Just one week after a winning interview with comedian Jon Stewart, Fox News host Chris Wallace stumbled in his conversation with what looked like a much friendlier guest, Michele Bachmann, the hottest new GOP presidential candidate.
In response to what some analysts see as partisan and sexist claims that's she's "ditsy," Wallace asked her if she is a "flake" on his "Fox News Sunday" show.
She wasn't amused. Neither were her followers -- or, apparently, the powers that be at Fox. Wallace offered a near-instant apology in his weekly "post-show" video.
"A lot of you were more than perturbed," he said of his question. "You were upset and felt that I had been rude to her. And since in the end, it’s really all about the answers, and not about the questions, I messed up, I’m sorry..."
Asked about the apology by ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, Bachmann, who formally announced her candidacy today and is already considered the frontrunner in Iowa, rejected it.
"I think that it's insulting to insinuate that a candidate for president is less than serious. I'm a very serious individual," she replied.
This is going to be interesting to see how ideologues and GOP partisans like Sean Hannity at Fox News handle this bit of congnitive dissonance within the ranks -- especially with Sarah Palin, the Fox News million-dollar bus-tour-dropout, reportedly headed to Iowa this week.
UPDATE: Bachman is appearing on Hannity tonight at 9. Deconstructing this TV conversation to try and discern the marching orders issued today to Hannity will be delicious. I'll be there and posting about it. Please stop back.
Here's an excellent re-cap of the the "flake" flap and an interview with Bachmann done today by Karl for ABC News. Great work.