What Does Newsweek Have Against Conservative Women?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARK STEYN, GUEST HOST: The conservative blogosphere is in an uproar over the latest Newsweek cover. They claim the magazine deliberately picked a wide-eyed photo of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to make her look, quote, "crazy" and titled the cover, quote, "The Queen of Rage."

And now the National Organization for Women agrees. Its president told the Daily Caller the cover is, quote, "sexist."

But this isn't the first time Newsweek has had a questionable cover. Back in 2009, Newsweek put out this cover of Sarah Palin with the title, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?"

Are these just unflattering photos or is Newsweek sending their readers a message?

Joining me now with reaction are Fox News contributor and one of the co-hosts of "Five," right here on Fox News are Monica Crowley, and she is the author of "Outnumbered," Daily Caller columnist, Jedediah Bila. Great to have you with us.

Good to see you, Mon. I don't think I've seen you since we took our vacation to Gitmo.

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We'll always have Gitmo, Marc.

STEYN: We'll always have Gitmo. (INAUDIBLE) one of those cages, you can't beat it. I made it sound more exciting than it was, if any members of Monica's family are listening.

Monica, is this part of a pattern of attitudes by so-called progressive liberals to female conservatives?

CROWLEY: Absolutely. Look, they hate all conservatives. But they have a special kind of loathing for women conservatives and in particular women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

In the 2008 campaign, the mainstream media savaged Sarah Palin in every way. She has been incredibly resilient because she is a very strong woman. They are doing the exact same thing to Michele Bachmann. This Newsweek cover is going to be the first of many things we are going to see in this regard.

The reason is, Marc, because these strong conservative women represent an existential threat to liberalism. That is that they are pro-life, pro-gun, fiscal conservatives who actually lead their lives according to those values. They don't just talk a good line. They actually live what they believe.

And therefore, they must have be destroyed because if somebody like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann were to gain real traction with a broader American electorate then that gender gap that the Democrats have relied on for decades, disappears like that.

STEYN: But you say that Monica, but they do damage not just with liberals and independents, but they eat into a kind of soft conservative vote. I can't tell you how many people who claim to be Republican voters who say to me oh, it is honestly embarrassing having Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. They do do damage.

JEDEDIAH BILA, THE DAILY CALLER: Unfortunately that narrative gets perpetuated in the media and some conservatives, some Republicans, some elitist do buy into it, do sort of enjoy it in their own way.

But I think this is going to backfire. I think when you have the National Organization for Women finally coming out and saying enough is enough. That represents a major step forward for everyone.

Because even people on the left are beginning to say this is not OK. This was an obvious effort to do something horrific against Michele Bachmann. I mean, how could you pick a worse picture than what you just saw?

It's absolutely ridiculous. She's an attractive woman. It seems as though the more attractive and competent these conservative women are, the bigger targets that they have from the left.

STEYN: Yes, I mean, I certainly find Michele Bachmann attractive. They could use the photo as she posed with my book for some a couple of years back. And Minnesota liberals said that was the final proof that she totally flown the coop completely.


But what is behind -- is it the idea -- National Organization of Women last time around with Sarah Palin, somebody there said, well, she is really more of a Republican man than a woman.

In other words, if you wander off the liberal reservation you are no longer female, you're no longer black, you know, Conde Rice is neither black nor a woman. She is just an angry white Republican male.

I mean, why don't women, never mind blacks, Hispanics or anybody else, resent the strait-jacket that the Democratic Party and the liberals try to impose?

CROWLEY: I think a lot of women do, Marc. It's the vanguard, the sort of the liberal elite women groups like the National Organization for Women, which is a very misleading title. It should be National Organization for Democratic Women. And if you are pro-life, well, you better night dare to apply, because we will reject you out of hand.

Most of these women's groups on the far left are devoted only to one issue. It is abortion. Now if somebody like Michele Bachmann who have five biological children and raised 23 foster children is definitely pro-life as is Governor Palin. And again, I get to the gender gap that the Democrats have enjoyed for decades and have helped to crest them into various offices at all levels.

Without that gender gap, they cannot win. Back in 2010 the last national election we had, women actually voted Republican by I think it was 52, 53 percent. This represents a real threat. That's why women like Bachmann and Palin need to be destroyed.

STEYN: That's fascinating point because the women's slogan in the '70s used to say you can have it all. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann do that. Sarah Palin has a ton of children and grandchildren. She's not yet 50. She's a successful career woman. Why is this not a model even for liberal women?

BILA: It should be, but people on the left, women on the left see her as betraying her gender. She's a woman, she is supposed to be a feminist, a leftist feminist. She is supposed to support Democrat policy. She's not doing the right thing. She is not following the path that they've set out for her. She is not fitting in that little, you know, square peg in a round hole kind of thing so they retaliate.

I think what this particular thing with Newsweek also what drove people crazy is that Peter Boyer had a great article about Sarah Palin recently, which was very honest. It portrayed her accurately as she was. It had pictures of her in her regular running gear and her cargo pants. It drove the left wing media crazy. Larry O'Donnell was having a conniption about it.

And I think they need to come back with something like this to say left wing base, we are still on your side, don't worry about it.

STEYN: OK, I'd like to know whether if she could make a moose stew as good as Sarah Palin.

BILA: Me too.

STEYN: I think that's the real test for a woman.

Why don't the National Organization of Women do a book of moose soup recipes. This is the real women's issue.

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