On Saturday mornings’s Up with Chris Hayes, journalist and MSNBC contributor Karen Hunter challenged The New York Times‘ Jodi Kantor over her motivation for writing the buzzed-about tome The Obamas. Hunter leveled a highly-charged criticism at Kantor, mentioning her “seven figure” payday, and wondering “What was your motivation for doing it?”It's no secret that liberals can't stand any criticism of their dear High Lord and Master Barack Obama. Even if the criticism is legitimate (such as on scandals like Fast & Furious, the epic failure of Solyndra and continued record-high unemployment), liberals will either dismiss the criticism as biased or even worse paint the critique as "RACIST!!!" It's who they are and their obsession with protecting Barry at any cost so he can get re-elected is something that's rooted in their DNA. So Karen Hunter, a longtime black liberal, Obamabot and book publisher criticizing a Jodi Kantor for writing a tome, that she admits to have never reading, because fellow liberals feel that it doesn't flatter The One enough? No irony there. None at all. Especially on the "Obama's Re-election Campaign Network" aka MSNBC.
Kantor’s response seemed to be leading to a crackling exchange, but host Chris Hayes swooped in and changed the subject.
Upon publication last month, The Obamas dominated the news cycle on the strength of a few anecdotes that captured the media’s imagination, which resulted in some pushback from the White House, and from Mrs. Obama. While Hayes and Salon‘s Joan Walsh each said they had read the book, and that the First Lady comes off sympathetically, the bits that he media focused on painted a picture of dissension between the East and West Wings. The White House line has generally been that these anecdotes have been blown out of proportion, without proper context, and don’t properly represent the truth.
As with previous books about this White House, discussion in the media has often turned to the ways in which authors can polish up the mundane in order to hype book sales, and perhaps justify their time and expense.
This seemed to be on Karen Hunter’s mind when she engaged Kantor. “I haven’t read the book,” she began, adding “No disrespect, don’t plan on reading it, but as the only publisher on this set, I also understand kind of the pressures to produce — you got seven figures for this. You got a lot of money to write this book, which means that you had to deliver certain things that I, quite frankly, don’t think you could have, you know, given the amount of money that you were offered to do this book.”
“What was your motivation,” Hunter continued, “if you didn’t have personal interviews with the President or the First Lady, to produce something called The Obamas, which was an in-depth look at this power couple, what was your motivation for doing it?
Kantor began by explaining that she’s been on the Obama beat for five years, that she had the cooperation of the White House (more on that from Jay Carney here), and that “the entire book was fact checked with its sources and cross-checked with other people in the White House. Nobody has challenged the reporting in the book. Nobody has come forward to say, Michelle Obama didn’t do that, she didn’t have that dispute.”
Hunter interjected, “But there is a tone.”
“Excuse me,” Kantor scolded. “Please let me finish. I think that, first of all, you never do your work as a reporter based on how much you’re being paid for it.”
That statement elicited a laugh from Hunter.
“Whether you’re being paid a lot or a little, you always try to ascertain the same standards of fairness and accuracy.”