The story about Michele Bachmann's migraines was not the product of a "liberal media conspiracy." Instead, it was a "calculated hit piece" by one of Bachmann's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.
That's the view emphatically propounded by John Heilemann on Morning Joe today. As evidence, the New York magazine editor and Game Change co-author noted that the story first appeared in the conservative Daily Caller. According to Heilemann, the story was the result of a "calculated leak of opposition research" by a Republican campaign.
Meanwhile, sisterhood was powerful for Mika Brzezinski. The MJ co-host sneered at the migraine story, chalking it up to "sexism" and saying Tim Pawlenty and others seeking to exploit it "should be ashamed of themselves."
View video after the jump.
Watch Mika's outraged reaction to the story, and Heilemann's adamant analysis. And consider that even if the MSM didn't originate the story, liberal outlets like the New York Times have gleefully sought to exploit it to Bachmann's detriment.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Coming up, Michele Bachmann offers up a doctor's note--this is ridiculous sexism at its worst.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Was it sexism?
BRZEZINSKI: Completely, completely! She shouldn't have had to say anything, and whatever idiots brought this up or capitalized on it like Pawlentyshould be ashamed of themselves.
JOHN HEILEMANN: This is a very simple story. The initial story appeared in the Daily Caller, which is a conservative website. This was a calculated hit piece by one of Michele Bachmann's rivals in the Republican field. I don't know which one, but there is no question but that is what happened. This was a calculated leak of opposition research to The Daily Caller. This is not a liberal media conspiracy.
SCARBOROUGH: It's Tucker Carlson [head of Daily Caller].
HEILEMANN: They took a shot at her. The Republican establishment is terrified about Michele Bachmann's strength as it continues to grow, and particular candidates stand to--she can derail various candidates' chances to ever get the nomination. I'm not accusing Tim Pawlenty's people of doing this at all, but the fact that Tim Pawlenty jumped on it in the way that he did yesterday, at a minimum points out exactly what the stakes are here. I mean, Michele Bachmann is the woman who could stop--if she beats Pawlenty badly enough in the Iowa straw poll next month, his candidacy could be over.
SCARBOROUGH: Guess what? She could stop Mitt Romney by embarrassing him in Iowa and South Carolina.
BRZEZINSKI: She's already embarrassing them all, and now they're embarrassing themselves.