Wemple: Don’t believe Jodi Kantor’s claim that she didn’t want access to Obamas for book

The Washington Post
Erik Wemple doesn’t buy Jodi Kantor’s claim that she didn’t mind not having access to the Obamas for her upcoming book. The New York Times correspondent told Chicago magazine, “The story I wanted to write was never going to come from the Obamas’ lips. There’s so much they can’t say,” adding that she wouldn’t trade her extensive interviews with aides for a quick one with the president. Wemple writes:

Only the most sophisticated GPS devices can track that logic. First Kantor says she didn’t need an interview with the first couple. Then sets up a false choice between an interview with the president and old-fashioned legwork with White House sources; no such either-or predicament ever faced the author, according to knowledgeable sources. Then Kantor constructs a notion that the president can’t speak out.

Wemple’s take is that Kantor knew she had to deliver the Obamas and failed. Politico’s Mike Allen says an unnamed White House source told him via email, “[S]he begged for an interview up to the day the book went to the printer.” The White House is using the lack of access to discredit some of Kantor’s assertions in the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Urban Dictionary has accepted the new term, “GPS logic”, coined via Eric Wemple’s story above, here:
    Thanks for your definition of GPS logic!

    Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on urbandictionary

    It should appear on this page in the next few days:
    Urban Dictionary


    GPS logic

    (n. ) — Logic that only the most sophisticated GPS devices can track, and therefore not very logical in fact.

    “I can’t believe my ex-wife said that about me. Only the most sophisticated GPS devices can track that kind of logic. That’s what I call GPS logic at work!”

    overheard at a watercooler in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2012

  • Anonymous

    If nothing else, Wemple deserves inclusion in great comments of the year for this once sentence, re Wemple writes:”Only the most sophisticated GPS devices can track that logic.” — That is a great metaphor or similie or whatever it is! I love it…..i imagine it will gain traction and get more use online in future. Did Eric coin it or has it been around as an insult line earlier? love it

  • Anonymous

    IF, in fact, ms. kantor did not care if she talked to the obama’s (as she claims) then it would spare her the obligation to report their dednials about certain things. as it stands, we don’t know who she talked to, how credible they might be and whether the people she quoted would have any particular reason to KNOW what they were saying, as opposed to passing along second and third-hand gossip, as many many people often do. unnamed sources are justifiable sometimes but NOT when the goal is simply to write a book that might be unfairly salacious, which would pave the road to a best seller.

  • http://twitter.com/FlaFan FlaFan

    Funny how other books already published about the Obama Administration have managed to have those front-line quotes. Sounds like Kantor was either lazy or didn’t want her narrative messed with.