USA Today’s Susan Page is a straight-shooter, one of those reporters who generally puts the lie to Republican dogma that the establishment media is in the bag for Democrats and liberals. But in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball” yesterday, her review of the launch of Michele Bachmann’s presidential bid suggests that Page has been inside the Beltway too long:
SUSAN PAGE: She’s had a great launch. You know, she’s better known now. She’s had — she did an almost flawless performance at the first big debate. She had a very nice announcement. A few hiccups in the interviews she did afterwards but she has become the leading alternative to Mitt Romney and the representative of the tea party.
What’s telling here is that Page mentions the “hiccups,” the gaffes Bachmann has made (see below), but ignores the fact that she has been caught lying over the past few days about the fact that she is a major recipient of American taxpayers’ largess.
For example, as Susan Page surely must have known when she praised Bachmann’s campaign roll-out yesterday, Bachmann lied with impunity (of course) on the Republican Party propaganda show, “Fox News Sunday,” when she was asked about thousands of dollars in income from socialist sources she listed on her financial disclosure forms:
Michele Bachmann’s claim that she has “never gotten a penny” from a family farm that’s been subsidized by the government is at odds with her financial disclosure statements. They show tens of thousands in personal income from the operation…
BACHMANN: “The farm is my father-in-law’s farm. It’s not my husband and my farm. It’s my father-in-law’s farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm. — On “Fox News Sunday.”
THE FACTS: In personal financial disclosure reports required annually from members of Congress, Bachmann reported that she holds an interest in a family farm in Independence, Wis., with her share worth between $100,000 and $250,000.
The farm, which was owned by her father-in-law, produced income for Bachmann of at least $32,500 and as much as $105,000 from 2006 through 2009, according to the reports.
The farm also received federal crop and disaster subsidies, according to a database maintained by the Environmental Working Group. From 1995 through 2010, the farm got $259,332 in federal payments.
Bachmann told the Associated Press Monday that her husband became a trustee of the farm because his father had dementia before he died two years ago, and “oversees the legal entity.”
“Everything we do with those forms is in an abundance of caution,” she said Monday, insisting she and her husband receive no farm income despite the forms reporting it.
Asked about the farm subsidies in South Carolina today, Bachmann had a prepared comment ready:
“Again, we’ve answered that question so many times that everyone’s tired of it,” the tea party darling said. “Because at this point what we know to be true is that my husband won’t take a dime. The farm belongs to my father-in-law.”
In fact, the only time she answered the question on nationwide air, she lied. And “everyone” in her family and on her campaign may “tired of it,” but her asertion directly contradicts her own financial disclosure forms in Congress. She is either lying now or she lied on the forms, which is an ethical violation, if not a criminal offense.