This week's talking point had to be Jodi Kantor's book about the First Family, entitled simply The Obamas, and the fact that the First Lady used an extensive interview with CBS correspondent, Gayle King, to refute the core of the book as inaccurate. You can watch that section of the interview here.
A friend of mine astutely pointed out that the book was third-hand and third-rate gossip, as the author only got opinions of staff members regarding the First Lady's opinions and agendae - gossip, for want of a better word. But neither the President nor the First Lady were interviewed for the book.
This week, also, the book's author, Jodi Kantor, did the ubiquitous run of the network chat shows, plugging the book. As you do.
Then she ran into CNN.
I was heartened, at least, to see CNN do some real interviewing of this woman. First Soledad O'Brien, literally made her sweat, in her insistence that a lot of Kantor's assumptions of the First Lady's mindset and opinion in the book were just that - assumptions based on staff gossip. She's relentless in her questioning and Kantor is shaken up.
And then she met CNN's resident Brit, Piers Morgan. Look, I know Morgan is a douchebag, but in his previous reincarnation, before he succumbed to Simon Cowell's America's Got Talent, Morgan was a tabloid newspaper editor and one of the more articulate ones. And he's a political policy wonk who was a go-to guest on all political commentary shows in Britain. He's also a sharp interviewer - Meet the Press, take note - who worries the person on the interviewing end like a dog with a bone for a sufficient answer, or else, he rates making them look like a tool, which is what happened with Jodi Kantor. You can watch that interview here.
To say both interviews were highly contentions would be an understatement, but what impressed me the absolute least was Kantor, herself. After listening to her continuously monotonous Valley Girl drone, which devolved into the whine of a spoiled adolescent, I am totally underwhelmed that this person commands a regular slot as a journalist on The New York Times. Is she the relative of someone important there? Because her mannerisms, her vocal intonations and her total inability to comprehend the level of questionin thrown at her by these two real journalists, positively reeks of lazy journalism.
This woman has written a book, which - based on the hearsay and idle gossip of others - singularly attempts to deconstruct not only a marriage, but the single most high-profiled marriage in the country. This is not a First Lady from any sort of historical or political perspective; this is absolute gossip. That Kantor could not recognise that various and sundry of the people interviewed might, just might have an agenda against the First Lady, themselves, is deplorable.
My GOD, does American political journalism suck! It's enough that we have to be droned to sleep by this insipid woman who pretends to write a political piece and descends to the level of Rona Barrett, we also have to accept MSNBC's venture into Sorority Girl Political Punditry with the plainly silly Alex Wagner, who was either totally pissed or just downright immature in her segment Friday where she muttered expletives audibly under her breath during a segment about Rick Santorum, as well as allowing Dylan Ratigan to rant to such an extent that he dominated the discourse by propagating blatant lies about the President - lies that Wagner was in no fit state to refute. But then, she never is.
Who are these people, and are we truly such a nation of bimbos that we deserve having bimbos discern our political discourse for us?