A pair of conservative bloggers are freaking over a just-out Newsweek cover photo of Rep. Michelle Bachmann, claiming in effect that Tina Brown‘s publication is doing to the radical-right Congressperson what Life magazine did to Charles Manson in 1969. Except Bachmann does project what Chris Matthews once described as a “moronic stare” — ditzoid, glassy-eyed. It’s not Photoshop. That’s how she looks.

An appalled Noel Sheppard of newsbusters.org wrote, “Exactly what were the editors thinking putting this kind of a picture of a sitting Congresswoman and presidential candidate on their cover?”

An unidentified editor at Freedom’s Lighthouse has asked, “Can anyone really say with a straight face that the mainstream media is not totally biased against conservatives?”

I’m presuming that other conversatives will chime in on this issue today. I’d like a friend-of-Bachmann to make a case that her eyes don’t have that dopey-alien-from Trafalmadore expression all on their own, without Tina Brown’s help. Because they clearly do.

Here’s an excellent, keenly observant profile (dated 8.15) of Bachmann by The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.