Update at bottom (1:53 p.m.): Olbermann responds to TVNewser about Bachmann's remarks
Over the past several days, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has made a series of appearances pushing for action against the disgraced organization ACORN.
However, in an appearance on Fox News Oct. 7 "The O'Reilly Factor," host Bill O'Reilly asked Bachmann about a trend others have noticed - why do so many media figures on the left have such a fixation on criticizing her or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin?
"You are a pretty interesting politician, congresswoman," O'Reilly said. "You are second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst. You know, Sarah Palin leads the league, no doubt. But they're after you now. We hear it all the time, you know Michele Bachmann, she is this and she is that. How did you get into that wheelhouse?"
Bachmann without naming the network, laid the blame on MSNBC.
"You know, it is an interesting phenomenon," Bachmann said. "I think it happened with a competing cable network that took an interest in me and it has only grown. So now, it's almost like I have personal stalkers, only they have TV shows."
O'Reilly pressed on, asking if the negative attention bothered her (the Minnesota congresswoman told the Culture & Media Institute days before that it didn't).
"Does it bother you that NBC News is using its cable arm to make your life difficult? Does that bother you?" O'Reilly asked.
"You know, not really," Bachmann replied. "I grew up with three brothers and that is the best preparation for politics anyone could possibly have. I am just here doing my job, working on behalf of the people of Minnesota and it's great to be able to get my message out. And if I get under people's skin, so be it.
"OK, but why -- why are you getting under their skin?" O'Reilly asked. "I mean, you seem like a nice woman. We had you at the correspondents' dinner as a guest at our table. You did not throw spaghetti on anyone. You did not use any bad language ... to me you are a conservative Republican from an upper Midwestern state who speaks her mind articulately and does her job. Why are they coming after you? I do not get it."
Bachmann believed that just being a successful conservative woman was enough.
"It may bother them that conservative women are happy and don't need government in order to be successful in life," Bachmann said. "I have a great husband, great kids. I had a great career as a federal tax attorney and I don't need government to be successful. And it seems like they have a stereotype for women and I do not fit in their stereotype."
However, O'Reilly had his own theory.
"You think it - and this is an off-the-wall question - it is just something that occurred to me," O'Reilly said. "Both you and Sarah Palin are good-looking women. I mean, you are attractive, relatively young women, who other women can identify with. You are a mom, you are a wife. You had a private-sector job. I think that's it. I think that the success of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann drives the far left crazy because you don't fit - they don't like what you believe in, but you can attract others to listen to you. I think that's what's going on."
Bachmann said that does indeed make her a threat - especially when it comes to going head-to-head with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
"Well, and if we pull away votes from them, especially in a block, a woman block, a middle American woman block, that makes them very upset about that," Bachmann said. "And so consequently, I'm public enemy number one for Speaker Pelosi."
*****Update: Olbermann tells TVNewser the stalked are due an apology from Bachmann:
"Having had an actual stalker myself, I think the Congresswoman needs to apologize to women (and men) whose lives are blighted and ruined by such terror and threat. Not even in the mildest of senses - of journalists whose aggressiveness might verge colloquially into 'stalking' - is she anywhere close to being such a victim."