‘Stop Ducking Questions About Husband’s Quack Therapy Clinic,’ Says TWO

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Truth Wins Out called on GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann today to stop punishing reporters who inquire about her husband Marcus’ clinic, Bachmann & Associates, which practices “ex-gay” therapy. TWO, the organization that exposed Bachmann’s clinic in an undercover operation, said that Michele Bachmann couldn’t pray away these reporters’ questions, any more than her husband could “pray away the gay.”

According to the Iowa television station WQAD-News 8, Michele Bachmann spoke with every other news outlet during her most recent visit to the Quad Cities, but deliberately snubbed WQAD after one of its reporters, Rae Chelle Davis, asked the Congresswoman during a satellite interview two weeks ago about TWO’s undercover investigation of the clinic.

“Michele Bachmann must no longer duck questions about the quack therapy we discovered at her husband’s clinic,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We call on her campaign to stop bullying and blacklisting reporters who are simply trying to learn the facts about Bachmann & Associates.”

WQAD reports that it was promised a one-on-one interview, but the campaign’s operatives and henchmen “openly, and aggressively denied News 8 access to the Iowa Republican front-runner.”

“The startling overreaction by the campaign to relevant questions suggests that the Bachmann family is hiding something,” said Truth Wins Out’s Communications Director John Becker. “We hope reporters will not be cowed by this campaign of retribution and will continue asking the tough and important questions that are vital to the democratic process.”

The disturbing report from WQAD revealed that the Bachmann campaign would stoop to strong-arming and intimidation in its efforts to stop the media from inquiring about the clinic scandal. According to WQAD:

“One of her staffers said, ‘due to the interview last week WQAD would not have an interview.’ He said we would have to get our audio from a pool camera. … Then the same man came over and said I could have my interview outside,” said Chuck McClurg a veteran News 8 photojournalist.

McClurg continued to shoot the event. Afterwards, he walked with the Congresswoman and her team down the stairs and out the door.

“I followed them outside hoping to get the interview I was promised,” said McClurg.

McClurg began rolling his camera as another local Quad Cities news station started asking their questions.

“I started to tape something off of that interview and a staffer pushed me aside and stood in front of my camera and said that this was for the other station only.”

The reporter asked a question about Bachmann’s clinic and her husband. At that point, McClurg says the staffer took the microphone off of Bachmann, tossed it to the reporter and said their interview was over. McClurg said he thought he would then get his turn after he was respectful of the campaign staffer’s wishes.

“I was standing (there) and I brought up my camera and that’s when all of the staffers pushed her on,” said McClurg. “I’ve been a photojournalist since 1988 and I have logged some 3,000 items. I’ve never been snubbed like I was (here) yesterday.”

“If the campaign does not cut the bull with reporters, we will be left with no choice but to ask questions about the clinic with a bullhorn,” said TWO’s Besen. “We are based in Vermont, so it is a quick trip to New Hampshire. The campaign is delusional if it thinks it can silence questions about Bachmann & Associates.”

The American Psychological Association, The American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The American Psychiatric Association consider so-called “ex-gay” therapy ineffective and potentially harmful.