Bachmann: Pop-culture punching bag?

Rep. Michele Bachmann has receded a bit from the national political spotlight, but not from detractors in Hollywood.

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Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

Photo: CHRIS USHER, CBS News, Associated Press

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Hollywood is taking potshots -- again -- at Minnesota's most prominent congresswoman.

Among the latest jabs that the world of entertainment has leveled at GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann:

• "True Blood" creator Alan Ball cited her claims to having a direct line to God during her presidential bid as an influence on the vampire drama's new season, which also mixes politics and religion.

• Playing the owner of a cable news network on Aaron Sorkin's new TV drama "The Newsroom," Jane Fonda calls Bachmann "nothing but a hairdo."

• Catherine Zeta-Jones cited Bachmann as inspiration for her character, a hypocritically prim mayor's wife, in the film "Rock of Ages."

Why does Bachmann get singled out for what seems like a good share of derogatory lines?

Her camp declined to comment, but Republican strategist Sarah Janecek suggests that, ironically, the level of attention the congresswoman achieved while in the national spotlight made her the kind of star that other stars like to poke fun at.

"She created a vivid picture in those presidential debates as the only woman doing just fine against the men," Janecek said. "With her perfect looks plus her ideology, in the age of celebrity, she became one."

More puzzling are the cracks about her hair, which almost always looks pretty good. "If people disagree with a woman's politics, they start picking on her looks," Janecek said.

While the scrutiny afforded political hair isn't gender-equal (John Edwards' much-pranked primping aside), it is at least bipartisan. A recent headline on HuffPo: "Hillary Clinton Goes to Cabo for the G-20 Summit, Whips Her Hair."

Kristin Tillotson • 612-673-7046

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