Jodi Kantor on Controversy Over 'The Obamas'

Thursday, January 12, 2012

US President Barack Obama walks alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House on January 3, 2012 (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Jodi Kantor, correspondent for The New York Times, has written a new book called "The Obamas," which gives an inside look into the first family. Specifically, she reports on Michelle Obama's role as First Lady and her interactions with the President and with his senior advisers. Though Mrs. Obama has not yet read the book, in a CBS This Morning interview she responded that people have tried to portray her as an "angry black woman" since the day her husband announced his bid for the presidency.

Jodi Kantor joins the program to discuss the process of writing the book and address the controversy around it. Cynthia Gordy, Washington reporter of the The Root, speaks to The Takeaway about the controversial book and stereotypes that Michelle Obama is referring to.

Guests:

Cynthia Gordy and Jodi Kantor

Comments [8]

Jessica from Royal Oak, MI

I think the portrayal of Mrs. Obama is a clear example of how this country cannot stomach a strong First Lady, the American public seems to prefer their First Ladies to be quiet women crusading for causes that are not worth their effort. They villified Hillary Clinton in the same way.

Jan. 13 2012 09:24 AM
Jamelle from Mo

I think she has been wonderful classy and always a lady .Enough said.

Jan. 12 2012 05:29 PM
George Lucas from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Jodi Kantor says she never said "angry black woman", but the insinuation is there. When will this all stop? First the sleevless dress, then taking away our freedom and forcing our children to eat healthy, and now this. Get over it! She's an amazing First Lady, She's in the White House, and hopefully for another 4 years.

Jan. 12 2012 11:49 AM

I'm not going to say it was the FIRST time in my life I was proud of my country when Barack Obama became president. But it was the first EVENT in my lifetime that our country did something to be proud of. From the 1970s up to now the USA, my homeland, has done so many negative things (like unnecessary wars) that at times it seems to have overshadowed positive things (like aid to starving African). So when many of us got together to put a person of colour in the nation's top office I saw a glimmer of what the words in the Constitution was saying to me in spirit. The First Lady simply said aloud what I was already feeling. Only scared, shallow men would criticize that.

Jan. 12 2012 10:12 AM
listener

Sounds like a fawning book was not fawning enough.
"...the brillant, successful...stellar campaigner..leader of a variety of national causes.."
Now that's the stuff.
Isn't unbiased journalism grand.

Jan. 12 2012 09:37 AM
Ed from New Jersey

Most stories about Michelle Obama in the press are positive. All of the appearances on TV, magazines and interviews portray her as smart, healthy, physically fit, etc. The majority of the negative comments seem to center around one statement she made during the first campaign ("The first time proud of my country" comment)and the way she spends money on travel and parties as First Lady. Hillary received much harsher comments from the right and in the press when she was First Lady because she was involved in policy. There are likely to be more books about the Obama White House as he completes his first term and staffing changes take place, happens to every administration.

Jan. 12 2012 09:01 AM
Alan Sandman from Port Washington, NY

Michelle Obama is a shining example of what a First Lady could and should be. The most upsetting thing said about her was negative criticisms on her statement that “For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I’m Really Proud of My Country”. I felt this mirrored my own feelings, after the horrors of discord in my liftime over miriads of things going on politically, millitarily and in foreign policies of advancing corruption at high levels of governance etc. This was one of the only times in my life I was emotionaly proud of our country and its people, for rising above the petty predigiouses of the past.
I am cocasian, very upper middel class, very in love with the founding principals of this country as expressed in the constatution, and well read. I had the same emotional gratification on her husbands election that she expressed.

Jan. 12 2012 08:54 AM
Susan Luss from New York City

Michelle Obama not only represents black women, she represents all women. And in my opinion she is doing that well. She should absolutely continue to speak up and out.

Jan. 12 2012 08:31 AM

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