If you’re not one of the people in “Everyone” who loves Michelle Obama, you must not be following the collapse of Newsweek. In one of the magazine’s last print editions, Allison Samuels is asking “What's next for our incredibly popular first lady? Samuel L. Jackson and other super-fans weigh in.”
Jackson is in love: “Michelle is Superwoman. What can’t she do?...That’s why people love her. She can be on the Supreme Court and anywhere else she wants. She can be the president. She’s history and she’ll stay history because she is so amazingly smart and together.” Samuels continued in this syrupy vein:
Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents:
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported Thursday on black females on the Michelle Obama beat, and whether their shared race and gender produces gauzier coverage. "Indeed, most write with enthusiasm, in some cases even admiration, about the first lady as a long-awaited role model for black women." Kurtz found:
"Without a doubt, I identify with her as a brown-skinned African American woman," [Newsweek’s Allison] Samuels says. "Now we have Michelle and see her as a mother, a lawyer, a wife, and she's doing it fabulously." Samuels got to interview Obama during the campaign and "we had a girlfriend-to-girlfriend moment. We did connect."
Post writer Robin Givhan, one of the most syrupy writers on the Michelle beat, tried to suggest "news" wins out:
"We all bring the full depth of our experiences to the facts we emphasize, the questions we ask, the stories that get us excited," says Givhan, who was a year behind Obama at Princeton, although their paths did not cross. "But in the end, news is news."
Last week Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels defended Barack Obama's decision not to leave the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright whose America-hating sermons have become a big political issue on the campaign trail. Responding to questions from host Greta van Susteren on the Fox News show "On the Record" May 5, Samuels goes easy on Obama, excusing his decision to stick with Wright for years after Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey quit the Trinity United Church of Christ (apparently) in disgust. (Video here, transcript here, Samuels article on the same subject in May 12 Newsweek here)
But what Samuels didn't disclose to TV viewers was that she is no neutral observer standing on the sidelines making a good faith effort to objectively chronicle the truth for posterity. More on that in a moment.