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January 12th, 2012
08:52 PM ET

Jodi Kantor on "Obamas" book reaction: "You are at risk of being attacked" if you write "honest portrayal"

Jodi Kantor's new book, "The Obamas," is garnering a lot of attention, and tonight she talks about all of it, positive and negative, on "Piers Morgan Tonight" at 9pmET/PT. "The political culture is so nasty and negative," Kantor tells Piers Morgan. "If you work really hard on an honest portrayal of these people, that shows their successes and failures...you are at risk of being attacked for that."

She also responds to the criticism that she didn't interview Michelle Obama directly. "Are we going to stop writing biographers and character portraits of presidents and first ladies?" she says. Watch the full, at times contentious, interview tonight at 9pmET/PT – also on the show: Rudy Giuliani.

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  1. gnut60

    please enough of politics, take a break for a night do we have to listen night after night till the republican convention. your show is becoming unwatchable. boy do I miss larry at least he mixed it up with a different cast of characters

    January 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hunter

      Hey, what happened to the Jessica Lynch interview, for comments regarding the topic "US Marines desecration". We send boys into harms-way to do unspeakable acts, then we're surprised and appalled at what's been reported? War is hell people, last I checked hell has no censorship. Whoever initiated the release to the media, but congrats, you've just aided Alchaida in recruiting thousands more fresh troops. Get ready.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chas Norris

      Seems like CNN throws their "top" reporters at her.
      Like I would have expected Soledad O'Brien to act any differently just another ABW that can't shut her mouth to let someone CNN invited to talk but wouldn't let them!

      January 13, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Judy mcbrayer

    You always defend this president and you are so bias in your reporting. I have read this book and she actually praised this woman who doesn't deserve any praise as a first lady. This president is NO leader.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • NorcalDM

      Listen you stupid tea bagger: you couldn't lead a pack of cows if pushed, so I wouldn't talk about leadership. The First Lady does have excellent leadership qualities, she is leading a movement to end childhood obesity. Do you even know what obesity is? The President himself has fantastic leadership qualities, which, judging from your post, you most likely are not aware of what actual leadership is. Journalism is defined as attempting to seek the truth, the truth coming from a legit source. In this case, if you want to know how someone feels, you talk to the person whom you are writing about, not third-party individuals. It's easy to defend a president who actually has intelligence, understands the role of government, and genuinely cares about the poor in this country. I wish I could say the same about other politicians. For e.g., Willard Romney. The guy doesn't understand the insurance market, judging by his, " I like to fire people who don't provide decent services." If he knew anything, he would know that it's not easy to drop your carrier and add a new one without difficulty.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Truth Monitor

        Thank you. She needed that...and more.

        January 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • P70117

      She may not desrve praise, but she absolutely deserves RESPECT. Something you all have forgotten, since there's BLACK residents in the White House!

      January 14, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sunrise

      Thanks Vera and BobBon for always being such stoepruprs....let me here from more of you, especially if you haven't posted a comment ever before! xoxoxo,Deb

      June 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LInda

    Jodi,
    You are NO Doris Kearnes Goodwin–she may have been your inspiration, but you can't hold a candle to her, especially with respect to the people you write about. Shame on you.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kelli

    Are you kidding me? Piers Morgan of all people asking this woman if she was using proper journalism? LOL yea this from a former editor of one of the biggest rags in London, not to mention was accused of tapping cell phones? way to go CNN. Enough of Piers. I miss Larry.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • joan

      Pierce wouldn't let her speak. He had an agenda, probably given to him by the White House, to say what they wanted said. Democratic freedom of speech? As long as you say what they WANT you to say.
      Way to go Pierce, Mr UK ragman...not exactly a credible person.
      CNN, get out of the pockets of the White House and into America. BALANCE IT UP GUYS. If you don't, you are a rag of a network.

      June 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jan Finnegan

    Mr. Morgan, you of all people, are in no position to question anyone's journalism. Stop trying to ingratiate yourself with Americans. It's nauseating to watch.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sandy

    Back off, Piers! You've been agressively nasty to this writer since she came on. I'm switching the channel.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jpcc77

      Piers.....Congratulation, you've graduated from journalist to entertainer.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Davon

      I can't agree with you more.....did anyone see the interview with Soledad O'Brien this moring 01/13/12..she was so bias and an ugly ass interview...she loss her emotion with the interview with Jodi Cantor.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Judy mcbrayer

    Why are you so upset over this book? The author did a great job. Quit criticizing her. I know you love this president but get over it.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Susan

    It would appear to me that we have here is yet another "journalist" who at one point had the potential for honest, fact-based journalistic excellence, but instead chose to follow the dollar signs to "National Enquirer" style journalism filled with second-hand stories, innuendo and personal opinions. But then again, that seems to encompass 75% of all journalists these days. What ever happened to journalistic ethics and integrity??????

    January 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • vicky

      It's illegal to write a book on third party information and without the permission of the person. She could easily be held for slander

      January 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. audrey berend

    Jodi Cantor, as well as any number of personalities could do a 200% better job than Piers Morgan at conduction an interview. I always regret turning this show on. How much longer must we endure him. Why is CNN doing this?

    January 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jacob

    That Jodi Kantor, with every inflection and intonation in her voice, is biased towards Michelle Obama. It is clear that she just does not like her.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raven

      She's not alone, alot of Americans find elitists icky.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • richard

        please in my opinion i think this lady is racist. she is deliberatly trying to find fault simply to discredit the first family. i mean why now?

        January 13, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Charles

    To the extent "poor journalism" was on display tonight, it was clearly on the part of Piers Morgan and his team for doing such a poor job in objectively portraying (or reading) Jodi Kantor's book. The questioning was one-sided, redundant, and frankly became boring in its simplicity.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Pipps

    Piers, you were an extremely inconsiderate host to Jodie Kantor. Next time read the book before you interview the author.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Debbie

    What!!!? Are you the first lady's personal attack dog? What a blatant display of partisanship. Bad journalism.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. James Johnson

    Piersie,,, what an B**** you are. That was he worst interview I've seen,,,& you've given soo many ,,,, What's wrong morgan,,had a bad day...ratings bad....ahhwww,,, L.O.S.E.R

    January 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Maurice

    I could not stand that Jodi with the Nose. She talks about authors like she is an intellectual. Everything that came out of her mouth just angered me more and trust me I will never read such garbage like her book! Please do not invite her ack!

    January 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jeff

    Hey Piers, go back to England. Hey CNN try hiring an American

    January 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Vivian

    One particular incident te author talked about was pretty lopsided; It was about a security situation where the first lady was informed by e-mail message, of all things, Of course being new to the white house, this should have been handled by personally informing the first lady so any qualms by her could be handled. She was unfairly handled and I say shame on white house staff.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. James Johnson

    PROTEST Piers Morgan: Buy Jodi Kantors book.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Lila Suna

    Piers Morgan's questions and tone conveyed his negative bias going into the Kantor interview. He was unnecessarily rude in his badgering of Kantor and his refusal to allow her to adequately respond to his comments/questions. One wonders if Morgan read Kantor's book. I wish Kantor had asked him, but she held herself to a higher standard.

    On Morgan's first anniversary since replacing King: a disappointing year – he either panders to or insults his guests, preferring the sound of his own voice to his guests'.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. John Doussa

    I can't understand why you would have a creature like Jodi Kantor on your show. She nearly took over your shot byul not shutting her mouth. She is a spiteful and self-aggrandizing person. I think whe had mental issues.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Janice Digirolamo

    In general, I am a supporter of Piers Morgan as an interviewer. However, tonight I felt he was antagonistic toward Jodi Kantor. Many writers depend on sources close to the subjects of their books and few are granted direct access writers like Bob Woodward had with Pres. Bush. Jodi gave coherent and measured responses to Piers Morgan's questions, but he was not open to understanding her point of view.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack Smith

      I completely disagree with your liberally biased response.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roy Scottsfield

      I agree with your accurate assessment of Piers. I usually feel that he conducts a good interview, but he seemed to be very off tonight, and I found myself upset with the program. Overall it was atrocious.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ankit

      When Pierce asked her if it was ok to completely rely on what some people said about the First Lady and that it would be an employee giving their opinion about his boss, Jodi Kantor gave a ridiculous reply that had nothing to do with the question.

      So my friend, you are wrong.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Elle

    Gee, Piers! Why such a nasty attack on an author whose book you haven't even read? You accused her of getting her info second hand. Well you did the same thing by forming your opionion second hand from all the commentary you've been listening to. At least she had the poise to keep her cool and not lash out at you. She answered your questions, but you kept jabbing. Without even trying, she made you look like a total jerk.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jim Cavanaugh

    Dear Mr. Morgan, I just watched your interview with Jodi Kantor who, in my opinion, didn`t give ONE straight answer. She was a real drag to have to endure. When you aked her if she was at all sad that her book was being received so negatively, especially by Mrs. Obama, she arrogantly began her reply with, "You have a very good question there....." I wanted to say to her, "No kidding! Well then answer it!" She is a real champ at being evasive. I hope you don`t waste another minute on her. I won`t.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Geraldine Williams

    Piers totally misread the substance of Jodi Kantor's book. It shows a mother, woman, wife, helper... dealing with the daily
    problems of keeping her family safe, connected, loving and supportive all at once, while at the same time, so much in the public eye. It's can't be easy. Why can't he see that this is a wonderfully book, which allows us to see what being a first lady is all about. I think time will be on the side of the author... and I totally support Michelle Obama. Would you want to be in her shoes? I doubt it.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. B HICKS

    Jack Welch embarrassed Piers during his interview this week. IT was awesome to watch Jack completely school Piers. And to take it farther everytime Piers tried an I Love Obama comment; Welch showed him the error of his comment. THis was the first time I watched his show and what a blast it was to see an ultra liberal Obama loving media darling be taken to the cleaners by a wise businessman.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mary d.

    I completely agree with gnut60. What's Larry doing now? Can he come back until after the 2012 election?

    January 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. B HICKS

    Shouldn't Piers be on MSNBC:?

    January 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. CAROLINE

    do not like J Cantor,,any relation to Eric Kantor ? do not like him either ..

    January 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Robert

    Referring to Jodi Kantor as biased is definately an understatement! Where is the respect and common decency the position of President and First Lady of the United States of America carries regardless to your personal feelings. How rude of you to refer to President and Mrs. Obama (more than one time, mind you) as "THOSE PEOPLE!" I hope this clip is aired repeatedly tomorrow and for a long time to come for those who missed it!

    January 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nancy Clark

    Your thoughts are spot on. I was surprised by how he attacked her as well. I personally doubt he even read her book in the first place.

    @Jack Smith..... What are you talking about, you make no sense!!!

    January 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Penny

    This writer, Jodi Kantor, is obviously a gossip monger... no more than that. Please don't even give time to writers like her... people who are out make a buck over the President's wife and her intelligent, honest dilemmas. Yuk.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donald

      What's done in secret is bound to eventually be shouted from the rooftops.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vicky

    We need to start holding people liable for non factual negative slanderous ads.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  33. vincent

    Something is not right with that author. Can you say get a life...

    January 13, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Allen

    Hey butt-face get off my television

    January 13, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Kay

    I cringed threw the entire interview. This Jodi lady disgusting. She has some axe to grind and i don't understand. i found her statement of "these people..." on a sliding scale that could splash some light on why she wrote this tabloid book. Im so disgusted. She hardly answered question straight on, and then she talks about how distasteful politicians act. She is a conundrum of airheadedness.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ankit

    She clearly dodged the question when you asked her if it was fair to report about the First Lady based on what other people say. She gave a completely useless reply.

    I havent and am not going to read the book but I cant trust Jodi Kantor after watching your interview. Her motivation doesnt seems to be about "true journalism".

    I wish you asked her more difficult questions, Pierce.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Davon

      If you don;t want to read the book...then zip it!

      January 13, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Dr Lance

    To the extent "poor journalism" was on display tonight, it was clearly on the part of Piers Morgan and his team for doing such a poor job in objectively portraying (or reading) Jodi Kantor's book. The questioning was one-sided, redundant, and frankly became boring in its simplicity. You haven't even read the book Piers ...I usually feel that Morgan conducts a good interview, but he seemed to be very off tonight, and I found myself very upset with the program. Overall it was atrocious. If this is going to be your style in future I will stick to other late night shows. You certainly are no Larry King ..he would have never acted like that ...It seem moreover lately your becoming more and more opinionated and your spending more time trying to convince us of your opinion..I watch Larry K to leaner about people Never did I feel he introjected his opinions on things as you seem to do ..CNN perhaps its time we look for someone else..Im switching to Nancy Grace !!

    January 13, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  38. ld freeman

    Mr Morgan behaved as a boor and an ass in a predetermined pounding of Ms Kantor without even having first hand knowldege of the book. Start with your own reporting by knowing what it is that you intend to kill before you fire, Mr Morgan. His foaming pitbull second hand criticism against a qualified journalist who had 33 times the access to the Whitehouse than he qualifies him for nothing in the realm of genuine journalism. If viewers were impressed, then go read the book and then think he had it right. Or else, dub him Pierce Limbaugh

    January 13, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Davon

      Can't agree with you more.....Soledad O'brien on "Starting Point" this morning did the same thing as Mr. Morgan did. Soledad lost it in her interview and did a pitbull type of interview always interupting Jodi before she could explain her self. She no doubt has a bias and the interview "STUNK"....she needs to go ...like morgan does. I've been ready the book and I give it a big thumbs up:)

      January 13, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Rob Guzman

    I couldn't get through the whole interview and felt this was bias. To me it felt as if Jodi was trying to express her beliefs on an experience she had with politics in the white house. This made me no longer wish to watch your show.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ken from FL

    First Piers, and then Soledad. Is CNN getting its talking points for these interviews from the White House?

    January 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  41. nana

    Best thing we ever did after we found there was no WMD we ended receiving all the news papers and magazines. Washington Post and Times keeps calling us with great offer. Sorry we have no time to read such fictional rubbish.
    Free Media will be a good thing.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Yolah

    Great job Piers. I commend Kantor for attempting to write a book like this. However, she went about it the wrong way (3rd party information ONLY). Piers and Soledad have the courage to ask these types of questions, but the author skirts many of them. I will not spend a penny on this book (will get it from library to see what the hype is all about).

    January 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  43. FarmGirl Arts

    I'm with Kantor on this because she interviewed official aids in the East Wing, Mrs. Obama's aids, on the record and corroborated stories before printing them. She says she also used off the record information to corroborate information while not reporting it directly. She, herself, is not saying how Mrs. Obama felt but wrote what her aids reported Mrs. Obama said or did. It sounds like solid professional journalism to me. She seems to be a level-headed reporter, not a sensationalist.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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