Two nights ago on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Fallon’s house band, The Roots, played the Fishbone song “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” while Michele Bachmann walked on stage (full lyrics from Weigel here). Yesterday, The Roots drummer Questlove made a classic non-apology to Bachmann. You see, he apologizes if her “feelings were hurt,” but not for playing the song in the first place:
“The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of the moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention.”
Regardless of how you feel about Bachmann’s politics or personality, using the song to essentially call her a bitch — a cheap insult that would never be used toward a male candidate — is not much better than Rush Limbaugh calling Michelle Obama “uppity,” a term he’d never think to use for someone of a different race. (Plus, really, with all the wild things Bachmann has said, a four-letter word is the best you could come up with? That’s not even clever.)
Unfortunately, Questlove’s apology was of the empty variety, which means that the incident failed, first, to use humor to draw attention to her misleading statements and, second, to advance the conversation about how we treat candidates from both parties who don’t fit the mold.
Read more at Slate.