Bachmann Thinks Piers Morgan is Rude

Bachmann Thinks Piers Morgan is Rude March 8, 2012

This is a tough one. Who is more obnoxious, Piers Morgan or Michele Bachmann? It doesn’t really matter, but when Bachmann went on his show she got all upset because he called her judgmental. Here’s the video:


I hate the word “judgmental” and I hate the “how dare you judge people” argument. It’s just too new agey and touchy feely for me. There is nothing wrong with judging someone’s beliefs or actions as wrong. The problem with Michele Bachmann is not that she’s judgmental, it’s that she’s a bigot. Which is probably what he meant, but why not just say that? Why hide behind that meaningless term? Call her a bigot. That’s what she is.

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  • daved

    She apparently is selective about her traditional values. “A woman’s place is in the home” is pretty damn traditional, but she decided to jettison that one.

  • lofgren

    I think he was just using judgmental as a synonym for intolerant, which seems fair. I don’t know about new-agey. I don’t think most people use it that way. I think also that many people realize that sometimes there is actually a good answer.

    The only problem with using the word with somebody like Bachmann is that she gets to hide behind her little cult’s esoteric definition of judge, whereby she is not judgmental as long as she is not literally sending anybody to hell.

  • Why have the irrelevant Krazee-Eyez Killa on at all?

    Sure, it’s fun to point and laugh at the mentally ill — at least those who are not axe murderers — but should a supposed news channel be doing it?*

    * That’s what Jon Stewart’s for.

  • carolw

    Yes, Piers is rude. And? That’s his schtick. He’s The Rude Brit (TM). Michele can’t handle anyone throwing her own ugly words back at her.

  • I’ve encountered the newagey use of “judgemental” a lot in my life. I’ve seen woos try to use it for shaming skeptics into withholding criticism (it never works) as well as fundies using it to deflect criticism of some criminal and/or bigoted fundie hero who got caught doing or saying horrible things. To me, “judgemental” is a codeword used by postmodernists and tribalists to marginalize their critics for daring to voice disagreement.

    So, to me, “judgemental” is a weak, milquetoast criticism. Bachmann deserves much worse, and I think “intolerant” and “bigot” would be good starts.

  • F


    I think he was just using judgmental as a synonym for intolerant, which seems fair.

    And the word intolerant has some of the same issues. As does the word discriminate. But one is expected to know what is meant in context with respect to one’s in-group’s code. Sometimes the problem is that the words are shorthand for part of an implied phrase: Unfairly or overly judgmental, sexual or racial discrimination (which is shorthand yet, it include an implied context and an implied bad and unfair decision-making process).

    Sometimes it is clear, and sometimes less so. Sometimes an unclear use (even when we can clearly suss the intent)annoys us.

    Maybe he used “judgmental” as a stand-in for “incessantly and publicly expressing bigotry, and unfairly shaming others, while using bad assumptions, poor reasoning and false equivalence while doing so”. Along those lines, anyway. Of course, if these two were actually in agreement otherwise, the intent might be more along the lines of “Jesus, don’t you ever shut your yap about this same old shit you one note band?”

  • Sastra

    Bronze Dog #5 wrote:

    To me, “judgemental” is a codeword used by postmodernists and tribalists to marginalize their critics for daring to voice disagreement.

    I agree; and I’ve also encountered this new-agey use of the term “judgmental.” A lot. It’s one of the worst things you can be.

    From what I can tell, it’s the result of the common religious confusion between fact claims and meaning claims — “I believe in God/spirit/homeopathy/aliens/whatever” is taken to be a moral statement about the kind of person you are, the kind of things that matter to you, the kind of things you admire about said God/spirit/homeopathy/aliens. There’s no clear distinction between the believer and what is believed.

    Therefore, someone who evaluates for truth and tells someone they are wrong is JUST LIKE someone who tells you that your lifestyle or preferences or other personal choices are wrong. They’re judging not the claim, but you — and they’re complaining. You’re not being allowed to ‘own’ your own experience, the one where you encountered God/spirit/homeopathy, aliens/whatever. They want you to defend who you are. They want YOU to be like THEM.

    A judgmental person is a negative person. Morgan is accusing Bachmann of being rude. So she just throws it right back at him. She should have told him that what he said was very ‘judgmental.’

  • John Hinkle

    But it’s so simple. All we have to do is divine what we know about Michele to understand her affront.

    Michele truly believes she’s not judgmental because the word implies the judgement originates from the self. She worships a god who is all good, and the Bible is his autobiography, so clearly it is all good, and the Bible says to condemn gay people etc. etc., so clearly that condemnation must be all good, and in the end that judgement clearly did not originate with her.

    It’s so dizzyingly intellectually solid that even Vizzini would’ve been impressed.

  • Sastra

    You know, there might be another layer to Bachmann’s discomfort. Among evangelicals, the proper response to “you’re being judgmental!” when condemning the damned is to point out that this is not your judgment: it’s God’s. You don’t judge. Only God judges. You’re just the humble little messenger.

    As an outspoken Christian, Bachmann probably knew that this point in the interview is where she ought to go into the typical spiel and bring out the standard defense. But, as a shrewd politician (well, semi-shrewd perhaps), she also knew that bringing up “Just tellin’ you how God sees it” does NOT play well among the general public. If nothing else, her handlers would at some point have told her to please, please play down any clear, overt, and recorded statements to the effect that she speaks for God.

    So what we witnessed here was not indignation over being called intolerant, but frustration at not being allowed to bring in the “I don’t judge, I leave that to God” trope that was no doubt struggling furiously on the end of her tongue.

  • I don’t know if that head shake was disbelief that he was reading her words to her – on TV – or if she was shaking her head to say that the statement wasn’t judgmental.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed’s blog post title:

    Bachmann Thinks Piers Morgan is Rude

    This title alone involuntarily had me in a full-Godwin freefall. That Michele Bachmann’s whine is similar to Hitler whining because someone made fun of his mustache.

  • Aquaria

    Heath @11:

    It’s the fundie twist at the end that makes the Full Godwin complete.

  • markw

    On behalf of the entire UK, can I just thank you guys across the pond for taking Piers Moron off us?


  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton:

    There is nothing wrong with judging someone’s beliefs or actions as wrong.

    …for non-Christians. For Christians, judging someone’s beliefs and behavior means they’re ignoring that “judge not” bit in their instruction manual.

    It’s kind of like a skeptic who believes that megadoses of Vitamin D will cure any cancer.

  • davem

    He’s The Rude Brit (TM)

    Nah, he’s just grating. Mind you, your own commentators need a bit more of that. Wait until we send Jeremy Paxman over… He’d eat Bachmann for breakfast.

    See him interviewing the oleaginous Michael Howard. Awesome.

  • davem

    Er, don’t know how I did that…