview yesterday. But so far, Bachmann hasn’t accepted the apology. And she shouldn’t. Wallace’s apology is unnecessary. The anchor didn’t appear to mean any offense when he leveled the “flake” question at the candidate – and by answering it the way she did, Bachmann proved she has the tenacity and poise to withstand confrontational questioning.
Wallace’s question was important for two reasons. The first was it gave Bachmann an opportunity to respond to the claims of her critics. But more significantly, it gave the public a chance to see how she responds when she’s pushed out of her comfort zone. In both respects, Bachmann fared very well.
The presidential hopeful is in a position right now where she can play the role of the media bias victim. But she could potentially gain even more respect by refusing to act wounded. It would be great to see her laugh off the incident, and dismiss it as the usual scrutiny that comes with being a leading Republican presidential candidate.
And it would be even better to see Wallace and other reporters use this line of questioning with other politicians. Why not ask President Obama whether he’s a thin-skinned egotist? Or ask Nancy Pelosi whether she’s a conniving ideologue? A lot of people would probably be interested in their reactions. And it would sure beat the typical Sunday morning interview questions that tend to elicit the predictable canned responses from lawmakers.