Questlove Offers Classic Non-Apology to Bachmann for The Roots' Rude Song

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 23 2011 9:14 AM

Questlove Offers Classic Non-Apology to Bachmann for The Roots' Rude Song

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Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks to members of the media after meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue on November 21, 2011 in New York City.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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."

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Jimmy Fallon Tweeted the following real apology: "I'm honored that @michelebachmann was on our show yesterday and I'm so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back." But this was only after he joked that "@Questlove is grounded," giving the whole thing a colluding frat boy air.

I can't believe I even have to make this point aloud, but it's never ok to call a woman a bitch, especially not in such a public way, when she is an invited guest. I don't care if she spreads misinformation about HPV or has insane ideas about women's bodies. It's not clever or cute, and Bachmann deserves a real apology from The Roots--not the same "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt," bullshit. I'm pretty surprised more prominent women aren't coming to Bachmann's defense, so kudos to Rep. Nita Lowey, Democrat of New York, who says it best:

“I do not share Michele Bachmann’s politcis....but she deserves to be treated with respect. No female politician — and no woman — should be subjected to sexist and offensive innuendo like she was last night.”

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.