Jodi Kantor, New York Times correspondent and author of White House behind-the-scenes tome The Obamas, acknowleged that people are out to portray Michelle Obama's as an "Angry Black Woman," but it's just not in her book. Kantor's defense came as she was speaking at a Barnes & Noble (they still exist!) on New York's Upper West Side, reports Capital New York. "It was one of those curious scenarios in which the person who usually asks the questions suddenly finds herself answering them," writes Capital's Joe Pompeo. "And it was a chance for Kantor, whose latest work is being thoroughly picked apart by the media, to take comfort in the warm embrace of the Weekender-subscribing intellectuals of the Upper West Side ..." That isn't exactly the way the talk went. What followed were some pointed questions about why Kantor never interviewed Michelle Obama, and Kantor predicting that Michelle won't be following in former First Lady and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's political footsteps. But it's Kantor's confirmation that the "Angry Black Woman" portrayal of Michelle Obama is totally a real thing as well as Kantor's "more accurate description" defense, that caught our eye, especially since the first lady herself laid out those charges (obviously, no author in their right mind is ever going to admit being unfair and bringing a racist stereotype to life). Kantor blames ... well, here's her explanation:
"The book doesn't really say either of those things," said Kantor. "There's definitely no description of her as an angry black woman. I've never written about her that way. When those charges were leveled against her in the 2008 campaign I was one of the reporters who did the research to get a more accurate description out there. And the other thing is that the book doesn't say that she and Rahm Emanuel clashed directly. So my assumption is that she was responding to some of the coverage. Because some of the coverage of the book has definitely been exaggerated."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.