People Magazine Fails: Michelle's 2014 Target Racism Story Exposed As a 2012 Target Feel-Good Story

As they discussed the racism they have faced in their lives – even in the White House – Michelle Obama told People magazine “even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new.”

Was it a racial slight, or a moment of delight? Well, Ben Shapiro at his blog Truth Revolt revisited Mrs. Obama’s March 2012 interview on the David Letterman show on CBS. After Letterman held up a photograph of her Target visit, she told the same story....as an "I felt so good" story of how she wasn’t spotted in public:

MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, "Excuse me, I just have to ask you something," and I thought, "Oh, cover’s blown." She said, "Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?"  I kid you not…And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, "Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy." That was my interaction. I felt so good. ... She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.

The Truth Revolt post has video from CNN and a link to Politico. It's not hard for any media outlet to expose a serious discrepancy. How does People magazine explain its failure to vet this story? Or do they spend no time evaluating the answers from their favorite liberal celebrities?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis