Saturday, January 14, 2012

Angry like a Fox

The whole Michelle Obama, angry black woman™ narrative seemed to pop out of nowhere as soon as the Jodi Kantor book "The Obamas" came to light. Kantor was recently interviewed on CNN and was shocked, shocked that her book could have possibly triggered such a reaction!

Kantor says her writings were based on what Michelle's 'closest aides' told her. She defends what she calls a 'turnaround' in Michelle Obama's attitude about being First Lady (amidst interruptions from O'Brien) between 2009 and 2010. She also points out that the 'FLOTUS' had not read the book when she made the angry black woman comments. So it seems the entire brouhaha was manufactured by someone opining on a book they hadn't read, based on a narrative that really has never existed in any widespread form other than reaction to campaign comments about "being proud" of her country, etc.

Perhaps the more instructive part of this clip is how O'Brien defends the administration, even against otherwise 'friendly' sources--in this case a New York Times reporter getting fed information by White House aides for an overall flattering book on the Obamas.   The last in-depth flattering portrait of the marriage based on close friends came from Christopher Andersen, whose book also contained a few minor unflattering details, details which caused the White House to defer comment and most major media to ignore it in their book review sections, with the requisite outrage from Media Matters. In that case Howie Kurtz of CNN was one of the few to ask Andersen about some of those details (that the White House had no comment on):

In both cases the books came from friendly writers based on friendly sources. And in both cases the more controversial events were not completely refuted.  It's hard to tell whether these manuscripts are really just clever ways of getting out uncomfortable information for the benefit of crisis management at some later date or just sensationalistic renditions of mundane events for the benefit of selling books.  

MORE  1/14/12

If the Kurtz video above is restricted, here's another version.   As to the Ayers section, when pushed on who told Andersen that Ayers was involved in the book he replied, "NEITHER ONE OF THEM denied it". The deal here is that Ayers has been asked and (whether jesting or not) has confirmed it; the president has not been asked.     

No comments: